“স্থান, কাল এবং অস্তিত্ব” – আরাতা ইসোজাকি | Space, Time and Existence – Arata Isozaki

Illustration by Ziaur Rahman Ovi
The following article is the translated interview of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki -2019 Pritzker Prize laureate- originally hosted by the GAA Foundation and European Cultural Centre jointly as a part of Time-Space-Existence exhibition, which took place in Venice on May 2018. This interview presents Isozaki’s vision on the themes of space and time, and on their intertwining into the Japanese concept of 'ma' -the space and time that lies in-between things. The interview is translated in Bengali by architecture graduate Mahin Haque and the feature image is illustrated by Ziaur Rahman Ovi.

Rickshaw Revisited

Drawing by Saimum Kabir © ContextBD
Wondering what is so special about rickshaw? Isn't it something that blame for causing traffic congestion in the city? Isn't this 'slow moving', 'unsafe' transport unfit to keep pace with the fast-moving modern city? Isn’t the subaltern rickshaw puller causing social nuisance in the city? Should it not be evicted from the urban street anyway?

Lightweight Transient Architecture with Tensile Membrane

© ALM Tensile Membrane Structure Ltd
A lightweight transient architecture is different from the permanent architecture we used to see every day. A lightweight architecture can be thin enough to defy gravity and create an impression of floating in air. The membrane, which is used to cover the space in a lightweight structure reflects the transient character of light and shadow of outside into the interior space. The perfect example of a lightweight structure is the Tensile Membrane Structure.

Participatory Urban Design Gaming: A Perceptual Bridging Approach

Maslow’s Palace workshops, Shivaji Nagar, Mumbai © Hamish Beattie
Visualisation is crucial to effective community participation in urban design processes because it is the only common language between all those involved. It is a language where the technical thinking and jargon of designers and the dreams of participants may find equal footing. In line with this, Martin Johansson points out, the challenge often faced in participatory design is that the “trained designer may use a pen and a piece of paper to illustrate his ideas while other stakeholders need other kinds of design material to be able to sketch”.

Bamboo Playscape: An Experiential Platform for Underprivileged Children

Bamboo playscape | ©  Paraa
Architecture as a service industry is often criticized for its inclination towards the privilege section of the society. The top down design process coupled with the traditional relationship between client and architect has influenced the architect to think architecture as an end product rather than a process. In the following project ‘Bamboo playscape’ , a young group of activist architects adapts design as a tool for social change and architecture as a process that informs the real needs of the community to achieve inclusive and context specific innovation particularly for the under

Confessions of a non-architect

Multiplicity | The branches and the rectangular blocks  combinedly make up the chairs, which are free from gravitational force- a visual representation of the idea that one can combine knowledge of two different areas and create something that is free from preconceived notions © Imran Hasan
More often than not, I find myself in the company of fellow architects. When that happens, I am often asked if I am an architect myself. This puts me in an awkward situation. While I have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, I am not exactly practicing the profession itself. Years ago, I heard a writer saying in an interview, “You are not a writer if you are not writing.” Similarly, I think, you cannot call yourself an architect if you are not practicing.

Outside the Square: Transition of Cities as We Know

Melbourne, Australia. Birds eye view
Our future is set to be urban. ‘No country has ever reached middle income status without urbanising’ according to World Bank reports. By harnessing economies of scale, cities have a special ability to achieve more adding value for both people and companies. This means these cities are more productive than other countries with better economic structures, by sharing knowledge, ideas and honing pools of talent.For example, the rise of China’s middle class – a distinctly urban phenomenon that has lifted 500 million people out of poverty in less than 30 years – is testament to the power cities

Mapping RAMNA

Mapping of Ramna area dhaka
Ramna, Dhaka does not only fulfill a role on a local scale, but also on a city and even on a transnational scale. This is what makes this area unique. Ramna is ‘just a park’ for the Ramna Locals but at the same time it is also 'more than just a park’. The interference between the different actors happens in Ramna area. It is an intersection space for all kind of people from all kind of places.

Contemporary Dhaka in Illustrations: Traveler’s Account

Dhaka Skyline © Brian Buckley
In the past, many travelers visited Dhaka and their visual accounts are considered as an important tangible evidence of Dhaka’s History. Art works by Sir Charles D'Oyly, Frederick William and George Chinnery, who visited Dhaka around 1st half of the 19th Century, divulge city’s past imagery. Even today, we mesmerize to see the photographs of their etching, paintings and sketches of historical Dhaka. The aim of this post is not to resurface those images again. We rather were keen to learn how present Dhaka is perceived and portrayed by the foreigners who traveled to Dhaka or somehow

Old Jail Area and Challenge of Urban Space in Dhaka

Feature image_small
"Where are our plazas, piazzas, malls, and maidans? Public places are where democracy finds a voice and a physical presence. Cities in Bangladesh have been experiencing unprecedented population surge. The demand for urban land is skyrocketing, leading to misguided policies of gentrification and a mastani culture of land-grabbing. Experts recommend that a livable city should have a minimum of 25% of its area as open space. Dhaka's open space of only about 14.5% is rapidly shrinking. Research has shown that without adequate public plazas—essential for a city's democratic practices,

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