A Shared-Housing Project in Karachi

As a response to the urban growth, sky-high land prices and the problem of housing, the projects explores the potential of applying the principles of sharing-economy to architecture. Using ‘dwelling’ as its object of investigation, the project aims to question the form of dwelling in a ‘post-capitalistic’ setting.  The project specifically looks at Karachi, and the South Asian region, with its history of ‘sharing’, as an ideal place to apply these concepts for a better, sustainable and equitable future. 

AIR

An AI based, Architectural Image Recognition program capable of classifying architectural drawings against a set of 10 architects comprising of Louis Kahn, Corbusier, Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and others.

The program can be used standalone, without any installation, or as part of a Rhino/Grasshopper package.

Report exploring the extent and scope of the Huawei’s Safe City Projects inside Pakistan. While Huawei’s interventions in Africa and other Smart Cities have garnered a lot of attention, Huawei’s involvement in Pakistan precedes all other projects carried out with speed and secrecy and in many ways served as the prototype for its more recent projects.

Junaijo Town & Akhtar Colony, Urban Study and Design Proposal

Carried out as a part of an Urban Open Space Design project inside the Department of Architecture at IVSAA, Karachi. This report documents the localities of Junaijo Town and Akhtar Colony inside Karachi. Junaijo Town and Akhtar Colony are a nexus of an urban and natural node. It hosts the point of intersection of three axis, all of which culminate at the canal (nala). Both localities define an area that is a socio-cultural, mixed-income communal hub for migrants coming from all over Pakistan to Karachi.
This report analyses the data from the comprehensive analysis of the BOA of its existing conditions to further explore the possibilities and opportunities of housing and recreational activity integration at different levels of the existing society as different Stages of interventions and Proposals within the area in focus. The report was supervised by Prof. Sumaila Palla and Prof. Ira Kazi, both at the Dept. of Architecture at IVSAA, Karachi

Essays

A select collection of essays and papers that I have had the opportunity to write, primarily covering architecture, space and the built-environment and their explorations through various lenses.

Critiques, conversations and comments on any ideas expressed in any of these texts will be very much appreciated.

This paper applies the Actor-Network Theory to unpack the concept of ‘context’ in architecture. Deriving from Science and Technology Studies, ANT works to trace the associations between actors inside an ‘actor-network’ and as such provides immense help as a descriptive tool. For an almost infinite concept like ‘context’ in architecture, it helps clarifying and exposing the weaknesses of the assumptions and ideas upon which context sits. Considering the need for more relevant and sustainable architecture will only increase in the future, an exploration into the concept of ‘contextual’ is timely and much needed.

The paper was written under the guidance of Prof. John Stallmeyer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s School of Architecture. 

Read here.

As mankind has entered the 21st century, it has witnessed radical changes, both natural and man-made, which have significantly affected the society. Technologies such as the internet, have altered human lifestyles and how they communicate, travel and their consumption patterns. Issues such as climate change and dwindling natural resources are forcing humans to adopt a different outlook towards how they live their lives. In this context, this paper attempts to illustrate the potential characteristics that are required from architecture, as a discipline and practice, and the architect, in order exist in 21st century. This paper explores opportunities presented by these radical changes in the society and argues for a rethinking of architecture, not just as a practice, but even how we conceive architecture. It demarcates the avenues of investigations that have been presented by these dynamic challenges of the current century which could potentially lead to an understanding of architecture fit for the modern society. It attempts to present a case for a completely different evaluation of architecture, in which architecture acts as part of a network in the society and influences the ‘capital-flows’ inside the network. Thereby illustrating the need to conceptualize architecture and the job of the professional architect differently than is done by the contemporary frameworks.

This paper was written as part of the final thesis for my Bachelor’s of Architecture as Prof. Zohaib Zuby at IVSAA as my advisor. The paper was awarded a distinction.

 

Read Here.

Considering the rapid advances in computing, internet and their ease of use, the paper explores the future of communal spaces as virtual spaces and its implications for architecture. The overlap between the physical and the virtual poses certain challenges and questions, alongwith a potential to force us to rethink the way we conceive ‘space’ and ‘communal spaces’. This paper briefly explores the viability of looking at virtual communal spaces as seriously as those that are in the physical world. It also asks architects to seriously consider this possibility of virtual world as their domains as well as opposed to staying fixated on the physical world. 

The paper was presented at the annual Institute of Architects, Pakistan’s IAPex – Karachi 2018 and also won the award for the best student paper.

Read here.

Concrete, as a material, single-handedly revolutionized architecture in modern setting, enabling the industrial-era cities to develop in to humungous organisms. Suddenly the building was set free from the constraints of gravity and straight lines, the building was now soaring in the skies in shape of sky-scrappers or creating unbelievable forms of architecture, such as Guggenheim. Regardless, concrete was heralded as the perfect material for the modern world. A century later, when our concrete structures have crumbled and the material has itself run rampant throughout our cities and homes as a plague, our relationship with concrete is changing. Just as there was a yearning in the pre-industrial world to be set free from the clutches of traditional building material, a similar yearning seems to exist around the world today.

The material to overthrow the tyrannical rule of concrete on human environment does not seem to be a physical material, but a manifestation which doesn’t exist at all in the physical world. Just as our villages and agricultural sites were succeeded by concrete industrialized cities, our cities will now be succeeded by cities of networks and information, a city of bits. The idea of ‘city of bits’ first theorized by William Mitchell in 1995, was a response to technological innovation in the later half of 20thcentury. This ‘city of bits’ now seems more plausible than ever before. In a time where our existence transcends geographical limits, the spaces we occupy are not constructed in only concrete form either. Concrete, which for the past century and a half, has served as the sole container of our spaces is now faced with the task of constructing our spaces in ‘virtual world’, a non-physical abstract world which at least half of the human population now is connected to and occupies in some form or the other. It is at this dilemma for the ‘concrete’ that this essay aims to explore what the future of concrete might be in the virtual world, a world not governed by the rule of three cartesian points but an infinite formless world, a world inherently like the potential of concrete when it was first rediscovered by the modern man

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Ethnicity has played a contentious yet major role in shaping the urban fabric of Karachi, where ethnicity has become a ground for violence and conflict. This paper attempts to explore the relationship of how spaces were used for ethnic purposes in the city. The paper raises the questions as to how ethnicity and spaces became intertwined and eventually developed a deeply linked relationship which eventually resulted in a city divided on ethnic lines. This complex relationship can be understood better by tracing historically the formation of an ‘ethnic identity’ and what were the ideological and social underpinning which gave ethnicity a major role in the city. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed in order to investigate the question at hand. The qualitative methods used were interviews of politicians and journalists, while reviewing socio-political theories on ethnicity in Karachi from both local and international authors. Survey-based quantitative method was then employed to assess the current trends in general public in regards to ethnicity and ethnically dominated areas.

Read Here.