MARIA ASLAM – ADA Architecture Design Art
Rethinking the Architectural Debate IQD 68
Maria Aslam graduated in Architecture at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and The Master’s Degree at McGill University. Director and principal architect of the Karachi, Pakistan-based firm ArchWorks, she founded ADA Architecture Design Art magazine in 2008. In a career spanning more than 20 years, she has worked in the field of design, conducted research, and has been appointed as a speaker, organizer, juror, and critic at major global events. She has held prestigious positions in numerous Pakistani architectural organizations, is an active member of the Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP), and from 2007 to 2009 was president of the Karachi Section. In 2016, she published her first book titled “Interiors of Pakistan Volume I.”
Rethinking the Architectural Debate
The profession of architect is at a precipice on a crossroad, a tilt in the misleading direction can undermine not just the values and ethics of work but mankind in general. We need to be honest, assume responsibility, and clearly expand on collective design vision, principle and works without resorting to deceptive, promotion-relating words. Green, social, sustainable, shared, communal, eco-friendly… are all noble concepts that risk losing their true value when they are misused or misconstrued only to make something “seem” ethical. Real estate geographically is power and the current tandem of story-telling exploits the major current issues and the topics of public interest as a saleability contest with the increasing array of woke-washing, greenwashing, blue washing, white washing, social washing, pink washing, art washing… that, besides being nefarious is impoverishing our world, depriving it of the true values and natural resources. This publication aims to explore some genuine and ingenious methodologies that are true in addressing issues of sustainable, green and eco-friendly environments. Be it small or mega scale and inclusive of public spaces and communal context within a society. This is a call for evaluating architecture theoretically, experimentally and in practice aligned with research and projects that impact our lives, respect mother nature and are cognizant of the changing climate pattern, dwindling natural resources, capitalism that overcomes the vulnerability of the masses in general wherever they may be situated globally. Life is not the same, we cannot continue living the way we were. Similarly, architecture cannot be viewed from the same lens, we cannot continue erecting structures with the same mind-set and methodology. Architecture has to respond to the current times.