Adnan Zillur Morshed

THE GRUDGING URBANIST

Adnan Zillur Morshed, PhD, is an architect, architectural historian, urbanist, and public intellectual. He is a professor of architecture and architectural history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and executive director of the Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism at BRAC University. Morshed received his Ph.D. and Master’s in architecture from MIT, and BArch from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, where he also taught. He was a 2018 TEDxFoggyBottom speaker at George Washington University. He is the author of multiple books; among them, Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder (University Minnesota Press, 2015), Oculus: A Decade of Insights into Bangladeshi Affairs (University Press Limited, 2012), DAC, Dhaka in 25 Buildings (Altrim Publishers, Barcelona, 2017), and River Rhapsody: A Museum of Rivers and Canals (BRAC University, 2018).

May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022

There is just one way to save Dhaka

The notoriety of Dhaka’s traffic is now daily news. Civil society members have been venting frustration about this maddening crisis.

February 4, 2022
February 4, 2022

Padma Bridge is a metaphorical countermovement

Recently, on a wintry afternoon, I went to see the Padma Bridge.

January 28, 2022
January 28, 2022

A time travel to Dhaka University’s 2034 convocation

It was Titian Matin’s first return to his native Bangladesh after he won the Nobel Prize in economics for his study of the reciprocal relationship between urban density and economic geography.

December 21, 2021
December 21, 2021

Understanding a freedom fighter’s prison letters

Imprisoned in various torture chambers by the Pakistan Army during Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, Mohiuddin Ahmed, MP, wrote numerous letters to his wife, describing the systemic cruelties of his oppressors.

November 30, 2021
November 30, 2021

Is smart density the way forward for Bangladesh?

Going around in Dhaka could be overwhelming. The city seems overburdened with the impossible weight of people, buildings, vehicles, rickshaws, noise, carbon emission, and nonstop activities.

October 20, 2021
October 20, 2021

Tribute to a true admirer of Bangladesh

Mary Frances Dunham (MFD) arrived in Dhaka on a wintry day in November of 1960. From the window of her room at Hotel Shahbagh, she found ample opportunities to observe the city.

October 5, 2021
October 5, 2021

The delicate work of decolonising knowledge

In recent years, the idea of “decolonising knowledge” (DK)—that knowledge creation must be liberated from West-centric and racialised views of the world—has become a bottom-up intellectual movement in Western academia.

September 7, 2021
September 7, 2021

Could public consciousness of history be a measure of social progress?

For quite some time now, people have been discussing if there are more on-the-ground, inclusive ways to measure a country’s progress, rather than supra-quantitative metrics like GDP.

August 19, 2021
August 19, 2021

Chattogram desperately needs guardian angels

It is impossible these days to not notice Chattogram’s spectacular urban decline. Go around the port city and you will only experience a place plagued by anemia, chaos, a collective greed to commercialise every open space, and overall, a curious lack of aspiration.

May 18, 2021
May 18, 2021

The sociology of eco-grief: Saving Suhrawardy Udyan

Eight years ago, in May, a large crowd staged a sit-in at Gezi Park, next to Taksim Square, Istanbul’s bustling public plaza in the downtown of its European side.