The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2018
Berkeley Prize 2018

Ushna Raees Bio

Ushna is a final year architecture student at Indus Valley School Of Art and Architecture. She was born in Lahore, a city known for its rich culture and heritage but she has grown up in Karachi, a cosmopolitan city which is often neglected by its citizens because most of the people have migrated from different cities of Pakistan to Karachi and have settled here for the sake of their jobs. Ushna considers herself a diehard Karachiite and she wants to make her city Karachi a better place. She believes in fulfilling her responsibility towards her city as a responsible citizen and also as a responsible architect in future.

Ushna has been conducting research on how the Urban Redevelopment in her city Karachi has been majorly dominated by a Neoliberal ideology. For that, she has been doing a case study of the Shrine of a Sufi Saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi which dates back to the 9th century. Her research focuses on how the culture and morphology of the shrine is affected after the construction of a 62 storey high rise building right next to it. She has also been conducting research on ManghoPir - one of the most environmentally rich, culturally diverse and historically significant neighborhoods of her city Karachi that most people have never heard of.

Ushna is currently doing her thesis on Architecture for Autism. The reason she decided to pick a topic like that for her thesis was because she believes that her social responsibility should not be limited to a few specific interests, it should be beyond that. She has always worked with the sites and on the projects that are historically significant and are culturally strong during her time at school but she believes that sometimes we should step out of our comfort zones and try to understand our social responsibility that is not limited, a social responsibility towards everyone and that’s why she chose to do her thesis on a different topic like Autism.

Ushna won the Arcasia Student Architectural Design Competition in 2015 when she was a third year student. She also presented her research on Architecture for Autism at the Falling Walls lab Karachi last year.

Ushna loves philosophy and history. She loves to sing and play ukulele.

And lastly, she considers herself merely a human being who knows nothing.


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Ms. Ushna Raees, Indus Valley School Of Art and Architecture, Karachi Pakistan
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