CEO, Architect at Without Wax Studio. Founder, Editor in Chief at ArchSociety. Social Media Consultant at TED Fellows. Technology Consultant at Institute of Architects Bangladesh. Curator, Licensee at TEDxDhaka. Founding-Curator, Global Shapers Dhaka
ArchSociety, TED, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, TEDxDhaka, Without Wax Studio, World Economic Forum
07/31/2005 – present
ArchSociety.com is a community driven online library of design resources, updated news and discussion forum based design help-desk specially curated for the architects and designers in the developing nations. It now has around 4000 members from around a hundred countries, the website gets around a million hits per month. The project was started to become the answer to these questions: How architects and designers are going to change the world if they don't have enough supports and open-source resources for themselves? Who is out there to talk about the light than the limelight? Who is out there to connect the opportunities, information, and knowledge and support the designers of the developing regions? At ArchSociety we believe: Bad designs are built not because of the lack of creativity of the designers, rather for the lack of communication, inspirations, supports and availability of knowledge-resources, and that’s where we concentrate. The project was initially conceived informally in cyber-cafes and university lab by its founder in 2005. Later ArchSociety became a non-profit organization registered in Bangladesh recently. From it's birth ArchSociety worked with many organizations to help with their architectural documentation, publication, media-coverage of events locally and internationally. Our goal is to become good destination of free architectural design resources and to be a trusted community that learn and strengthen by helping each other in design.
Project Website »
Open Urban Design Think Tank
07/31/2010 – present
Open Urban Design Think Tank tries to develop an open archive of solutions to the critical urban problems of fast growing poor cities (for example: Dhaka, Mumbai, Lagos etc. or any other cities).
The basic problem of crowd-sourced design ideas to save the cities is the unavailability of city planning and development related information. So our first target is to 'bring democracy and transparency to urban development and governance' by opening up the data of the current situation of the cities and all available planning decisions so far made about the development of the cities. These decisions are directly connected with our daily life in present and in the future and thus access to these data is not a privilege rather a basic right of every citizen. We need to know what’s going on and what’s going to happen to our cities.
And we also need the opportunity to participate in the decision-making and design process. OUT looks forward to become the platform and the tool of the transparency of urban development and way of crowd-sourced participation of multidisciplinary experts and the city dwellers to contribute to the planning process.
Without Wax Studio
06/01/2013 – present
After working for two of the most important architecture firms in Bangladesh I finally I started my solo practice of professional design and architecture from March 2013. That rolled out as the "Without Wax Studio" in June 2013.
06/25/2009 – present
TEDxDhaka is the biggest public TEDx event in Bangladesh nowadays that started as a small TED Talk viewing gathering and now a regular annual conference showcasing the some of the most important 'ideas worth spreading' from Bangladesh and beyond. I curate and co-organize the event with a fabulous local team behind it.
Project Website »
? – present
[Hatching now! Talk to me to collaborate] It's an idea of a simultaneous, mirror exhibitions organized in different cities in the world showing each others' similarities and differences. It's an experiment of how cities can learn each other about their problems and possibilities. CLEOex = Cities Learning from Each Other Exhibitions.
Need For Safety
? – present
[Hatching now! Ping to know more / to collaborate] Followed by some of the deadliest building safety related disasters in Bangladesh Garment sector we started working on designing an 'information kit' and a helpline for garments owners, managers, workers to learn more about building safety, building codes, laws and anti-corruption advocacy.
[Current positions: Architect | Founder, Editor in Chief at ArchSociety | Technology Consultant at the Institute of Architects Bangladesh]
I am a design and art enthusiast since I was a kid, participating and sometimes winning almost every local art competitions during my elementary and high school days in Rajshahi. I naturally adopted a radical openness, classlessness and addiction to knowledge from a family with a critical mixture (! in fact a weird mixture) of socialist philosophies and Sufism. The proximity of Rajshahi divisional Public library to our neighborhood played a big role in turning me into a global soul and thinking beyond the boundaries. I end up reading the whole library by the end of my junior high school.
I found myself a good fit for the architecture profession and enrolled into the crazy stressful 5 years long undergrad in The University of Asia Pacific in Dhaka and graduated in 2008. During my sophomore terms I was feeling the necessity of a shared open library and a help-desk for architects and designers. I was thinking of a platform that would give the access to free design information and resources. I was thinking of starting an open-srouce community website. It was not easy, at that time I had no computer of my own and obviously I also could not afford to hire a web-designer. So I had to learn web-designing, database-maintenance etc all by myself spending time in cyber-cafes by snatching money from my subsistence allowance. That's the way I learned how to design a website and maintain a web-server and made the whole ArchSociety.com siting in neighborhood cyber-cafes or in the computers of my university labs with internet connection as slow as 4-6 kbps on my own. Soon ArchSociety.com started to become a popular place of content sharing and helping each other in design related issues. I started get supports from my friends to help me collect news, edit the contents and maintain the sanity of the discussion forums.
I continued working on ArchSociety, expanding the community and services, adding new sections and people to the team from around the world. And it turned out to be a community of thousands of members from around a hundred countries with a considerable amount of free design resources.
Simultaneously I am working with some of Bangladesh’s most renowned architects in very diverse group of architectural design projects, from designing a university campus in Bhutan, banks in Vietnam to small residences and high-rise towers in Bangladesh and also few tiny projects of my own focusing on the climate responsive design techniques with culturally integrated aesthetics.
I struggled a lot to get ArchSociety registered locally as a non-profit and to start an independent office for ArchSociety and to get some fund to run our regular works and new projects, we still are struggling.
A new project we started working on last year (typically with no fund). We call it the Open Urban Design Think-tank (The OUT). The core of the idea is to ‘bringing democracy to urban design and governance’. Our target is to develop an "Open archive of crowd-sourced solutions, ideas and data" to solve the complex urban crises of Dhaka - a city of 18 million people stuffed in a 15x20 km area. The OUT is intended to be replicated in other fat-growing poor cities in the world in the future if it works.
Out of the box, the prime authority and watchdog of architectural profession the in Bangladesh, the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) recently called me up to be their Technology Consultant for some of their digitalization projects. Since I am somewhat the only person of the sort who understands both the languages of web-design, programing and also architecture they thought I would be the best fit for the position. So I am now also happily working with them in a part-time basis advising them about the ways of total computerization of maintaining, monitoring, regulating the professional affairs of architects and the building constructions throughout the country.
Bangladeshi snacks and pickles. Specially those from the North.
A funny story about me:
I was born in a christian missionary hospital in Rajshahi. They keep all the new born babies in a separate room with identity tags. Somehow they messed with my id tag and I was lost among many other babies on the next day I was born! My mom had to identify me from around 10 babies. She often laughed and said what if you are the wrong one! :-s