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UNPACKING DHAKA: 1st International Congress on Ultradense Urbanism

UNPACKING DHAKA: Ist International Congress on Ultradense Urbanism

3-10 June, 2017 @ BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Hosted by Department of Architecture, BRAC University in collaboration with Estudio Abierto / Open Studio 

 

THEME:

The Congress will explore the particular condition of density in Dhaka which can be seen to transcend the “congestion” Rem Koolhaas mentioned in Delirious New York. No longer can it be classified as an extension of the normal urban configuration and hence the Congress aims to capture this “Ultradense Urbanism”. The negative spaces produced in between the bodies, the architecture and the flows in the city mediates and configures from the erotic to the political, the two extremes of spatial agency. The ultradensity of Dhaka results in the narrowing of this void redefining the boundaries between the common political space and the intimate erotic one. This phenomenon of the packaging of the bodies, repeating with architecture in the urban fabric, exhibits the limits of human cohabitation. What are the new limits set forth in this massive packaging of bodies, materials and culture?  Particular socio-economic factors produce, maintain and are simultaneously resultant of this ultradensity, all within a play of formal and informal mechanisms of control. This complex interplay requires unpacking and is a fertile ground for architectural exploration. For a future with increasing number of dense cities, unpacking Dhaka is going to provide a transcendent learning of this particular urban phenomenon.  

 

SUB-TOPICS:

A. The Body in the Space _ compactness _ intimacy and proximity _ civil distance _ how privacy breaks down in the domestic space _ erotic space _ idea of social justice

B. The Architecture in the Fabric _ negative space _ informal growth _ impact of building code _ resulting public space _ friction of activities / programs _ the tectonic of negative space _ articulation of voids

C. The Movement in the City _ dense mobility _ constricted fluidity _ pedestrian _ traffic congestion _ organization of flows _ supply and waste flows _ critical temporality _ the infrastructural moves      

D. The Socio-economic in the Culture _ density of transactions _ markets and people _ cultural overlap _ density of events / festivals _ informal economy _ real-estate developer

E. The Control Mechanism of Ultradensity _ political control of city _ norms _ moral rules of public behavior _  religious camaraderie _  formal policing + informal control _ local godfathers _ legal codes _ building authorities _ power _ signs of control ( do not pee here ) _ and symptoms of rebellion

SCHEDULE:

 

Thursday/Friday - 1- 2 Jun

Arrival of International delegates

 

Friday - 2 Jun

Evening City Tour

Participants: International delegates with local architects / faculty/ students (volunteers)

Location: Old dhaka_chockbazar iftar market   

 

Saturday - 3 Jun _ Opening Day of Congress

10 am _ Presenting the theme of the congress and introducing the participant,

10:30 am _ welcoming the students

11 am - 2 pm _ Design Workshop Opening Session  - general discussion and formulating workshop targets

2 pm onwards _ site visits / exploration / (no review + no presentation)

 

Sunday - 4 Jun _ Workshop Day 2 - [sub-topic A]

9 30 am _ 11 am _ international faculty presentation subtopic A + Bangladeshi faculty presentation subtopic A + discussion  

11 am - 3 pm _ Design Workshop Session

3 pm _ general review + guidelines

 

Monday - 5 Jun _ Workshop Day 3 - [sub-topic B]

9 30 am _ 11 am _ international faculty presentation subtopic B + Bangladeshi faculty presentation subtopic B + discussion  

11 am - 3 pm _ Design Workshop Session

3 pm _ general review + guidelines

 

Tuesday - 6 Jun _ Workshop Day 4 - [sub-topic C]

9 30 am _ 11 am _ international faculty presentation subtopic C + Bangladeshi faculty presentation subtopic C + discussion  

11 am - 3 pm _ Design Workshop

3 pm _ general review + guidelines

 

Wednesday - 7 Jun_ Workshop Day 5 - [sub-topic D]

9 30 am _ 11 am _ international faculty presentation subtopic D + Bangladeshi faculty presentation subtopic D + discussion  

11 am - 3 pm _ Design Workshop Session

3 pm _ general review + guidelines

 

Thursday - 8 Jun _ Workshop Day 6 - [sub-topic E]

9 30 am _ 11 am _ international faculty presentation subtopic 1 + Bangladeshi faculty presentation subtopic 1 + discussion  

11 am - 3 pm _ Design Workshop Session 2

3 pm _ general review + guidelines

 

Friday - 9 Jun Day 7 - Design Workshop Final Jury

9 30 - 3 pm (with jummah prayer break) _ jury

3 pm _ presentation of Certificates of Participation

6 45 _ iftaar (dinner) with design workshop participants + all congress faculties

 

Saturday - 10 Jun _ Day 8 - Closing Session

10 am - 3 pm _ All school design charette

3 - 4 pm _ Judging panel meeting

4 pm _ Awards

4 30 - 6 30 pm _ Closing Panel Discussion ( what is to be done with the material produced, how to rearrange next year, book, journal, articles or exhibitions, concluding manifesto)

6 45 _ concluding iftar (Dinner) (only for faculty) _ informal discussion about school curriculum + continuation of collaboration efforts

 

Saturday - Sunday 10 /11 Jun _ Departure of International Delegates

 

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS / PANELISTS:

> Eligibility

Faculty in Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning or any relevant discipline at any university located outside of Bangladesh

> Funding

Self-funded

> Scope

Presentation based on any sub-topic / design workshop critic / design charrette reviewer / panel discussion

Being a curated one, the scope of this congress is to create a platform for research and dialogue between Bangladeshi and International academics / architects / urbanists on the key issues addressed in the theme and the sub-topics. As a way to foster the agenda and to be inclusive, the Congress will host a design workshop, a design charette and panel discussions, and presentations by panelists.

A Letter of Invitation will be issued from BRAC University to accepted participants/ panelists.

 

> Contact (for sub-topic presentation / general participation / inquiries) :

Dr. Paco Mejias, Co-Director, Estudio Abierto / Open Studio

Assoc. Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, University of Arkansas, USA

fjmejias@uark.edupacomejiasvillatoro2@gmail.com

Tanzil Shafique, Assoc. AIA, Co-Director, Estudio Abierto / Open Studio

tanzil.arch@gmail.com

 

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SEE YOU IN DHAKA!

Earlier Event: March 16
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