Saif Ul Haque is Director, Research and Design Program, Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements. He is the principal of architectural practice Saif Ul Haque Sthapati, Dhaka, and is involved in practice, research and education. He is He was a partner in Diagram Architects, Dhaka from 1983 to 1996. His notable built works include BRAC Training Center in Faridpur, Banchte Shekha Center in Jessore, Camp house for French Archaeological Mission in Bogra and Govinda Gunalanker Hostel in Chittagong. His work has been exhibited at CAA Dhaka and Dhaka Art Center.
His writings on architecture and city have been published in Bangladesh and abroad. His books include Pundranagar to Sherebanglanagar: Architecture in Bangladesh (1997) and Sherebanglanagar: Louis I. Kahn and the making of a Capital Complex (2002). He is an adjunct faculty at American International University of Bangladesh, past guest faculty at University of Wuhan, China and guest critic at Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka, ETH Zurich, Switzerland and University of Pennsylvania, USA. Currently he is the Director of the Research and Design Program of Bengal Institute. He is a founding member of the architectural research group Chetana and a co-founder of architectural exchange group Mongolbarer Shabha.
The Bengal Institute, with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, conducted a special course on architecture that shapes our thinking and practice: Learning from the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The term ‘subaltern’ is a military term, referring to the captain’s assistant. It refers to the unrecognized and unfamiliar groups of people. The forum included the following participants: Saif ul-Huq, Marina Tabassum, Jalal Ahmad, Fuad Quauim and Hasibul Kabir. The forum participants sought to respond to two key questions:
How can architects come to the service of people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access the professional service of an architect? What can be done so that vast majority of people are not left out of an architect’s service?
How can we set some standards for the service we provide? How can we ensure that the people are not recipient of charity, so that they get the best of the services architects can offer?