Letter of Motivation
ERASMUS MUNDUS, EU
M. Arch Program in LUND University, Sweden
Ever since my very early years of consciousness I was exposed to travelling around many places in the country and abroad. I had always asked myself for the distinct change in the outlook of architecture, streets, space characters and landscapes. The queries such as why would my own city of Islamabad never have the scale and feel as that of Rome or London. I never found the answers due to lack of basic knowledge of urbanity even to compare with. The very generic reason that I envisaged was only based on time and history that any city would be spanned in.
I had studied five years of Architecture that helped me to understand the livability of human in built forms. The forms initiated from the functions of the space, manifested with textures and hues of the material.
A decade of a rigorous design practice offered some opportunities to gain handful knowledge on projects of urban design/ large scale infrastructural/ master planning. One such fine example to quote is creating ‘A City within a City’, master plan of a 2500 acres of a sector in Islamabad. The experience to work with a team of in house urban designers and landscape architects, inculcated in me a strong urge to explore the subject of Urban Design whenever possible. Sub consciously, the process of designing an integrated environment of housing with all the amenities stitched and embedded in the landscaped character was the first ever experience to sense the scale of a community at professional level.
‘Sustainable’, as the word got formally introduced into my conscious for the first time while working on a feasibility/initial design report, a new proposed mix use development in Karachi, emphasizing on Live, Work & Play. It evoked new deliberations in my thoughts regarding addressing the issues of inadequate green content in the space, issues of mobility and proximity of humans from their living place to work and so on. The design solutions of master planning with botanical gardens in the development as a source to integrate peripheral urban scapes besides enhancing the landscape spatial quality, indeed made phenomenal transformations of my approach towards perceiving the life in the city.
Since last sixteen months, I have been part of the Architecture faculty in one of the universities in Islamabad. Dealing with undergrad thesis as advisory, and coordinating an Urban Design Studio since last few months I strongly feel to pursue a formal and extensive program. I firmly believe that the academia is the prime source facilitating our society, system, authorities, institutions, developers etc with findings based on a rigorous research. One of the facilitations that I envisage may be the patterns of sustained growth based on principals of our culture, trends, regional context, socio-political and economic factors.
I have gone through the program outline; the university offers, finding it extremely interesting the progression of different phases that I am sure would formulate an interface to adapt to.
The first tier of Sustainable Urban Recycling is very much conducive for someone belonging to my part of the world where the existing structures are so easily devalued over a certain time. The rejuvenation and revitalization process is quite critical in terms of getting exposed to theory and methods of recycling.
The measure of an urban quality and form also has to be brought into the process of capitalizing the project, with further elaborating the objective of a sustained quality. Learning the ways to achieve it is one of the keys to success.
I had always desired to be part of the academic program that helps individual capture the essence of the landscape in the built environment, a program emphasizing on to consider the rural, urban and transitional landscape characters as integral part of our urban design.
There are many urban areas in my region that are subject of change due to several global changes besides local randomness, and maybe we still have a chance to analyze it at the academics level of experimentation as part of Sustainable Urban Dynamic Studies, that are also being offered in the program.
I find this program as an opportunity to indulge in various sensitive analysis, theories and methods of the urban form, quality, recycling, landscape, and urban dynamics as a process to establish distinct methodology to deal with issues in my own context.