Adnan Zillur Morshed | The Daily Star
  • Adnan Zillur Morshed

    Adnan Zillur Morshed is an architect, architectural historian, and urbanist, and currently serving as Chairperson of the Department of Architecture at BRAC University. He is the author of Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder (2015) and Oculus: A Decade of Insights in Bangladeshi Affairs (2012), and DAC/Dhaka in 25 Buildings (2017). He can be reached at amorshed@bracu.ac.bd.

  • Bolai, Avatar, and our environment

    The other day I was going from Chattogram to my ancestral village in the Chandanish upazila, located about 40km southeast from the city centre. As soon as I crossed the Karnafuli River a common scene along the road began to haunt me. Felled trees were stacked up on both sides of the road, to be processed locally or transported to lumber mills on the outskirts of cities. The continuity of the spectacle revealed the enormity of scale in tree cutting. It felt as if a full-scale war on nature—a kind of “ecocide”—was going on.
  • The calculus of heritage preservation

    The clandestine demolition of Jahaj Bari in Old Dhaka on the night of Eid-ul-Fitr reveals the precarious state of historic preservation in Bangladesh.
  • Debunking the smart-city myth

    I have been following the “smart city” conversation in Bangladesh for quite some time now. Last year I sat on a panel to discuss the topic during what was called the “smart-city week” in Dhaka. As Bangladesh urbanises rapidly, as mid-sized cities increasingly become its new urban frontier, the mayors of small towns across the country seem drawn to the idea of smart city. They frequently talk about how they are eager to transform their towns into smart cities. I myself spoke with a few mayors who sounded anxious to bring “smartness” to their towns.
  • The dark side of globalisation

    The project of globalisation remains as contested as ever. In Globalization and Its Discontents (2001), Joseph Stiglitz criticised international monetary organisations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for advancing ideologically driven, market-based development mantras around the globe, often at the expense of poorer nations.
  • Banani Fire incident

    The wrong kind of fire

    Fire has been essential for human development. Without the domestication of fire, humans couldn't migrate to inhospitable regions of the world.
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