BRAC University’s architecture department on 7 July 2018 officially launched its Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism (Ci+AU) at its Mohakhali campus in the capital, offering rigorous research-based consultancy on urban issues.
Founded in 2017, the Ci+AU has already garnered acclaim from the Prison Directorate and won Tk 1 lakh in a design competition on turning Old Dhaka Central Jail into an urban park while keeping intact its national history.
It is currently working on three projects. The first two are on redesigning BRAC’s regional offices on the themes of the hut, tree and delta and overhauling the footpath before Bangla Academy.
The third is on enlightening students on Bangladesh’s history and culture in BRACU Residential Campus using a “space as knowledge” concept: putting up pictorial poems and names of rivers and musical instruments in the library and canteen.
The department chairperson and the centre’s executive director, Professor Adnan Z Morshed, PhD, revealed plans on launching a certificate programme on building capacity of mayors alongside a lecture series on architecture and urbanisation.
He said the centre seeks to engender bottom-up thinking on building inclusive environments and livable cities and create a culture of architecture and urbanism that is inclusive, empathetic, environmentally conscious and humanistic.
It will work on multidisciplinary exploration of conditions, processes, and policies that affect the livability, resilience, and sustainability of the built environment, he said.
Inaugurating the centre, Vice Chancellor Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, PhD urged faculty members to focus on “WE”, meaning wisdom and energy, to make BRACU shine like a bonfire instead of being individual candles working with the mindset of an employee.
Professor Morshed presented a crest, mug and a t-shirt to the VC as a token of appreciation of the department for contributing in research and education.
Professor Emeritus ATM Nurul Amin PhD, chairperson of the Department of Economics and Social Sciences, also spoke at the event.