Thinking about the Environment: An Architect's Diary
Saad Adnan Khan
Photos: Shagufta Newaz
Environment is one of the areas that people are paying attention to through different fields of studies, whether it is literature, gender studies or architecture. 'Climate, nature and architecture,' organised by the Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) was one such attempt where students and teachers came together to discuss how architecture can play a vital role in promoting sustainable climate responsive and resilient designs to face environmental degradation and climate change.
The event, which included lectures and exhibitions by renowned architects, took place at Chhayanaut Institute from May 13-16, 2012. The programme took place under the banner of 'International Climate Championship' of British Council. The 'International Climate Championship' project works in seventy countries around the world. British Council helps young people to develop and implement projects within their local communities to raise awareness of climate change and limit the adverse effects of climate change. The event was supported by the Department of Architecture, the Architecture Alumni Association, BUET and Institute of Architects, Bangladesh (IAB). Berger paints Bangladesh ltd sponsored the event.
The lectures and the exhibition show on climate sensitive architecture enriched students.
During the talks, architects used slides to display and explain their projects, which they did in rural outskirts, where the ultra-poor has to bear the brunt of climate change. Through lectures, several interesting factors regarding community involvement came up. Houses were built which can withstand erosion and cyclones. Materials that are more cost efficient and environmentally friendly were used to build the houses. The four speakers were Architects Jalal Ahmed, Risal Ahmed, Saif Ul Haque and Abid Hasan Noor.
The audience consisted of students of architecture along with other areas, programmes and departments. A political science major brought up the question of how students belonging to political science can take initiatives to reduce environmental degradation. The effort and dedication of the architects, who took out time to work on such challenging projects, was acknowledged and appreciated.
The exhibition displayed works of prominent architects.
“It is tough to work in this area. Theoretically, it is easier to study environment and architecture. There should be more application of that knowledge in reality. The lectures gave students guidelines on how to work in the architecture field, keeping environment in mind and coming up with climate sensitive designs,” says Shegufta Newaz, a fifth year student of BUET and also one of the International Climate Champions, 2011. Newaz worked on a project titled 'Climate Resilient/ responsive architecture.'
“Climate movement is a global phenomenon now. In today's time, every architect has to be aware of the environment as they work on buildings and structures. The exhibition displayed some really interesting projects that taught us a lot, immensely,” says Jhalak Ranjan Das, another fifth year student of BUET.
The event was organised by a group of students, who call themselves 'Mete'. Their mission is to include architects, students, design professionals and engineers and form a network, which will work to promote awareness regarding environment and accumulate ideas about sustainable climate resilient and responsive architecture.
The Bard's Nostalgia
Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra
The love for poetry or lyric writing has been a passion for many young people around the world for more than centuries. For some, lyrical writing helps in soul searching while for others it enables them to visit memory lane every now and then. Rana's lyric book 'Aj Tomar Mon Kharap Meye' consists of some his most famous lyrics and stories behind them. This book was released at the Ekushey Boi Mela (Book Fair), 2012, from Annesha publications and it costs 135 takas only. Most of these songs are sung by the well known singer Bappa Majumder. A number of these lyrics are a treat for those who need the feel of a muse every now and then. The stories shared by the lyricist are touching in the sense that each one of them show the phases the writer had gone through to produce such pure words of love. Meghbalika, Aj Tomar Mon Kharap Meye, Phire Pete Chai are some of the lyrics. The inspiration behind the lyrics are written in a story format under the section 'nostalgia'. The lyrics range from melodious to a phase of hopeful love and lost youth.