FOAID returns in its full glory for the 11th edition!


India’s most celebrated architecture and design festival, Festival of Architecture and Interior Design (FOAID), in 2020, will be showcasing its finest in a week-long virtual event – FOAID Virtual Week – which will commence from 26th October to 1st November 2020. 

This year’s theme would revolve around the concept – ‘LIVE THE CHANGE.’ 

Here’s why – From the onset of 2020, we have seen so many changes in the world which drove us to adopt newer ways of living. With the 180-degree shift in norms and regulations, it has become vital to rethink and make wiser choices to survive in this new world. That’s exactly why FOAID urges designers to join this change. 

The week-long event will witness some of the most renowned speakers from across the world including Soo K Chan (SCDA, Singapore), Alexis Dornier (Bali), Bill Bensley (Bali & Bangkok), Hartmut Wurster (Blocher Partners, Germany) and Sourabh Gupta, (Archohm, India). 

One of the most awaited and unique sessions would be a discussion with The Bandra Collective, a collaboration between six talented and quirky architect-design firms working pro bono to manifest their love for the street of Bandra, a suburb in Mumbai, India. 

Esteemed architect Tony Joseph of Stapati would be delving into the architecturally stunning houses in Kerala. While Sourabh Gupta from Archohm will be exploring the relay between architecture and experience design in the topic, ‘Rejuvenating Agra: From the City to the Cobble’, along with Siddharth Bathla and Jeroen van Erp. Additionally, a ‘Debate on Public Spaces’ will be chaired by Architect Vivek Gupta. 

To take things up a notch, six designers from different genres will be discussing their unconditional love for design, a session moderated by Ekta Parekh from reD – Research and Enquiry into Design. Lastly, five stalwarts of workspace design in India will get together to engage in a powerful and robust discussion on the ‘Emerging Trend of Mobility – The Future of Workspaces’.

Live competitions for aspiring gen-next architects, design discussions that’ll tickle your grey cells, art and architecture tours that’ll leave you inspired and lastly, an array of project displays are some of the other highlights of the upcoming FOAID Virtual Week. 

Register now to be a part of the virtual conference at FOAID Virtual Week kick starting from 26th October to 1st November.

Visit www.

Book your seat now to be a part of FOAID Virtual Week Commencing from 26 October to 1 November. Visit registrations.
 Join FOAID Virtual Week and be a part of Design Discussions, Art tours, Lighting conference, Documentaries and Live jury for gen next architecture competition and fun workshop. Visit for registrations.

Iconic Mosque In Dubai – Reinventing Elements Of Islamic Architecture | Design Plus Architects & rat[LAB] Studio


Iconic Mosque In Dubai – Reinventing Elements Of Islamic Architecture | Design Plus Architects & rat[LAB] Studio

Blending Mathematics, Religious Principles, and Technology to create a new interpretation of an Iconic Mosque in Dubai, reinventing elements of Islamic architecture – A collaborative proposition by Design Plus Architects & rat[LAB] Studio.

Architects: Design Plus Architects & rat[LAB] Studio


The Crescent is a symbol of humility; it’s an acknowledgment of religion; a celebration of culture; a re-discovery of ancient knowledge. The mosque borrows its design from clues that are hidden at various scales. At the largest scale, the inclination towards Mecca is the obvious driver for internal circulation & orientations. This is complemented by an extremely strong Urban context, at the helm of which is the iconic tower designed by Santiago Calatrava. The next set of clues are borrowed from the religious belief system, which operates closely with design intentions and metaphors. The Grand Roof, for example, indexes towards the infinite and hence the
heavens. These are essential to bind the past, present, and eternity.

The structure system is developed based on the numerically dominant number 19. There are 114 columns [19×6], equivalent to as many Surahs within the holy Quran. At the Architectural Scale, we admire and critique components of Islamic Architecture like the Dome, Arch, Column and present our interpretations for the same. The tranquillity of the ambient environment is enhanced by the geometric Jaali patterns, filtering diffused light within the indoors. The principles of mathematics bind the design together, calculating patterns, proportions, geometry, and even experience.



The prominent urban axis originating from Dubai Creek Tower has a visual strength that is retained within The Iconic Mosque by creating a physical and visual articulation by aligning of Main Entrance into the Front Courtyard and puncturing of the roof through a thin screen made of geometric Islamic pattern. A thoroughfare pedestrian access through the Mosque is provided to retain pedestrian circulation on the Urban Axis and also to accentuate views within the mosque towards Dubai Creek Tower.


The minaret rises up from the roof structure pattern made by cross-beams creating triangular cells, two of which rise up to form vertical circulation elements. One triangular profile rises up to form a minaret that shares the highest point in Crescent with the Zenith towards Mecca. The Minaret rises to a height of 57m., which is a factor of 19 (19X3=57), which is considered to be a magical number in Quran.


The zenith of the roof indicates a visual orientation for the thousands of worshipers to look towards Mecca as a heavenly direction towards infinity. The roof rises as peeled off surface geometry to have the highest point in the direction of Mecca at 57m., which is a factor of 19 (19X3=57), which has a strong mathematical significance in The Holy Book of Quran.


Three water-bodies are strategically placed in the Open Courtyard oriented in the column-grid that is aligned towards Mecca direction. The water body is enclosed by a seating on three sides which merge into the ground as a gesture of bowing down towards Mecca direction. Each water body has 5 column-elements that form sets of semi-circular arches with their reflections in perspective, and also control the micro-climate in the open courtyard.


The typical column profile that binds the Iconic Mosque has articulations at various scales. The semi-arch profile is anthropometrically used as a sectional profile of a seating element that encloses a water body within. This forms a key element in the Open Courtyard for worshipper to utilize.


White marble flooring with an inlay of Gold forms the ground texture of the entire Iconic Mosque as a continuous pattern to keep a monotone spiritual quality. The gold inlay represents the richness of material and is articulated as an intricate geometric pattern that is a derivative of a typical Islamic pattern controlled by a mathematical scaling down towards the column-elements.


The main entry of Crescent – The Iconic Mosque is through a 5-arch gateway that acts as a visual funnel oriented along the Urban Axis and acts as a zone where outside blends with inside where visitors will be visually re-oriented towards Mecca by finding the arch-way formed by columns placed in an alternative grid. The courtyard is embraced with a gold-inlay geometric pattern throughout with 3 water-bodies enclosed by seating elements.


114 Semi-Arch columns are strategically placed in an alternate grid that is aligned towards Mecca. There are 114 Suras in Quran (19 X 6 = 114), which are articulated as 114 column elements that are aligned to form arch-ways in an infinity perspective. A grid of 19 X 6 is designed to form structural and visual components arrayed throughout the mosque and parametrically differentiated in scale and proportions to shape the grand roof towards Zenith, located at 57m. height towards Mecca. The profile of semi-arch columns consists of a Semi-Circular Arch and an inverted Parabolic Arch that form a variation of Round and Pointed Arches.


A large roof of approximately 120 m on each side, is geometrically developed as a peeled off surface from the bounding box of build space of the mosque. While three vertices are lifted up to 10m height, the fourth vertex is lifted up to a height of 57 m., which is a factor of 19 (19X3=57), which has a strong mathematical significance in The Holy Book of Quran. This vertex is the highest point in Crescent and signifies the orientation towards infinity as a gesture from any point in the mosque.

The structural pattern is a reflection of segmented Qubba (Dome) that is formed on the zenith that intersects with a large circular Boolean originating from the Plaza of Dubai Creek Tower. The Qubba is radially sub-divided into triangular facets that are projected onto the stretched roof surface and structural cross-beams emerge to form walk-able pathways. The roof rises up with a logarithmic raise to ensure a walk-able gentle slope on 50% of a roof surface, while the other 50% steeply rises to give a drastic effect of a Crescent.


A large peripheral screen bounds The Iconic Mosque on all four sides with an intricate Islamic pattern Jaali that changes in porosity to control the visual connect and light filtering. The 10 m. high boundary wall comprises of 7 m. high metal Jaali that visually blocks any views at human eye level by concentration of geometry vertically. The pattern is mathematically configured to allow visibility and porosity with 30% open and 70% closed to give a visually free boundary around The Iconic Mosque.


A lower-most yet prominent point in site which is directly below zenith acts as a focal point of Crescent – The Iconic Mosque when seen from West direction – Creek. Peripheral Jaali of South and West boundary walls meet at this point at Ground Zero to accentuate the peeled off roof surface that rises up till 57m.


A set of 5 semi-arch columns with differentiated proportions form the Grand Archway Entrance to Crescent – The Iconic Mosque. The Arch-way is aligned perpendicular to the Urban Axis that originates from Dubai Creek Tower and acts as natural extension of its plaza. Another Urban Arch-way is positioned at the West end of Mosque as a visual and physical continuation of Urban Axis through the Mosque. This point acts as funneling point where perception of scale and space changes from outside to inside as it gives an inviting entrance to the Mosque.


Minbar of The Qibla Wall set as a platform for the preacher of the Mosque for proceedings, is located in the central colonnade axis for a maximized visibility for workshipers.


The Mihrab of Crescent is designed as an element of grandeur in the interior space made by joining of two semi-arch columns to form a set of pointed arches that repeat as linear forces to demonstrate grandeur and a symbol of heavenly abode. A niche is created within Mihrab that is clad with a rich Gold finish to symbolize prosperity.


Mecca Axis is the strongest axis for a mosque and is clearly formed in Crescent by aligning towards the perspective of semi-arch columns that combine visually to form a colonnade of arches. The Mecca axis is observed in prayer hall interior space as everything is aligned towards Mecca through visual arches and from outside by looking at the Zenith of the Grand Roof.


Architects: Design Plus Architects & rat[LAB] Studio

Project Name: Crescent – The Iconic Mosque, Dubai

Location: Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Design Team:

Design Plus Architects – Abhishek Bij, Arun Kumar Bij, Anil Malik, Deepankar Sharma

rat[LAB] Studio – Sushant Verma, Shivam Anand

Clients: Emaar Dubai

Project Type: Religious Space (Mosque) [International Competition]

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Architecture Thesis of the Year | ATY 2020 – COMPETITION RESULTS ANNOUNCED



Architecture Thesis of the Year | ATY 2020

theCharette encourages free flow of unfettered ideas that seek to develop ingenious solutions for complex problems of the future.


The ‘Architecture Thesis of the Year | ATY 2020’ is an international architecture thesis competition organized by theCharette. The aim of the competition is to extend appreciation to the tireless effort and exceptional creativity of student thesis in the fields of Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape and Restoration. We seek to encourage young talent in bringing their path breaking ideas to the forefront on a global scale. The competition received over 1000 entries from 104 nations across the world. See the crème de la crème of thesis projects from students all over the world for the 2020 edition of the competition.

For the purpose of publishing online, the winning entries for the ‘Architecture Thesis of the Year | ATY 2020’ can be downloaded at:

The full results, including the winners, the honourable mentions, and the top 30 shortlisted entries can be viewed at:


· MARCIO KOGAN (Studio MK27, Brazil)

· BRUNO ROLLET (Bruno Rollet Architecte, Paris)

· DANIELA DEUTSCH (Associate Prof., NewSchool of Architecture & Design, California)

· DR. CAROLINE HACHEM-VERMETTE (Assistant Prof, University of Calgary, Canada)

· STEFAN KRISTOFFERSON (Stratic, Germany, Sweden & India)


1 st Prize Winner

ISTHME // L e CHAOS SENSIBLE by Dafni Filippa and Meriam Sehimi from Germany took home the top prize with their people oriented project. The students from the Technical University of Munich designed a scheme that the jury described as “poetic, based on real-life observations, lightweight and extraordinarily beautiful.” Jurors loved the simplicity and fluidity of the masterplan and how another culture is interpreted. They felt that drawings are adequate, sensitive and stunning.

2 nd Prize Winner

Fabiola del Carmen Cruz Ballardo, from Peru, won second place for her project, AMAZONIA TRANS _ TRI _ FRONTERIZA. Three countries: Peru, Brazil, Bolivia; and two communities: Mancheron, Yamaha. All separated by artificial borders. Nevertheless, they share a common Amazonian culture. There is a will to unite people in this project, to respect different traditions, to propose different places, uniting past present and future with traditional languages, medical plants and culture. A « bridge » is created to consolidate this place and to respect it through the world: it can be seen like an SOS. Because this project is also implicitly about the amazon forest: calling to save its richness, be it natural or cultural.

3 rd Prize Winner

Third place in the competition went to Philip Springall from United Kingdom. His project is a multidisciplinary exploration of Alzheimer’s disease, architecture and neuroscience. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that slowly strips away the notions of place, memory, identity and the self. The project investigates the role that architecture and the built environment can play in improving the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease. The jury felt that the project “…contemplates a powerful concept which might have great applications in the real world.”

ARCHITECTURE THESIS OF THE YEAR | ATY 2020 The ATY Competition is an annual competition and will be released again in Summer of 2021.

CONTACT Please contact [email protected] with any questions or comments.


Alternate Realities 2020 | Architectural Competition


This competition exists in an Alternate Reality. You make the rules in this realm. Does gravity exist? Do humans live on Earth? How far has technology advanced? You decide!

The aim of this competition is to explore wild design ideas – what architecture truly means and what it can achieve without any constraints. Let your imagination run wild and create spectacular designs that grab the world’s attention. The intention is to spark a conversation regarding issues plaguing the world, through design dialogue.

Architecture is a unique amalgamation of the nuances of the art world and the pragmatism of the real world; therefore, it has the power to not only capture people’s imaginations, but also to strongly influence their lives. 

For the Alternate Realities competition, participants are required to design an architectural response to an issue that the world is facing – climate change, pandemics, biological warfare, nuclear proliferation, social inequality, etc. Your design doesn’t necessarily have to be a solution. It can also be a visual commentary. Your Architectural Response may fall anywhere on the Utopia – Dystopia spectrum. Remember, reality can be anything you want it to be in this realm.

  • Unleash your creativity – Surprise us!
  • Be critical – Say something about the world.
  • Striking visuals – Capture the imagination of architects and non-architects alike.
  • No design is too wild!


Mark Foster Gage, Michael Hansmeyer, Mond Qu, Adrian Welch, Kevin Veenhuizen


3 winning entries and 10 honorable mentions will be selected. theCharette will award a total of $2,000 (USD) in prize money to competition winners as follows:

  • First Prize: $ 1,000 (USD)
  • Second Prize: $ 600 (USD)
  • Third Prize: $ 400 (USD)
  • Honorable Mentions: The jury will choose up to 10 honorable mentions.

Type – Competition Announcement (Ideas)
Organizers – the Charette
Eligibility – Open to all
Registration Deadline – Nov 25, 2020
Submission Deadline – Nov 30, 2020
Fee – $45 (USD)

Visit for more information.

The Plated Project is using art to provide 100,000 meals for migrant workers!


20 global artists create limited edition art-plates.

Over 140 million people* have lost their jobs in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of these being daily wage labourers and migrant workers. Addressing this issue, The Plated Project, a unique social impact initiative that uses art to end hunger has launched a new series called ‘A Plate Full of Hope’ with the aim of providing 100,000 meals to migrant workers.

To bring this initiative to life, chlorophyll innovation lab which is the team behind The Plated Project collaborated with 20 acclaimed global artists from 10 countries to create 20 limited edition art plates. Each plate depicts one emotion or experience that people have felt during the lockdown across the world. 

VISIT STORE > The Plated Project

The project has collaborated with leading artists such as Pavan Rajurkar, India who was featured in Lürzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Illustrators worldwide, Hana Augustine from Indonesia who’s an AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) Award of Excellence awardee and Sandhya Prabhat, California who’s a illustrator and past speaker at NYU.

100% of the sale proceeds are being donated to Goonj’s Rahat initiative. Each plate’s sale sponsors 250 meals for a migrant worker’s family. In one week alone,The Plated Project has already sponsored over 70,000 meals. In a bid to further the cause, brands such as Bajaj Electricals, IMI Mobile, The Baya Company and other generous industrialists have sponsored the project’s production costs, which allows The Plated Project to donate 100% of the proceeds to charity. Celebrity chefs and influencers are lending their support to the initiative by raising awareness.  

VISIT STORE > The Plated Project


Ayirani Balachanthiran, New York

Artwork- Bliss

Ayirani Balachanthiran is an illustrator from New York whose work primarily focuses on the experience of the South Asian Queer-identified community. Her work has been featured on various platforms including but not limited to; Indian Women’s Blog, Vatan Magazine, The Leslie Lohman Gay and Lesbian Museum, and The People’s forum.  

Mayur Mengle, Mumbai

Artwork- All tangled up

A visual artist, Graphic Designer, Illustrator.

Co-founder of BUNxPAV STUDIO.Loves kick-boxing, drawing people around him in a few lines, on his cell phone, during the long train travels in Mumbai. Everything from old houses to historic monuments inspires him to create his work as a designer.

Zeynep Özatalay, Istanbul

Artwork- Furry friends

Zeynep Özatalay is an Istanbul-based illustrator. She has a BA in graphic design. She uses illustration as a way of expressing ideas and feelings, and is inspired very much by nature. Enjoys creating both editorial illustrations and children’s books, and tries to further develop her style with every new artboard.. Recently, she’s been living on an island in İstanbul with cats, horses and seagulls. 

She has been contributing to various publications as BirGün Gazetesi, Cumhuriyet Dergi, Marie Claire, Tudem, İş Kültür Yayınları with her illustrations ever since.

Snehal Kadu, Mumbai

Artwork- A shared bond

 L.S Raheja School of Art graduate. Currently working in the advertising industry. Designing is her passion and loves to spend her time in drawing, illustration and putting her thoughts in creating new designs. 

Hana Augusitne, Indonesia

Artwork- A vivid dream

Hana Augustine is a self taught artist from Indonesia, specialising in childrens book drawings. AGDA Design Awardee. Drawing has always been a channel for her to express and communicate her heart. She hopes the people around the world would be able to relate to one another through the stories of pain, loss, faith, hope, and love that we all share as human beings through art.

She has worked for brands like Pearson, Dancow, PlayShifu and many more.

Featured in Storytime magazine, Tzivos Hashem Magazine, ArtUpon Girls Club Asia, BallPit Magazine and many more.

Mohit Adlakha, Gurgaon

Artwork- King of Ludo

Mohit is a Gurgaon based self-taught illustrator.

Currently studying fashion design from Indian Institute of Crafts And Design, Jaipur.

He draws things observed around with emotions that he is unable to put into words.

Muhammed Sajid, Bangalore 

Artwork- Turning the tide

AN artist rom Calicut, currently residing in Bangalore.

Graduated fine art from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum.

Worked with different clients like Google, Procreate, Culture Trip, etc.

Featured on Adobe, Elle India, Homegrown, Indianama, Abduzeedo, etc.

Pavan Rajurkar, Mumbai

Artwork- Daughters

NID graduate. Lürzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide. Imbiber of styles. Worked for Radio Mirchi, Interface, DDB Mudra, and many more. 

Kosha Shah, Mumbai

Artwork- The flower seller

I am a multidisciplinary artist residing in Bombay, practicing Illustration, Graphic Design and Photography. She has worked with brands like TBZ the original, Ditta Artigianale (Italy), Speanta Multimedia, Dandelion Dreams, Wacom to name a few. 

She has  studied Graphic design from Italy and has won awards such as Artisan Awards and ABN Amro Solitaire awards and has been featured in the prestigious Adorn Magazine.

Fundraiser Design Competition: Post Pandemic Performances-Gatherings in the times of Social Distancing


Humankind has witnessed several historic, life-changing episodes such as industrialisation, colonisation and wars, and society has always adapted to such significant milestones fruitfully. Over the years architecture too, has been a witness the very same happenings, and has shaped itself accordingly to suit the times.

While most such events are read and studied about, the ongoing pandemic is a rather unprecedented one.

The future of architecture and the notion of a city too are standing at crossroads. The notion of the city and ‘city-life’ revolves closely around the act of gathering, and the possibilities that come with meeting, living and sharing lives with ‘strangers’. How will the city function if this very function was to change completely? This pandemic though alarming, brings with itself an aperture to redefine architecture and the very experience of cities and its spaces.

We at Project Platypus introduce a spatial design competition, which will touch upon our experiences, cravings and learnings from a times when the world has come to a standstill.

Since ideas are not bound by professions, we invite ‘creatives’ across all fields to collaborate and come up with design and space making solutions that affect us all. We encourage a fresh perspective, and a direct engagement with an exercise as the designer, architect and as someone who experiences their spatial environment on an everyday basis.

We are now looking at a world where social distancing is the norm. And like we always have, it is time to assess, evolve and adapt. Through this competition we want to imagine and design the future of performing arts’ experience.

Participants of the competition are invited to design a physical space which respects safety guidelines for a social gathering of not less than 10 (could be in 100s or 1000s!) For us to understand your response to the context and program, the choice of environment for the intervention must be made from the below options. The categories of environments that participants can choose from are as follows (scales within these categories can be chosen by the participants) :

Categories of Spaces
1. Intimate Gathering,
Indoor/Outdoor spaces catering to a dedicated crowd, curated for a specific performance
eg. Cafés, Backyards, Bars, Rooftops, Basements, Galleries
2. Dynamic Gathering
Spaces within the public domain with free access to common public
eg. Market, Streets, Alleys, Parks, Amphitheatres, public plazas
3. Festive Gathering
Large spaces for prolonged festivities involving a larger, dedicated audience and a number of different performances
eg. Open grounds, fields, parade grounds, Stadiums
4. Miscellaneous
If the participants’ ideas do not fit in any of the above categories, they are free to work on their ideas under this category.

While the choice of scale of the audience and environment can be decided by the participants, all members in the audience need to have a visual, auricular (audio) access to the performer. The proposed designs must allow for an immersive spatial and sensorial experience for both the audience and the performer (present in the same physical space). This could be achieved by architectural resolution, conceptual design, through secondary function in an existing space–or a combination of all these, and the participants have full liberty in the approach they would like to take in order to reach the goal.Social distancing guidelines with respect to this competition have been mentioned towards the end of this brief.

+ Gustavo Carmona – Architect, Mexico
+ Kai Piippo – Lighting Designer, Sweden
+ Lisa Findley – Architect, Academic & Architectural Journalist, USA
+ Mare Trevathan – Creator of Site Specific Theatre, USA
+ Pratyush Shankar – Academic, Architect, India
+ Rupali Gupte – Academic, Architect & Urbanist, India
+ Sajid Wajid Shaikh – Visual Artist, Designer, India
+ Shubhra Raje – Architect, Educator, USA/India
+ Vanessa Vielma – Editor, ArchDaily, Americas
+ Virkein Dhar – Architect, Performer, India

This competition is open to people from all backgrounds.

This competition is not for profit. Registrations can be made through donations to any one of the listed NGOs or organisations working towards providing relief to the people in need during the pandemic.

Donations for registration:
Minimum amount: $15 (₹1000)
Suggested amount: $25 (₹2000)

1. One Conceptual Graphic: to explain the idea and concept of the proposal (including, but not limited to collages, drawings, photographs, graphical representations, diagrams, illustrations. References attached in this link)
2. One 3D Graphic ( 3D view / isometric / axonometric drawing, references attached in this link )
3. Title of proposal (up to 3 words), Subtitle (up to 10 words) Textual description about design proposal (up to 300 words)

Participants are required to mention the following at the time of submission (through an online form):
+ Category of space designed
+ Number of people designed for (audience)
+ Description the performance envisioned (up to 30 words)
+ Team member details: (Name, professional background)

Submission Formats :
+ Graphics’ Size : A3 (29.7 x 42.0 cm) Resolution : 300 dpi
+ Format : pdf
+ Title & Write Up : A4 plain text pdf

+ 5 Winning entries: Prizes to be decided
+ 15 honourable mentions: Feature in a dedicated online and printed book published by Altrim Publishers, curated and designed by Sortedpandit Studio, Bangalore. These entires will also be featured in online platforms of our media partners: KooZA/rch, Architecture Live! and The Architects’ Diary.
+ Winning and shortlisted entries would also be featured in a virtual exhibition on Project Platypus’ website and in a physical exhibition (when the world allows for it!)

[email protected]

Download the information related to this competition here.

  • TitleFundraiser Design Competition: Post Pandemic Performances-Gatherings in the times of Social Distancing
  • TypeCompetition Announcement (Ideas)
  • OrganizersProject Platypus
  • Registration DeadlineJune 26, 2020 12:00 AM
  • Submission DeadlineJune 28, 2020 12:00 AM
  • PriceMininum donation: $15

The Kaira Looro Competition’s winning projects for an EOC in Sub- Saharan Africa


Emergencies strike suddenly and without warning. They level cities to the ground and tear down buildings as though they were made of sand. In almost no time at all everything is destroyed and all that remains is the realisation that you have to get up and start all over again from scratch. In recent years the occurrence of deluges and flooding have increased dramatically. Analogously, conflicts and financial crises persist and lead to serious humanitarian emergencies which put the lives of millions of people at risk. Resolving an emergency of any kind means re-establishing peace and security.
The ”Emergency Operations Centre” is the 4th of the Kaira Looro international architecture competition. This is a Non Profit competition with the aim of raising awareness among the international community about emergencies in developing countries, and support humanitarian
projects in Africa.
The past editions were dedicated to the design of a Sacred Architecture (2017), a Cultural Centre (2018) and a Peace Pavilion (2019). This year the competition aims to develop a theme of global interest: emergency, such as Tsunami, Wars, Flooding etcetera. The theme of the 2020’s competition was to design an Operational Centre for the management of humanitarian emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa, an EOC. The architecture is intended to house and facilitate the mainly activities which international organisations and local authorities must implement in order to solve emergencies and provide aid to affected communities. The spaces should be versatile
and multifunctional, capable of adapting to specific needs and to the type and context of the emergency.
The competition has been organized by the Balouo Salo No Profit Organization, engaged in Africa to develops humanitarian projects, with the collaboration of structures of international importance and relevant collaborations such us Kengo Kuma & Associates, SBGA | Blengini Ghirardelli, MMA Design Studio, international NGOs, medias and institutions.

The winners were chosen by an international jury made up of: Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates, Japan), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA | Blengini Ghirardelli, Italy), Lígia Nunes (Architecture Sans Frontières International, Spain), Mphethi Morojele (MMA Design Studio, South Africa), Walter Baricchi (CNAPPC), Philippa Nyakato Tumubweinee (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Mantey Jectey-Nyarko (Kwame Nkrumah University, Ghana), and a scientific committee made up of Raoul Vecchio (Balouo Salo), Sebastiano D’Urso (University of Catania) and Moussa Soaune (Senegalese institution).

“Restoration As- Design Case of Surat Castle”| Lecture by Sumesh Modi


“Restoration As- Design Case of Surat Castle”| Lecture by Sumesh Modi

“Restoration As- Design Case of Surat Castle” by Arch. Sumesh Modi (Conservation Architect )”

Foundations – Ambuja Knowledge Centre, Ahmedabad had scheduled a Technical Lecture “Restoration As- Design Case of Surat Castle” by Arch. Sumesh Modi (Conservation Architect-Ph.d Cardiff Univ., UK)” on Wednesday 04th March, 2020 at 6.30 pm at  Foundations – Ambuja Knowledge Centre, “Ambuja House”, Parimal Cross Roads,Ellis Bridge, Ahmedabad – 380006

The Restoration project of surat castle treats the architecture to be an archive and hence envisages it as an exhbit of its own history evident in its own history evident in its construction layers. The restoration project of Surat castle combines Structural conservation, Material conservation, Artistic Interpretation adaptive reuse and recreation of history – to offer an immersive experience to its users. The talk describes the methodological choices made and operational practices undertaken to facilitate that.

Main focus of the project is authentic restoration and redevelopment for making the urban history of the city an inherent component of the citizen’s life, to integrate education, awareness about the historicity with the present day urban experience through the historical re-enchantment program at the Surat Castle. Recently this project has won prestigious award under ‘Culture & Economy’ category by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in ‘India Smart City Awards 2019’.

And how they have overcome from lack of authentic information which was there during research work, meaning there was absence of accessibility and availability of Archival data related to Surat Castle history and architecture.

Reasearch ranging from British Library to Dutch Archives, National Archives, and unpublished Collection from local historians, Local historians, local photographs, and published documents to lay conditions for authentic restoration of the castle.

  • Columbia University Library
  • British Library, London
  • Kalakrti Archives, Hyderabad
  • Phillips Antiques, Mumbai
  • French Archive, Gallica
  • Uppsala Library, Sweden
  • Jaipur Museum, Jaipur
  • Nawab Of Surat, Mir Jaffar Imam. Mumbai
  • Nawabzade of surat. Moin mir. London
  • org

The value Based Authentic Restoration was held. The authentic restoration for making urban history of city known. Emphasis has been laid on archival research. On site sstudy of construction techniques, study of historical maps. Investigative research to look for footprints, etc. so as to conduct authentic restoration.

Project highlights different layers of History starting from

  • 1372 Taglaq era
  • 1546 Gujarat Sultanate era
  • Mughal era
  • British era
  • Dutch era
  • Post Independence era

The project highlights different layers of history starting from 1372 tughlaq era, 1546 gujarat sultanat era. Mughal era. British era. Dutch era and Post Independence Era.

The adopted Techniiques of restoration , Despite it being a unique example, are all replicable and have widespread application such as

  • Open restoration system – keeping the masonary open for citizen education
  • Use of archival data – the authentic restoration
  • Interpretive strategies – to connect people with historicity
  • Cultural Education using movie and exhibits
  • Use of independent structural elements – to drive the load from fragile walls
  • Use of traditional construction materials
  • Informed Use of new materials with modifications to get the required ambience and cost effectiveness
  • Lifestyle gallery

The project started at a small scale initially, but research and people enthusiasm and involvement lead to increase In scale of the project in terms of its area and expenditure. It is anticipated that public involvement will keep on increasing rapidly for the historic precinct which is being restored as whole.

Considering the success of the initial component of the castle Restoration project, Surat Municipal Corporation has extended the project to also include conservation and revitalization of many other historical structures as part of the city heritage square. The estimated cost of the project is now INR 154.07 crore.

About The Architect:-

Sumesh Modi holds a Master’s Degree in architectural conservation at the School of Planning and Architecture . Delhi. His work spans Architectural Practice and restoration projects. He is also associated with Raman Bhakta School of Architecture ,  Bardoli in the capacity of Director. He is Pursuing his doctoral research in traditional water systems at PRASADA, university of Cardiff. He has close to twenty years of architectural and conservation practice experience. He has provided professional services to clients such as Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Techology. METAS of Seventh Day Adventist Educational Group. Vyara Nagar Palika, Surat Municipal Corporation,  Tourism Corporation Of Gujarat Limited. Uka Tarsadiya University. Among Others.

Report By: Chitvan Raval 

Art-illation Competition Held At iDAC Expo Mumbai


Canadian Wood collaborates with iDAC Expo in Mumbai as a sustainable partner for Art-illation Competition

Mumbai, February, 2020: FII India’s brand Canadian Wood participated in the iDAC Expo held at BEC (Nesco), Goregaon, Mumbai as a sustainable partner for Art-illation competition organised at the event.

Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (FII India) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) Canada; a crown agency of the government of British Columbia (B.C.), the westernmost province of Canada. Canadian Wood was established in 2013 to promote B.C., Canada as a global supplier of quality, environmentally-responsible wood products from sustainably managed forests.

Art-illation, a national level competition organised for artists, architects, interior designers, sculptors, and art enthusiast at the iDAC expo to showcase their talent via art installation saw renowned artists from all over the country.  Out of the ten artists selected for the competition, six of them used Canadian Wood species to create a warm and inspirational display through 6 different wall designs.

The themed wall designs curated by the following six architects using different Canadian Wood species were namely; Gautam Naik in Spruce-pine-fir (SPF) and Western Red Cedar; Tushar Kothavde in Western Hemlock; Behzad in Spruce-pine-fir (SPF) for Frame and Western Hemlock for design; Amit Gandhi in Spruce-pine-fir (SPF) for Frame and Western Hemlock for design; Milind Pai in Western Hemlock and Spruce-pine-fir; Pravir Sethi in Western Hemlock & Douglas Fir.

The artists, architects, interior designers, sculptors and art enthusiasts were highly impressed with the versatility of the Canadian Wood species; hence it presented them with many possibilities to design in wood for various applications in future.

Façade Evolution by Ar. Milind Pai: Architect Milind Pai’s ‘FACADE EVOLUTION’ is created with Western hemlock and Spruce-pine-fir. Western hemlock with its ability to plane and shape well along with Spruce-pine-fir with its bright appearance make this art-illation the magic that it is!


Cityscape by Ar. Amit Gandhi: Artist and Interior Designer Amit Gandhi has created his art-illation at the iDAC Expo, 2020 by merging the strength, dimensional stability and superior gluing properties of the Spruce-Pine-Fir with the even grain excellent machining properties of the Western Hemlock to create this ‘CITYSCAPE’. The statuesque skyline acts as a canvas for the inhabitants of the city to paint their thoughts and stories on it.


In search of greens: Ar. Tushar Kothawade has used Western hemlock to create his Art-illation ‘IN SEARCH OF GREENS..!!’ Western hemlock with its good staining and painting properties and its ability to shape well and polish beautifully makes it a great choice for creating a layered effect


Chairs: Ar. Pravir Sethi has his key interest in installations and interactive systems. For his art-illation ‘CHAIRS! TO ART’ at the iDAC Expo, 2020 he has used Western Hemlock and Douglas fir – the timber in itself being the green product. Douglas fir has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, this coupled with Western Hemlock’s excellent machining properties proved to be the winning combination in creating an art installation that also doubles up as pieces of furniture


Speaking about the partnership, Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, FII-India said“FII-India is a recognized supplier of wood sourced from sustainably managed forests in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, meeting the environmental, social and economic needs of current and future generations.  It is an esteem pleasure to collaborate with iDAC Expo as a sustainable partner for the Art-illation competition. Canadian Wood species provided endless opportunities to the participants to experiment and design using wood and it was demonstrated well at the competition.”


About Forestry Innovation Consulting Pvt Ltd (Canadian Wood)

FII is a crown agency of the government of British Columbia (B.C.), the western most province of Canada. Its mandate is to promote wood products from B.C. Canada in the offshore markets and to position it as a global supplier of quality, environmentally-responsible wood products from sustainably managed forests by creating awareness and spreading education through information on the wide variety of timber products available from B.C. Canada and the technical support. Its brand/logo Canadian Wood was established in 2013 to reach out to and the ease of understanding of its activities by its target audience globally.

Mr. Dikshu C. Kukreja bestowed with the Bharat Shiromani Award


Ø  Mr. Dikshu C. Kukreja, Managing Principal of C P Kukreja Architects, has been felicitated with the Bharat Shiromani Award for Excellence in Architecture 2018-19

Ø  This is the first time ever that an architect has been honored by the Institute

Ø  The firm CPKA is based out of New Delhi, India and has an impressive portfolio of 800+ projects spread in over 30 countries worldwide

Ø  The multi-disciplinary firm has an employee strength of 250+ professionals and completes 50 years in the field in 2019

New Delhi, April 2019: Mr. Dikshu C. Kukreja, Managing Principal of the New Delhi based renowned firm CP Kukreja Architects has been bestowed with the Bharat Shiromani Award for the year 2018-19 for Excellence in Architecture. For the first time ever, an architect has been honored by the Shiromani Institute for their valuable contribution and exemplary works to the field. Mr. Dikshu C. Kukreja was presented the honor by Lord Swraj Paul in the presence of Ambassadors of Iceland and Slovenia.

The prestigious Award is awarded to select few dignitaries by the Shiromani Institute which is a non-profit voluntary organisation. Other past recipients of the Award include stalwarts like Mother Teresa, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Lata Mangeshkar and the Dalai Lama for their exemplary contributions to society.


Mr. Dikshu C. Kukreja is a Gold Medalist from School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, India. He attended the prestigious Taliesin Fellowship at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, USA. After this, he received his Masters of Architecture & Urban Design from Harvard University. He was elected the founding Vice President of Asia GSD, which grew to become one of the largest student organizations at Harvard University. Later, he came to be the youngest and the first architect to be elected as the President of Harvard Club of India.

He has worked in India, France and USA and has lectured and taught at institutions both, in India and abroad. He has been Guest Writer for The Times of India and Hindustan Times newspapers, talking extensively about Urban Issues. He was also featured by CNBC TV on the programme ‘Young Turks’ and is a regular contributor to discussions and debates on National television. He was selected as the Cultural Ambassador by Govt. of Finland. He is a Member, Governing Body, Sushant School of Art & Architecture.


A Glimpse to Dikshu C Kukreja’s Vision

A style statement is how we let our passion reflect’, believes Dikshu C. Kukrejawho has been running the Cat A architecture thrown in India started 50 years back. Running India’s one of the top tier architecture firms is not just a business for Dikshu but his passion for making the walls speak people’s dreams.

Receiving his B.ArchHonours as Gold Medalist from School of Planning & Architecture, Dikshu from the very beginning has curated his professional roadmap amalgamating his passion of vising different countries and witnessing diverse construction, reflecting the journey of different cultures. He attended the prestigious Taliesin Fellowship at Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, USA and received his Masters of Architecture & Urban Design from Harvard University and since then has been curving notes of success in the country and abroad.

Dikshuhas been elected as the founding Vice President of Asia GSD, which grew to become one of the largest student organizations at Harvard University. He has worked in India, France and USA and has lectured and taught at institutions both in India and abroad.  He was selected as Cultural Ambassador by Govt. of Finland. He is Member, Governing Body, Sushant School of Art & Architecture and elected as the youngest President of Harvard Club of India and the first architect to achieve this distinction.


About CP Kukreja Architects

Started in 1969 with a vision to redefine architecture and planning in India, CPKA is one of the most revered architectural firms in the country. They have been contributing to the field for almost 50 years. Their integrated practice undertakes consultancy in Master Planning, Architecture Urban Design, Structural and Civil Engineering, Electrical, Plumbing and Sanitary Engineering, Air-conditioning and FDV System, Fire Fighting System, Quantity Surveying and Estimating, and Project Management. CPKA’s multi-disciplinary approach is the reason for creation of some of the most iconic buildings across the globe in addition to their commitment to design excellence through innovation and sustainability. They are an ISO 9001-2001 certified firm and a member of the Indian Green Building Council. The firm has been ranked amongst the top 100 design firms in the world in 2018 by a UK-based institution ‘World Architecture’ alongside winning the BUILD Review’s 2018 Architecture Innovation Awards, wherein CPKA has been recognized as the ‘Most Innovative Indian Architectural Design Firm for the year 2018’, amongst other numerous awards.