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).
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.
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.
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.
Land is the closest thing that we know. We cultivate it, build on it, transform it to meet our needs, commercialise it to maximise economic gain, and derive our identities from its widely varying geographic characters.
That gross domestic product (GDP) is not a fully satisfying measure of a country’s progress is no longer news. The awareness of GDP’s inadequacies in revealing a nation’s state of development is now almost mainstream.