Kashef Chowdhury Lecture
June 16, 2018 2:30 pm
A conversation with Kashef Chowdhury, Beverly Russell, Alvin Huang, Kulapat Yantrasast.
The work of Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA spans various typologies and places importance on architecture growing out of the human and natural context where it is situated. Works in the studio are given extended time for research, so as to reach a certain level of innovation and original expression. Rooting in history and philosophy, the work of Kashef Chowdhury is a mirror to the geo-cultural and socio-political context particular to that region and pays special attention to the often fragile natural environment where the work is destined to exist.
His work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions and publications and has received awards, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2016, Geneva and the Architectural Review Emerging Architects Award 2012, London. Built and ongoing projects range from raised settlements in flood-prone riverine islands in northern Bangladesh to conversion of the famous ship Rainbow Warrior into a seagoing hospital boat to an art gallery, two museums, a national monument, a learning center, a cyclone shelter, clinics, a hospital, mosques, university campuses, an art center and sculpture park, a sports complex to several office buildings, single and multi-family residences to various interventions in the city of Dhaka for the Mayor’s office.
Kashef Chowdhury continues to believe that architecture can only be experienced in person and in-situ and therefore avoids elaborate websites and digital presentations of his work. Chowdhury is a photographer, takes an active interest in art, teaches and lectures globally.
Beverly Russell was born and educated in the UK and began her career in journalism and publishing in London working on Fleet Street newspapers. She emigrated to the United States in 1967 and was renowned as a magazine editor in New York, where she was a Senior Editor at Conde Nast’s Brides and later House & Garden. In 1978 she became Editor in Chief of Interiors and subsequently Editorial Director of Architecture magazines. She has also contributed to the Home section of the New York Times. She launched Beverly Russell Enterprises in 1991, acting as a creative consultant to major corporations and educational establishments, formulating traveling exhibitions, nation-wide seminar programs and other promotional activities to enhance corporate and educational themes. At the same time she authored and packaged a number of best-selling books on architecture, design, and cuisine. Her new book, Fifty Under Fifty: Innovators of the 21st Century features leading architects and interior designers. In 2015, she also published her memoir, Deadline Diva: A Journalist’s Life. Many of her books are inspirational, including The Adventures of Kundun the Golden Cat, Crossings, Espacios, and Lines on Aging. She has received numerous honors for her achievements, including Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Fine Arts from Kendall College of Art & Design, and Parsons School of Design, New York.
Alvin Huang, AIA is a Los Angeles based architect with a global profile. He is an award-winning architect, designer, and educator specializing in the integrated application of material performance, emergent design technologies and digital fabrication in contemporary architectural practice. His work spans all scales ranging from hi-rise towers and mixed-use developments to temporary pavilions and bespoke furnishings. His work has been published and exhibited widely and has gained international recognition with over 30 distinctions at local, national, and international levels including being selected of as one of 50 global innovators under the age of 50 by Images Publishing in 2015, being featured as a “Next Progressive” by Architect Magazine in 2014, and being named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventors of 2013. He has been an invited critic, guest lecturer, and keynote speaker at various institutions in the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Israel, India, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and China.
Born in Bangkok, Thailand, where he graduated with honors from Chulalongkorn University (1990), Kulapat received both his M.Arch. and Ph.D. degrees in Architecture from the University of Tokyo (1993/1996), under a Japanese Government scholarship. Upon graduating, Kulapat worked as Tadao Ando’s close associate for eight years in Japan. In 2012, he was named one of the art world’s 100 Most Powerful People; in 2009, Kulapat was the first architect to receive the Silpathorn Award for Design from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture. He is a frequent public speaker at leading institutions and has served on the Artists’ Committee of the Americans for the Arts (the United States’ oldest organization for support of the arts in the society) since 2005. In 2015, he was appointed a board member of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and he is an active member of the Design Council for Collective Design.