"Architecture is not about building concrete skyscrapers. It is about designing something which is suitable to our climate using available materials," explained Lamia Tasnim, one of the organisers of Arcasia Forum 20.
Lamia was speaking in reference to the Manik Mia Avenue show mounted as part of the forum where decorated containers served as the exhibition space. The exhibition titled 'Build Bangladesh,' was part of the Arcasia 2019 event which revolved around the theme 'Architecture in a Changing Landscape'.
Dhaka served as the venue for its 50 year celebration and the events that dispersed across the megacity saw their inauguration on October 31 which ended on November 7 and in turn offered Dhakaites some crucial entry points to the idea urban buildings, including contextual architecture.
With the unusual the transitioning weather of Dhaka came another surprise – the exhibition that was brought to them in a number of containers on the pavement in front of the parliament. Their exteriors served as canvases portraying the life of Bangladesh. The sight attracted many passers-by who discovered that the entire exhibition was showcased inside the shipping containers lining the footpath. The exhibition comprised of images of Bangladesh's architectural marvels, charting the trends and the trendsetters.
This year, Architects Regional Council Asia, popularly known as the Arcasia, which has 21 Asian countries working under one roof.
The purpose of the event was to include the youth and the public to promote the country's architectural potential.
Lamia Tasnim explains, "Concepts of architecture change with time. For example, in Bangladesh, clay huts were popular not only because the material was readily available, but it was also appropriate for our tropical environment."
Since international influences cannot be avoided, rethinking architecture should involve taking into account the climate. "The pattern of our architecture should be restructured along with the ecological factors," Lamia added.
Other than this exhibition, five other venues held similar parade of architectural splendour.
There were also seminars, prize-giving events, friendship nights and a heritage walk. A fair was organised in the Bangabandhu International conference centre on contemporary building materials.
Around 15 hundred architects representing 21 Asian countries came to Bangladesh to celebrate the occasion. This was a striking opportunity for the students of this field, as students from 11 universities all over the country participated in the event.
There were about 200-250 students working for the programme. Some of them joined as volunteers and some participated in Arcasia competitions. These students learnt about international trends of architecture from prominent architects and accompanied them in their expedition to the heritage site Panam Nagar.