Research Banner

Spring 2017 Course Description




Culture is a fabric woven by the strands of artistic, literary, intellectual and humanistic practices. What mental world does a writer proceed from when writing? To what norms does a dancer/choreographer abide within his or her work, especially when creating new work? To what cultural imagination a sarod player adheres to? What future does an archaeologist imagines while conducting an excavation? How do all these strands talk to each other? And how may they tie with architecture? Important figures from various cultural practices will help us understand these questions through talks, discussions and demonstration in a month-long festival of culture!

Sharmili Banerjee, dancer/choreographer

Nisar Hossain, artist/professor

Monirul Islam, artist

Shahnaj Husne Jahan, archaeologist

Tejen Majumdar, musician

Zahidur Rahim Anjan, film-maker/director

Wakilur Rahman, artist

Pooja Sengupta, dancer/choreographer

Sajjad Sharif, writer/editor

Tarshito, architect/artist/performer

and others



The city is a complex organism lending to multiple readings and interpretations. The city is also a vast visual landscape that is traversed and sorted out visually and kinesthetically. Seminars and workshops will deal with the physiognomic nature of the visual field and how it reflects human perception about what is significant and valuable. With the March Session, BI continues exploring the fundamentals of human settlements, suggesting the importance of shifting our focus to large scale design situations that includes cities, landscapes and settlements.

Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, architect/professor/writer

Kazi Khaleed Ashraf is an architect, urbanist, and architectural historian; currently the Director General of Bengal Institute. He has taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa,  University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Pratt Institute in the USA. He is the author of numerous publications including An Architect in Bangladesh: Conversations with Muzharul Islam (2014) and Designing Dhaka: A Manifesto for a Better City (2012). His essays and articles have appeared in the Architectural Review, Architectural Design, Topos, Economic and Political Weekly, and other periodicals. He is the editor of series of books Locations: An Anthology of Architecture and Urbanism.

Timmy Zamir Aziz, architect/professor

Timmy Aziz is an architect whose designs have included products, furniture, new buildings and renovations. He studied architecture from the Architectural Association, London and the Cooper Union, New York City. Timmy has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, New Jersey Institute of Technology, among others. He has taught at MICA since 2006 and currently teaches in the department of Environmental Design and the department of Language Literature and Culture.

Gautam Bose, film-maker

Gautam Bose is a Kolkata based filmmaker dedicated to development oriented documentary and instructional work. He has made films in Vietnam, Cambodia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and throughout India. Gautam made nearly 5000 learning videos on products, services and processes, shot a dozen of shorts for National Geographic Channels and shot and directed dozens of documentaries for various TV channels, NGOs across the world.

Garga Chatterjee, neuroscientist/writer

Garga Chatterjee graduated in Medicine (MBBS) from Medical College, University of Calcutta. He received his PhD from Harvard University. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2015, he has been a faculty member at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata.

Gary Hack, architect/urban designer

Gary Hack is one of the most eminent urban design practitioners and educationists in North America. He is former dean and professor of urban design in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He studies, teaches and practices urban design, and continues to build a conversation among architecture, urban design and urban planning. He has prepared plans for cities, neighborhoods and developments in over 35 cities in the US, Canada and Asia, including New Orleans, New York, Detroit, Bangkok and Taipei.

Syed Manzoorul Islam, writer/professor

Syed Manzoorul Islam is a Bangladeshi academic, writer, columnist, and a literary critic. He graduated from the University of Dhaka, did his PhD from Queen’s University in 1981, and taught at the University of Southern Mississippi as a Fulbright Scholar. He won Bangla Academy Award in 1996. Currently he is a professor of English at the University of Dhaka.

Zachary Lamb, architect/urban planner

Zachary Lamb is a PhD candidate at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work focuses broadly at the intersection of public policy, design, and environmental change. He is also co-founder and principle of Crookedworks, a research and design firm whose work was featured in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Michael Meister, historian/archaeologist

Michael W. Meister is an art historian, archaeologist and architectural historian at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on temple architecture, the morphology of meaning, and other aspects of the history of art and architecture of the Indian sub-continent. He has authored several hundred essays and edited several books.



Considering that housing is the fabric of the city, and the spatial manifestation of a community, it is important to consider and investigate how buildings and spaces are grouped and form complexes. The formation of “complexes” is far more critical to the design of communities and their well-being than attention on individual buildings and objects. Complexes are also social modules for settlements at the level of cities, towns and villages. April-May Session invites architects and thinkers to present their thoughts and works on the making of complexes from both rural and urban situations.”

Neelkanth Chhaya, architect, professor

Ivan Valin, landscape architect, professor

Dorothy Tang, landscape architect, professor

Jalal Ahmad, architect

Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, architect/writer

Nahas Khalil, architect

Marina Tabassum, architect

Abed Chaudhury, agricultural scientist/writer

Khondaker Hasibul Kabir, architect/landscape architect

Dwijen Sharma, botanist

Tughlaq Azad, architect, botanist

More faculty names may be added to each Session.