An Interview with Rucha Bhave


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! In our second interview of the series, we speak with Rucha Bhave who works with WCS-India

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

I grew up fascinated by wildlife but never considered a career in this field. Design was something I was passionate about, and it wasn’t until I was doing my graduation project that I realised I could combine design and conservation. That was the first project I did in this field. I realised that design has the potential to make wildlife more accessible and appealing, and have been trying to use my skills for conservation since. 

You have designed two corridor profiles so far, and are working on a third one now. Could you tell us a little bit about corridor profiles and the process of designing them?

Until I designed my first profile, I did not know much about wildlife corridors. It was an interesting experience for me, learning what wildlife corridors were and why they were important. I tried to use that experience to identify what might make it easier for other people to understand corridors. 

Before designing a profile, I spend some time studying the corridor. I speak to experts to identify certain aspects of a corridor that the reader needs to understand at first glance and then see if that information has the potential to become an interesting visual. 

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

A corridor profile is a comprehensive compilation of information about the corridor, its characteristics, and the challenges it faces. The purpose of visuals in a profile is to give the reader a sense of the corridor without having to visit the landscape. Communicating about a corridor is about trying to capture its essence in a few illustrations. The motive of design remains similar to other types of conservation communication, which is to make information more engaging through visuals. 

Which is your favourite illustration from the profiles you have designed so far and why?

When I was designing my first corridor profile for the Kallar corridor, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the corridor and understand the landscape. It made a big difference in the way I executed the design for this profile. It resulted in one of my favourite illustrations I have made for the profiles, a map showing the different terrains in the Kallar corridor, the threats the corridor faces and how elephants travel through this space. I think this visual shows the potential illustrations have as a unique medium to convey complex information.