Malika Junaid is a partner in her architectural firm that deals in commercial, residential and interior designing. Malika graduated in Arcitecture from LSU with practice license required for designing commercial buildings and 3+ storied residentials.
After getting married, Malika moved back to the US. She joined Chip Jessup – who is now partner in their firm (www.mdesignsarchitects.com). She told OPEN-SV members it is difficult for both men and women to maintain life-work balance, but if work is interesting and you’re passionate, then work is more like an activity. Architecture designing enables her to visualize spaces and convert ideas into tangibles – houses and buildings. It is invigorating to see people living and working in her creations. She interviews customers to feel what will work for them. She finds their needs and desires and then complements those to accommodate personality. She revealed it is not unusual to find most spouses want opposite styles. To keep portfolio diverse, Malika specializes in residential and interiors, while her partner focuses on commercial. She expanded her practice to Karachi to utilize time difference – for faster turnaround time. She hired a senior architect to recruit talent in Karachi where her firm opened an office to aid CAD design work. She prefers and recommends hiring employees who are flexible and malleable. She has utilized Indus Valley School of Architecture for local talent. She screens and then interviews candidates when visiting Pakistan. To stay connected to the remote team and be productive, her firm utilizes various commonly available communication technologies - Skype, WhatsApp, GoToMtg/WebEx, GoogleDocs, etc. In addition, she tries to be personable and approachable to remote staff. Recognizing talent in Pakistan and wishing to give back to Pakistan, she commissioned from a Pakistani designer/craftsman the doors, kitchen and fixtures for their investment property in Los Altos. All fixtures were complete, congruous and fit well upon installation. She feels it was important for her to give due respect to the craftsman, to let him know they were chosen for their goodwill, he could look for repeat business, and that bill will be paid on time upon delivery. Communication and laying out requirements, of course, were important.