An Interview with Raiva Singh


We are back with Corridor Conversations. This time, we speak with designers who have worked on creating a series of visually compelling and creative corridor profiles. All the designers so far have been women!

To kick things off on International Women’s Day 2024, we hear from Raiva Singh, who works with WWF-India, on her journey and work.

Tell us about your journey so far. How did you choose to work in this field?

Nature has always fascinated me since my childhood. It is like a magical house that gives me a sense of wonder about how a single cell can multiply and develop into a full form of life. The tapestry of interwoven colour and life teaches us a lot if we look closely and connect with it.

My mother, an artist, introduced me to colours and various forms of art. She taught me that every colour we use today is found in nature, and every artist takes inspiration from it. She encouraged me to connect with nature when I feel like I have nothing to take inspiration from, as it can awe me with its magical powers and inspire me to move forward.

On the other hand, my father, a botanist, taught me the scientific importance of various flora and fauna. He took me and my brother out to various landscapes and taught us the scientific names of different plants, their use in the ecosystem, and how they provide to us humans.

As I grew up, I developed my own art style, which included nature in everything and inspired me to work in the conservation sector. 

Could you tell us about corridor profiles and the process of designing them?

Designing a corridor profile is a valuable learning experience for me. Before starting the design process, I make sure to visit the corridor or study it in-depth along with the people who live and work in the area. This allows me to gain unique insights into the corridor, understand its differences, and identify the challenges it poses. 

During this period, I also have the opportunity to learn about a variety of behaviours and interesting facts about the local wildlife, as well as the co-existence stories of humans and animals. I also gain an understanding of the major reasons for conflicts between them and the steps that we are taking to reduce them. 

This information is extremely useful when it comes to the final outcome of the design process. It helps me incorporate these factors creatively so that people outside the conservation sector can also become interested in learning more about the corridor and help in conservation. 

Is communicating about corridors different from other types of conservation communication?

Yes, not many people are aware of corridors and why it is crucial to conserve them. Though I am not from a conservation background, I learned about it when I joined WWF India. It is fascinating to learn about animal movement and their incredible tendency to adapt. Corridors are a perfect example of how animals can survive and adjust to urban expansion caused by humans. However, the question remains – for how long can they continue to do so?

Which is your favourite illustration from the profiles you’ve designed?

I cannot choose a single illustration as each one represents the uniqueness of different corridors. However, if I had to pick one, I would choose the first illustration I designed for the Coalition for Wildlife Corridors. It shows forest patches, corridors, and the incredible ability of animals to navigate their way through urban mazes. It serves as a learning map for people who do not come from a conservation background, helping them to better understand what corridors are.