Tanya Khanna, Epistle Communications, Design, PR, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Tanya Khanna

Business Name: Epistle Communications, a consulting service for architecture, planning and allied design industries

Type of Business: Design/Marketing & PR

Business Location: New Delhi, India

Website www.epistle.co
Twitter @epistlecomm

Reason for starting
Traditionally, most Indian architects, designers and design practices have steered away from communication activities. However, in today’s globalized markets, facilitating design as a business becomes crucial. Within this milieu, Epistle communications was setup to provide bespoke, strategic communication consulting services for design, architecture & allied industries. As an architect, I strongly feel that there is a gap that exists between design & practice. ​ We understand the culture, pressures and aspirations of ambitious practices and what they seek to achieve, often on a limited budget. As a professional architect with over 8 years of global experience in Corporate Communications and Strategy within the AEC, Design, Real estate and media domain, I strongly believe in collaboration, and hence our team is diverse- architects, journalists, graphic designers, management specialist, web designers etc.

How do you define success?
Success to me, represents the change in outlook of the clients that I have been working with. The premise of doing this begins with the intention for discourse, dialogue and exchange of design ideas. First, the designers allow their work to be curated to suit the various forms of media outreach. Second, this proliferation of good design in the media furthers the quality of our built environment by inspiring students and younger people in the profession, who have conventionally attached value only to savvy images created by developers. Success finds its way through this platform of design discourse through various media- These clients want to communicate their thought processes, how their designs represent their intentions and its final impact on the evolution of contemporary Indian Design.

Biggest Success
The biggest barrier to success for young design firms is rarely creativity. Securing visibility for good work greatly helps in fostering public appreciation. By helping young & innovative Indian practices like Morphogenesis, AKDA, RLDA, Team3 & Archohm achieve access to better projects via proper project packaging, Epistle Communications is proud to be furthering the cause of good design and architecture in the sub-continent. The improvement in our built environment is my biggest success. Also, the fact that Indian architects are being recognized on international platforms through Epistle, is a great achievements. Our clients’ victories are the biggest testimonials- when they win national and international awards, we know we have been successful.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
When I started out, my biggest challenge was to change the notion that good design still speaks for itself. In the current scenario of information overload, originality & creativity simply gets lost in the deluge of data produced globally. By working closely with our clients, I have gradually created opportunities for them to showcase their work in appropriate forums. This enables better discourse and significantly improves future prospects for innovative practices. This probably is the biggest challenge still, as most designers still struggle with the distinction between PR and Communications; We are not a PR Agency that is creating generic stories- we aid in communicating design work- purely based on process and the strength of design. Being a professional architect, the relationship with our clients is hence, more engaged.

Who is your most important role model?
I have had the opportunity to work with many inspirational industry leaders. Starting with the editor at A+D to Ron Sidell, to my mentor at Sidell Gibson, London who recognized my skills in the 1st place in a new country & provided an opportunity to pursue this. My current clients are my most important role models. With their keen artistic sensibilities & understanding, they represent meaningful, contemporary Indian architecture. Without their content, I would not be inspired to run Epistle.