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Seminar on 'Aesthetics and Mathematics: The Poetry of Architecture' held at SUB

By Chittagong Bureau
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Department of Civil Engineering, Southern University Bangladesh, Chittagong jointly with Southern University Civil Engineering Alumni Association invited internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi Architect Rafiq Azam to give a presentation on his work and philosophy to the alumni and the current students of Civil Engineering  recently .
 The topic was 'Aesthetics and Mathematics: the poetry of Architecture'.
He kept the audience of around two hundred students and engineers spell bound for around three hours.
 It was an interesting presentation that took the audience through his creation and his unique way of solving architectural problem. A down to the earth fine professional, Arch Rafiq Azam is in love with soil, nature, water, sun and the breeze. For him each architectural assignment is unique in terms of location and requirement. His architecture talks, tells different story to each and every person viewing it, using it or residing in it. That's where lies its uniqueness, beauty and the poem hidden under the massive fair-faced concrete: poetry in architecture.
He enjoys playing with color, experimenting with shapes, forms, light and shadow. Geometry, math, circles and squares. Lights and shadow play a definite role in his architecture. In his creation, every floor of a building is ground floor--it has soil, green grass, water and trees; all in one place. His swimming pools are not just a modern pool rather they are traditional ponds, open to the sky, with plants and shrubs leaning over the water where moon occasionally peeps in to smile and reflect on water. He likes stairs with long treads leading to water. He expects people to become part of nature, sit and relax dipping their feet in water. His buildings appear like a oasis in a dessert of concrete. He is a painter, a music connoisseur; and a passionate man who draws inspiration from Lalon and Jalaluddin Rumi. So, it is not unlikely to find the reflection of music, painting and spirituality in his work which can be rightly labeled ' poetry in architecture'.
His work is an interesting blend of contemporary architecture and innovative applications of civil engineering.
We saw an interesting question and answer session after his lecture where students asked intelligent questions. He has answered all the questions with occasional twist of humor--everybody liked his deliberations and I did not see any sign of boredom..
No wonder--Why Arch Rafiq Azam has received so many prestigious national and international awards. Often, he is invited to give lectures in architecture schools in the developed countries.
 He has advised countries like Malaysia on policy matters relating to application of architecture. He has given Bangladesh a new identity in the arena of Architecture. If you are asked to name one Bangladeshi Architect of international fame and reputation, the name of Rafiq Azam will definitely come first. University sources said.

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