Reality Check!
July 30, 2009
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August 8, 2009

Something’s missing. Call it the absence of community- based design. Call it architecture for people. In any understanding of context, socially conscious architecture seems to be the missing component from our new building plans By Fareeha Qayoom

Shaahdin Manzil

Shaahdin Manzil The Mall Lahore

By Fareeha Qayoom

Something’s missing. Call it the absence of community- based design. Call it architecture for people. In any understanding of context, socially conscious architecture seems to be the missing component from our new building plans. The Lahore buildings need to be people-centered again. There is a growing need to put our architects, designers and builders back in touch with real people in real places. Believe it or not, looks are still everything. Image matters. Every individual or organization has a significant signature space that tells the world who they are. How come this thought process doesn’t translate well in the collective minds of the city of Lahore?

Why is Lahore becoming so ugly – especially the newly converted commercial district from a residential town called Gulberg? My goal in this issue was to reflect and engage the city’s imagination and aspirations. Achieving this required looking at the best designs of urban town planning in our city, a desire to embrace the past and the future and come up with some beautiful examples of urban landmarks. We, as a team came up with one example – the Mall. Unfortunately, we as a nation don’t have a hand in designing this historic town square. The credit goes to the British Raj. The Mall has been turning heads for a couple of centuries at least. It’s an extraordinary aesthetically built town square. We are trying to turn Gulberg into one but unfortunately, something is still missing. Enough already! I have flogged this dead horse to death in issue one but I as a resident of Lahore still can’t see my city going the tubes in this cavalier fashion, so there’s me still ranting on the subject!

By the way, introducing a new buzz word called “zoning” for this edition. I discovered it when I interviewed a live and working town planner in a small town of Texas called McKinney. This small town maybe small in American terms but it can beat our big town hollow in terms of proactive urban planning. Did you know they won’t pass your building plans if they find one single measly car parking space missing, they expect you to mow your lawns; they come and fine you if you have some signage up without a permit and they won’t allow you to cut down trees? Hmmm. Well, more later, happy reading!

This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, June 2008, issue 2, under the section ‘ From the editor’s desk – June 2008’

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

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