Architects for Changes

Architects for the other 90%

Global Studio is an action research program where international interdisciplinary students, academics, and professionals in the city building professions come together to collaborate on community-based projects. Informed by the UN Millennium Development Goals the program promotes participatory forms of education and practice that will benefit under-served communities and facilitate bottom-up, collaborative partnerships.

Anna Rubbo, Convenor of  Global Studio and 

Adjunct Senior Scholar at Columbia University

rubbo-21Anna Rubbo,  B.Arch (Melbourne), D. Arch (Michigan)  joined Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University as an Adjunct Senior Scholar in May 2012. Prior to this she was Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at theUniversity of Sydney where she retains an honorary appointment.  A member of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers (2002-04) she has since led the Global Studio, an action research project to assist urban professionals to work effectively with the urban poor. Working with academic partners, local government and NGOs, since 2005 the program has attracted over 600 students, academics and professionals from 66 universities, over 30 countries and 10 disciplines to its conferences and programs in Istanbul, Vancouver, Johannesburg, and Bhopal.

Global Studio work has been included in the 2009 International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and the 2011 Cooper Hewitt exhibition ‘Design with the other 90%’ at the UN. A co-founder and editor (1996-2010) of the journal Architectural Theory Review, she has published widely on US architect Marion Mahony Griffin (most recently University of Chicago, 2011), on design education and development challenges,  women and development in Colombia, and housing . She is co-author ofEsclavitud y Libertad en el Valle del Rio Cauca (UniAndes 2011).

Recognition of her work includes the Australian national AIA Neville Quarry Education Award (2011), the Marion Mahony Griffin award (2006) and Life Fellowship of the AIA in 2010. With CSUD and Global Studio colleagues she has received a 2012 SAPPI Ideas that Matter grant for the project ‘People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization.’





Architect for Building Social Conscious

Collapsing buildings and the foundation of greed:
Architect Mamnoon Murshed Chowdhury at TEDxDhaka

Mamnoon Murshed Chowdhury is an architect based in Dhaka, he is currently the Assistant General Secretary of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh. Involved in the drafting and updating of the Building Construction Rules for Dhaka city, Mamnoon believes collective greed and non-enforcement of the existing regulations are the major causes for building-related disasters and degeneration of urban environment in Bangladesh.

Architects on Climate Change Actions

Architect  Mohammed Rezwan- Shidhulai Shonirvar Shonstha

Climate change is already a reality for densely populated Bangladesh, and the battle is on to deal with its effects.

Flooding occurs in Bangladesh twice a year, leaving its land victim to erosion. In 2007 alone, 10 million Bangladeshis were affected by rising waters. Scientists estimate that by 2050, Bangladesh could lose almost a fifth of its land, leaving 20 million homeless.

Riz Khan from Al Jazeera chats with a Bangladeshi architect  Mohammed Rezwan who is doing something about it.


Architects for Humanity

Improved Design and Construction of Rural Housing in Noakhali

Department of Architecture and Post Graduate Programs in Disaster Management, BRAC University

DESIGN FIRM: Department of Architecture BRAC University CONSTRUCTION: Dr.Fuad.H.Mallick, K.H.Kabir,Imrul kayes,Rabeya Rahman,Ajit Roy,Sayem Khan,M Aminur Rahman,Kazi Nazrul Islam Kajol

FUNDING: IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature) CLIENT: IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature)

DESIGN TEAM: Dr.Fuad.H.Mallick, K.H.Kabir,Imrul kayes,Rabeya Rahman,Ajit Roy,Sayem Khan,M Aminur Rahman,Kazi Nazrul Islam Kajol

END USER/OCCUPANT: Local Community

March 2008 – May 2008

Floor area: 19.5 m²

Building costs: 680 € Building costs/m²: 35 €/m²

posted by Architect Imrul kayes on open architecture network website.

Click here for more information

Construction of Rural Housing in Noakhali

Our country, especially the coastal regions of Bangladesh has evolved in the face of repetitious calamities i.e. most regularly hit by cyclones. It is with this in mind that IUCN initiated a project, at Noakhali, on March 2008, that focuses on the current ‘CLIMATE CRISIS’ and building of stronger, safer local houses which will respect local space use pattern for men and women, local building techniques, craftsmanship and material, energy efficiency, cost effectiveness etc. The team involved several senior and junior architects of BRAC University, architecture department and experts from Disaster Management, BRAC and several local builders (masons and carpenters). A preliminary site survey was done to have a better understanding of the local houses- its building techniques, craftsmanship which reflects its strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. This was followed by a workshop, facilitated by the BRAC team and participated by local builders (carpenters, masons, mud-cutter etc). The aim of the study was to find ways to make traditional structures more cyclone resistant and less prone to wind damage by having a better understanding of the local houses, the process of building and maintaining these houses in the face of frequent cyclonic storms and storm surges. Information were gathered on shared knowledge and collective experiences of the people in all aspects of house building helped to find options and ways of strengthening roof, walls, plinth, the technical details of structural supports along with preparing more appropriate options for core house and its estimated cost. The feasibility of the gathered knowledge was put to test by selecting four homesteads of which- demonstration house will be constructed on two sites while repair/strengthening work shall be done on two other existing houses. Factors like-economic condition of the beneficiaries, land entitlement, location considering vulnerability and in terms of promoting such houses, adequate dispersal etc were considered during the selection process. The Beneficiaries took part in construction process along with the design team with the understanding that later they will design and construct other necessary spaces by themselves. The design and construction process was responsive to the actual needs of the owner and his family. This required the users’ involvement in the whole process of the physical planning i.e. they determine its size according to their family size and affordability, construct their own houses and decide what materials to use. From gender perspective, role of woman was considered as much vital, in housing and planning level as that of a man. Therefore, the presence and the opinions of the owner’s wife were considered. Thus to make the project successful bottom-up approach was encouraged allowing the non-professionals to participate actively, making them feel confident and enabling the fusion of the traditional and professional knowledge. In the SIDR project, various problems in a homestead were identified and this project was found to be similar in many ways. It was found that the plinth was made of mud, which erodes when comes in contact with water. The wooden posts do not go deep into the soil and the whole structure of the house sits on the plinth without any anchorage in the ground. Purlins on lower edges of roof were not closely spaced so that heavy wind can easily blow away the CI sheets. Therefore, attention was given to strengthen the house. The building process began by erecting the structure i.e. frame of the building which is actually a combination of wooden and RCC posts. An inverted T-shaped RCC bases (bolli) were used embedded into the plinth and connected with lower horizontal frame for safety option to prevent the house from being blown by wind. Another option was the concrete stump (Kaatla). Both of these were used to protect the wooden frame/posts, forming composite joints and being placed alternatively for anchorage into the ground and as a safety option to prevent the house from being blown away by wind. Both vertical and horizontal cross-bracing were used to give structural stability. The roof was constructed using improved joineries and purlins, on the lower edges of roof are closely spaced to prevent heavy wind from blowing away the CI sheets. The wall panels were a combination of CI sheet at the bottom (recycled from the previous house) and bamboo mat at the top. Finally the mud plinth was cement stabilized to prevent it from eroding. An optimize use of space is evident i.e. even the peak of the roof is used for storage and children play area. Thus, not only did it become a safe haven for the humans but also the pigeons for which a small shed made built. In the end with limited construction timeframe, the project was finally completed in May 2008 with the participation of the beneficiaries (men and women). Thus selecting the building material, buying it, designing the space according to requirements, doing the construction work gave them a sense of belonging and helped to develop responsibility towards maintaining the house enabling them to eventually call it their ‘home’.

submitted by: Design and Construction Team member: Md.Imrul Kayes Location Noakhali Bangladesh Project posted by Imrul kayes