|Muhtadin Iqbal, UAP|

While the whole city of Dhaka was coming out of the slumber of Eid ul Azha vacation, a group of young man and woman were seen busy shuttling from one spot to the another drawing and sketching vehemently . They were with Ar. David Holm.

Australian architect and Churchill fellow Architect David Holm has conducted a 7 day workshop of drawing and recording the public spaces of Dhaka. the workshop is supported by University of Technology Sydney(UTS),Bangladeshi Architects in Australia (BAA),The Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB)and the Australian Institute of architects(AIA). The walking, drawing, and recording are all carried out according to the structure of public place definition set out in Holm’s Churchill scholarship. This program covered Holm’s exploration of public place making in dense urban environments throughout Asia.

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Workshop_Space,Move, Draw. Image Courtesy: Muhtadin Iqbal


David Holm: David Holm is Director of Cox Architecture responsible for Transport and Infrastructure projects working in Australia and internationally. Working on projects such as Sydney’s new Barangaroo Ferry Hub, Holm is primarily known for his contribution towards the transport and urban typologies, both locally and internationally. Architect David Holm is an adjunct professor at the UTS School of Architecture. Holm is also a director at one of the largest architectural practices in the Asia-Pacific, Cox Architecture. David’s design focus is in the provision of memorable and successful public built form driven by the interaction of design philosophies and practical constraints. His key projects include Singapore’s Changi Terminal 3 and Terminal 1, New Delhi International Airport India, Sydney Airport International “Forum” development, Hyderabad “Aerotropolis” Exhibition and Convention Centre and the new North West Rail Link in Sydney. David works regularly with several education institutions.

The Workshop: Under the able guidance of Ar. David Holm, a multidisciplinary team of 12 Australian and 10 Bangladeshi students collaborated in the 7 day Workshop that started on the Sep 28,2015. The main objective of the workshop is to investigate through drawing, how densely populated urban spaces work across Dhaka. For that purpose Dhaka has been divided into three areas . North, Central, Old town . Documentation process was carried out through drawing and fast sketches of street section and one /two point perspective of a spot from various angle. Emphasis was put on sketching very quickly, while on the move. The essence of the real spaces were attempted to be captured in black and white line drawing, colour pencil sketches and even with experiments such as single line scribble. Drawing and sketches of Dhaka University Campus, Sadarghat, Shankharibazar, Parliament Building and diplomatic area of Gulshan and Banani was covered. The experience of the students were really eye opening for them. As one of the students shared his experience that they have realised, drawing has the potential to reveal what is shrouded and give ingredient of a deeper understanding.

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Workshop_Space,Move, Draw. Image Courtesy: Muhtadin Iqbal


The Presentation: A presentation was arranged with IAB at the BETS Centre, in the end of the workshop on 3rd Oct. In the presentation Ar.David Holm said that it was an interaction and words of Dr. Younus the noble prize winner, is what ignited his interest on Bangladesh, to be more precise on Dhaka. At the start of the presentation the architect emphasised, why it is important for an architect to draw. The drawing and sketching according to Holm makes an architect to stop, slowdown and think about the city.

The point were emphasized with some black and white sketches by the presenter of different urban locations around the world. there were also example of works by David Holmes as a partner of the Cox Architects. It was quite fascinating to see how the schematic ideas of the initial stage were realized with every detail. Ideas of space from the ancient cities were reinterpreted in projects like Changi Intl. Airport, Singapore and other infrastructural project. In the later half of the presentation David Holm shared his experience of working in Dhaka and how he found them to be intriguing. The presentation concluded with some recommendation from the architect to make Dhaka city a better place. David Holm acknowledged that the streets of Dhaka has a unique character. He requested the policy makers not to take the metro rail above ground. His observations are all targeted towards making an egalitarian and vibrant city.