We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower ” competition - Nuru Karim, Dhruval Shah, Aditya Jain, Salai V and Uttara Rajawat from India!

Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower  honorable mention - NUDE

Nuru Karim, Dhruval Shah, Aditya Jain, Salai V and Uttara Rajawat from India

NUDES operates within the realm of cross-disciplinary cultures of art, architecture and computational design powered by digital “making” tools addressing larger networks of social, cultural and environmental. Nuru Karim, Founder & Principal of NUDES, received his Master’s in Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association London, United Kingdom in 2006. NUDES was founded in 2008 and consists of approximately 20 talented individuals ranging from architects, thinkers, computational designers, interior designers and project managers. This team is supported by the Accounts, IT, Legal & Acquisitions headed by competent personnel to ensure smooth workflow bound by professional ethics and best practices.

Nuru Karim’s experience dates back to 1997, post-completion of his undergraduate studies. His undergraduate studies include travel and education in the metropolis of Mumbai [KRVIA-gold medallist] and Montreal [McGill University]. He worked for Zaha Hadid Architects in 2005 on a host of institutional projects both in competition/ schematic design and design development stages.

Nudes has achieved critical recognition both for its built work and in competitions, in addition to several design awards including a nomination for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013 cycle.

We are primarily a design and research-based architectural / urban studio that thrives on immersing itself into “real-world” constraints; striving towards the realization of unchartered territories, honest and truthful to the design process, budgetary constraints and socio-economic forces that govern the world of design and the built environment. Through our work we engage in design as an open system of interrelated issues ranging from technology, typology, digital methodologies, sustainability, structure, fabrication, materiality, tactility, and use, as well as larger networks of the social, cultural, and environmental.

The dichotomy of “experimental” and “real-world constraints” is hypnotic and acts as a fuel for systems innovation. Rather than focusing on the answers, it’s more important to ask the right questions. We fundamentally aspire to do this for a living; keep asking the right questions irrespective of the nature of the programmatic typology or scale. The ability to move seamlessly between scales and sizes ranging from a few square inches to acres and acres of land mass, could be highly intoxicating.

NUDES has worked across sectors and typologies including institutional, cultural, housing, retail, hospitality, and installation art both in concept and realisation.

Some significant works that the studio is currently working on include: a 180-acre master plan in Hyderabad (South India), a mosque under construction in Mumbai, School in Pune, India, housing projects under construction in Mumbai, public art master plan and design in Jamshedpur (India), to name a few. We are also in dialogue for projects in the Middle East, East Africa and South East Asia.

Today, as we are growing at a steady sustainable pace, NUDES continues to operate on a body of works through innovation, serious research, design optimisation and timely qualitative delivery driven by best practices. We collaborate with clients and colleagues across sectors to create experiential spaces connecting people and place.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

In a world looming with the impending threat of climate change, architecture must learn to investigate and adapt systems found in nature. These are no longer country or region-specific issues, but global issues. There lies great potential in the development of sustainable technologies harnessing the true power of nature. In addition to that, setting up a “culture for research” to address these issues within an organisation is extremely crucial. It’s really not a one-off activity, but should be imbibed as an integral component and lifestyle of a studio space. The process involving research, design, prototyping need not be a sequential process, but could be read as a continuous loop-based system feeding into each other. The ability of this system-based approach to adapt itself and respond to a larger shifting context could be very interesting. Architecture could potentially investigate “history” and “material relics of the past” to trampoline into a “future” driven by design innovation.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Competitions are extremely interesting mechanisms. Competitions provide incredible platforms that, in a way, fill the vacuum for uninspiring built environment initiatives on a number of scales. In a way, they help design studios reflect on a number of issues. Competitions enable reflection on theoretical positions to be tested in real world environments and contexts. NUDES’ approach towards participation in architectural competitions is akin to a pure form of “recreational-research” without dealing with the stress of having to win accolades or a project commission.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

There is no better way to inject a “culture of research” in an architectural design practice than participating consistently in architecture vision competitions. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

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