In Converstion with: Nyasha Adler
In a nutshell who is Nyasha?
An organized hippy! I am such a free-spirited perfectionist. It doesn’t make much sense to be both but if you spend a day within my space, you will more than agree with me. For the sake of those who like to know the ‘basics’; I am a Jesus follower, a wife, a sister to 5 colourful siblings, a friend, a creative, a natural lifestyle enthusiast, a theatre actress, a TV presenter, a vlogger, a guidance counselor etcetera etcetera.
What are you most passionate about in life?
Life itself, Happiness, the bigger picture, Nature, Sustainability & saving money.
How did you get into architecture?
I was watching the news with my dad on holiday when I was in form 1 and there was an architect’s conference that ZBC news happened to be reporting on. I noticed there were only men in the room and I asked my father why. He said it’s because Architecture is a very challenging field and has traditionally been male dominated a whole lot like engineering (he was an engineer). That’s about it really, at that moment I decided I was up for the challenge, when I went back to school I requested to be transferred to the Technical Graphics class from Agriculture. My headmaster finally allowed it and I had to catch up on the entire Form 1 work. Needless to say, I was part of the ‘top of the class’ crew and went on to do T.G at A Level as well. My dad passed away when I was in Form 2, he would have been so proud.
What made you want to specialise in 3D Visualisation?
My husband, who is also an architect, is incredibly gifted with translating ideas into the most visually profound drawings you could ever imagine. He even has a nickname thanks to this gift. Anyway, about three years ago a few of our colleagues would get in touch here and there asking for assistance with a presentation, they were looking for the ‘Raymond touch’ if I may call it that. We then talked about how 3D visualization was slowly developing into its own thing and after some research we learnt of the few visualization firms and how they go about their business. We had already decided at that point that we did not want to go conventional – Masters, 3 years in the field, sit for the bar, register with the Institute and open an architectural firm. We thought to ourselves, if we did that, then what? So here we are basically.
What challenges have you faced since starting your 3D Visualisation company?
Architecture is something that I think less than 10% of the Zimbabwean population understands. I’ve had people ask me what the heck I was doing for 5 years in university when they learnt to use Autocad in a week! We generally do not appreciate the value of an architect until we learn that the smell from the toilet making it into the lounge could have been avoided had we gotten the house properly designed. I don’t get how we are willing to spend at least fifty thousand dollars on material and $200 on the intellectual investment on our house. Anyway, I digress, now 3D visualization is an offshoot of architecture and if people do not understand the trunk of the tree, let’s not even get into the branches. I do not know how many times I have sent a quote only for a client to say they will pay 10% of that and think it’s okay.
How have your clients taken to the new concept?
Of our seasoned clients, they could not be any happier and love to see their homes come to life visually before setting everything in stone… literally. 3D visualization gives our clients the opportunity to make the most informed decisions in terms of their vision. It also helps a great deal because the truth of the matter is not everyone fully understands a house when it’s a 2D plan. We’ve had clients stunned at how big or small a room is or what a bad idea painting their house apple green is when they see their home in 3D. We eliminate the whole trial and error approach, which can save our clients tons of money.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
This is a tough one really because we get into a lot of our projects fully, head, toes and everything. But if you were to hold a gun to my head, I will have to pick a house in Norton belonging to probably our oldest and most faithful client. We also redesigned the floor plan as our client had bought it at foundation level. The house is almost complete and trust me; literally walking through your ‘thoughts’ is epic. Seeing your ideas come to life is such a thrill.
Apart from architecture, what else do you do?
- I am a natural lifestyle advocate. I love all things natural. I unfortunately recently closed my natural hair studio but will continue to blog and host events.
- A TV presenter currently independently contracted by ZTN presenting a lifestyle show. A theatre actress, this year I was in two plays at Reps theatre, The Signs and Reps the Lion King.
- I model and do ads, I’ve been in a music video, a TV advert or two and a few radio jingles.
- I also like to talk to young girls about life, sex, relationships etc, lowkey guidance and counseling.
- I am about to embark on the next chapter in my career life. I think life is too short to do one job. Watch this space.
Describe a typical day in your life.
First bit of my day is very housewifey if I do not have an early meeting on that day. I clean the house (everyday is spring clean day), have breakfast, do laundry if it’s a laundry day, sit down to work for about 3-5 hours, have a meeting or two with a client, hang out with a friend, go to Mupedzanhamo sometimes, start on dinner prep, go to the gym, yoga on other days, work on a DIY home project sometimes, dinner, work, Netflix and chill, devotional with the husband, sleep, dream and repeat.
What is the soundtrack to your life?
Life is a Flower by Ace of Base and Your Eyes by Darlene Zschech on side B.
What advice would you give to someone new to architecture or considering going into that field?
Sleep, sleep, sleep because you’re not going to get much of it in university, I’m not kidding, architecture is manual labour. However, it is worth it and is such a rainbow career. If you can think it, then it can be done. The earth is literally your canvas; colour away!
What is your theme for 2018?
Everything is possible, but not all of it is beneficial.
What would your dream house be like?
Super unique, functional, off grid and so affordable. I wasn’t kidding about saving money, I stay in a 12 sq.m apartment right now, not because we can’t afford more but because we like it and can be so creative with little spaces. Zimbabweans are quite flamboyant with space in my opinion and spend money on a lot of stuff we in fact do not need or use wisely.
Who are your favourite architects and why?
That’s a tough one; I’m going to go with Raymond Adler on this one, I married the guy, so I definitely have to think the world of him, lol. I do admire the late Vernon Mwamuka, his footprint is still heavily stamped in this country. I look up to Pearce McComish Tarabuku Architects’ consistency; they are incredible business people. The late Le Corbusier’s theories, philosophies & work fascinate me, and Frank Lloyd Wright is just an architectural genius.
Where is your dream destination and why?
You’re really pouring out these tough ones hey. I’m just going to have to give you 3. Vumba, reason is simple; it’s a dream. Germany (the whole country) in my opinion they are probably one of the most intelligent and advanced people on this planet and they are not even blowing their horn about it. Vilankulos in Mozambique, have you seen the blueness of the Indian Ocean where it meets Africa in Vilankulos, and to think it is only 828 km from my house!
What are you most fond of, about being Zimbabwean?
The people, even a 20-year recession has not taken away that distinct Zimbabwean nature, yes some of us have forgotten but we will remember. If I could be born ten times over I would still choose to be Zimbabwean. And of course, the perfect climate and weather, Cecil John Rhodes did not move all the way here for nothing. I almost kissed the leaves when I came back from Namibia after just 4 months.
When are you happiest?
When my mind, body and spirit are in one accord. I sit there and revel in the calming power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, and just before I close my eyes to sleep, I like my bed very much.
If you could give up anything for a year what would it be and why?
WhatsApp Messenger, I seriously do not like that app and the pressure it presents in people’s lives. I just have it to be polite and that’s what people use now so I have to compromise for my family, friends and clients.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
‘Do not try to be a man in a man’s world (architecture in particular) because men have been men all their life, they will beat you because of experience. Be a woman, celebrate it, celebrate being the minority and let your uniqueness work to your advantage, it’s not a challenge but in fact a tool’. I am comfortable with being madam on a site and earning the respect of the people. It makes for more drama when they initially underestimate you because of you being different. I like drama.
How would you like to be remembered?
I like to help people realize their dreams in terms of their home. Everyone has the right to shelter, which happens to be overpriced in Zimbabwe. A whole graduate architect like me cannot even dream of owning their own property, it does not even make sense. However, I am part of the revolution and we are the revolution. All of us have a part to play and I am going to do my part fearlessly.
Live life fully, laugh a lot and don’t take it way too seriously no one makes it out alive anyway. I would like them to say, SHE LIVED.
Twitter, Instagram - @nyasha_adler
Adler & Adler Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – @adlerandadler_visualisation