Architecture week 2007 Brac University
It is mentioned in the Shilpa Shastra “In space through the architecture….…A person can experience the Divine.” After two years in this department I am forced to ponder what it really means. If I may take the liberty, Architecture is more than a discipline; it's a lifestyle - a person's highest endeavor to explore the limits of his creative realm. Its intensity can render the power to create and then celebrate. Architecture Week 2007, hosted by the Department of Architecture at BRAC University celebrated its journey of six years and exhibited the immense potential of these creative beings.
“Sharing is an integral part of the learning process at any architecture school. Our deeper concept was to get feedback from the visitors, irrespective of their field of expertise and use it thus to increase the potential of our students” says Dr. Fuad. H. Mallick, Chairperson, Department of Architecture. Exhibitions are annually hosted by BRAC University and every two years an entire week is dedicated to an architecture festival.
Architecture Week 2007 included an exhibition where the works of all students from Freshmen to Senior [First Year through Fifth Year] are exhibited. Apart from the exhibition, Angan public lecture, film shows, open house, cultural programs, ArchKids (An outreach program of the department) were hosted. The exhibits best described the evolution of students as they further their architectural education. From the monochromatic compositions of Freshmen to the high-end thesis project of Senior year, the display was food for the creative appetite. The exhibition experienced a heterogeneous mix of visitors. Needless to say, the appreciation was very welcoming.
A part of the Architecture week, the Design Charette, is going to be announced soon; a student design competition, will bring students of Architecture from all the universities in the country. The participants will explore the design challenges focusing on a specific theme and produce a solution in a day's time. The underlying theme is to enhance a congregation of students and facilitate the exchange of ideas. As mentioned earlier it is this exchange that conforms to the unique learning process in any architecture school.
The exhibition was inaugurated by the vice chancellor of BRAC University, Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury. The students were all dressed for the occasion - the girls clad in sarees and boys in their relative best. Even the teachers were not far behind. It was one of those occasions when anyone and everyone who is concerned with the department were all geared up to see and be seen.
Probably the biggest hit was the cultural program. In addition to the highly talented students, the faculty members too joined in to
perform some of the popular Bengali tunes. Arch-kids was the next event. Along with the student volunteers the faculty got a chance to mingle with young children. The kids were taught Origami and Mask making. They were then asked to interpret their idea of Architecture through drawings. Buildings and forms rendered in pure colour was the product. It was inspirational even for us. Ideas with no bounds were ebbing through their colours. A tour of the department concluded their day. The Angan lecture saw esteemed architects like Nahas Khalil of ARC Architectural Consultants and Ehsan Khan and Iqbal Habib of Vitti Sthapoti Brindo Ltd, sharing their take on contemporary architecture.
As dusk came upon our week-long celebration, we, the students were thoroughly satisfied. Weeks of preparation and many a sleepless night had finally paid off. Some of us stayed over-night at the department in order to organize the event. The works were plenty and the efforts were unforgiving. The result was a transformation of the entire department in terms of looks and spirit. “The entire outlook has changed. I'm so proud!” says Nafis bhai, a former student who is now part of the faculty.
The department is a family and we all are an integral part of it. Enduring sleepless nights working on somebody else's project, sharing our achievements and failure with the juniors and seniors alike and working on certain projects that seems logically insane- it is all a part of architecture which we might hate at times but end up loving it nonetheless.
(The writer is a sophomore student at BRAC University, Department of Architecture)