Sat, 02 Dec 2023


Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], November 8: The School of Architecture & Planning at Woxsen University has recently organised Architecture and Design of Built Environment (ADoBE '23) conference. The conference centered around the theme of 'Urban Heritage,' with five key objectives of Knowledge Dissemination, Networking and Collaboration, Professional Development, Academic and Institutional Growth, and Global Branding among the stakeholders.

Prof. Peter Bishop from The Bartlett School of Architecture, London has delivered a key note address on 'Branding of Cities.' He emphasized, "Cultural strategies are extremely important in establishing city identity for a global economy but they need to be grounded in reality, with clear ownership and room for flexibility, all within the pro-active capability of competent agency for implementation."

The high-impact International Colloquiums and Panel Discussions held as part of the conference, unravelled invaluable insights on Built Environment, Urban Heritage, and Culture as a potent catalyst for advancing economic & social well-being of communities. It served as a platform for brainstorming, deliberation and concerted action involving all stakeholders who contribute to the preservation of our precious built environment. The two-day event was convened by Prof. Piyush Pandya, co-convened by Prof. Shweta Prasad and supported by the faculty members of School of Architecture and Planning, Woxsen University.

The inaugural session held at Woxsen University campus witnessed an International Colloquium on 'Defining Regional Strategies for Confluence of Culture and Development.'

Prof. Kailasa Rao, Director of SPA Bhopal and Member of National Monument Authority, India discussed the means of documenting Indian tangible heritage, particularly ancient Indian temples, which represent microcosms of civilization.

Prof. Neel Kamal Chapagain, Professor and Former Director of Centre for Heritage Management Ahmedabad, delved into various issues and guidelines for integrating culture into development, including the Mondiacult declaration, Historic Urban Landscape, UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and Memory of the World Program.

Ar. Nishant Upadhyay, Heritage Management Professional and Founder Architect Dharatal (India, Belgium) elaborated on his project experience of working for the Historic Urban Landscape of Gwalior and Orchha as two cities with differing aspirations for recognition. He also mentioned Dharatal's contribution to nomination of Gwalior City for UNESCO Creative City Network and their collaboration with UNESCO Bangladesh on a project related to climate change, culture and heritage.

A Panel Discussion on 'Role of Institutions in Defining Regional Strategies for Confluence of Culture and Development,' was moderated by Prof. Mohammad Toyon, Assistant Professor - School of Business, Woxsen University. The panel included Dr. Rajini Devarajan, Head of Financial Research & Heritage, NIUM, Hyderabad; Kamalika Bose, Founder-Principal of Heritage Synergies India; Ar Nishant Upadhyay, Founder Architect, Dharatal International Heritage expert, UNESCO. The panel concluded that the urban patina and palimpsest must be respected and nurtured for our future generations.

Day two of the conference witnessed a Public Lecture on 'Urban Design in Historic cores' and a Round Table Discussion on 'Prospects and Challenges for the Inscription of Hyderabad's Heritage as UNESCO World Heritage' at T-HUB, Hyderabad.

The Round Table Discussion on 'Prospects, Preparation and Challenges for the Inscription of Hyderabad as UNESCO World Heritage Site' was moderated by Ar. Nishant Upadhyay and co-moderated by Nithya Khendry, Conservation Architect, NIUM. Eminent experts on Hyderabad's history and heritage conservation, Vedakumar Manikonda, GSV Surya Narayana, ICOMOS India and Prashant K Lahoti of Kalakriti Art Gallery, Shirish Nanisetti from The Hindu, Ar, SP. Shorey, retired planning officer, HMDA were among the panellists for the round table discussion. The session concluded that geographical limits of the city would need to be identified and a willing and appropriate governmental role would be necessary to formalise such inscription of Hyderabad as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A public lecture by Prof. Peter Bishop on 'Urban Design in Historic Cores' was overwhelmed with 200+ attendees and 200+ views on live streaming. Prof. Bishop emphasized on the keys to successful public spaces, including valuing existing assets, nurturing potential, defining needs, and optimizing resource management. He showcased the effective selection process of King's Cross London's developer, underscoring the importance of visionary politicians and supportive mayoral offices in projects like 'Design for London.'

Speaking about the conference, Prof. Abhijit Shirodkar, Dean-School of Architecture & Planning at Woxsen University stated, "Adobe (also known as clay) - from the old mudbrick or earthen construction to the present-day digital experience. Figuratively speaking, we are trying to connect yesterday to today and aim to take it forward to tomorrow. Going a step ahead, ADoBE'24 scheduled in June 2024 will dig into the theme 'Cities and Inclusivity', trying to chart out a path for inclusion-centric development of our cities."

About Woxsen University:

Woxsen University, located in Hyderabad, is one of the first private universities of the state of Telangana, India. Renowned for its 200-acre state-of-the-art campus and infrastructure, Woxsen University offers new-age, disruptive programs in the fields of Business, Technology, Arts & Design, Architecture, Law, Sciences and Liberal Arts & Humanities. With 120+ Global Partner Universities and Strong Industry Connect, Woxsen is reckoned as one of the top universities for Academic Excellence and Global Edge. Woxsen is Ranked #101+ Masters in Business Analytics Program, #151+ Masters in Finance Program, #151 Masters in Management Program by QS Business Masters World Ranking, 2024, #12, All India Top 100 B-Schools by Times B-School Ranking 2023, Rank #15, All India Top Pvt. B-School, BusinessWorld 2022, and features in India's Best B-Schools beyond IIMs by Dalal Street Investment Journal 2023.

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