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(22-23) Climate Change and the Making of Collective Spaces in the (in)Formal Cities - Case Megapolis - Karachi


 Credit…Personal Archives – August 2021

Streets  as  Collective  Spaces  in  Karachi, Pakistan


“Public architecture and related open spaces are situated within the larger context of any city and the city is a living organism, within which all architecture, urban design, public open spaces and networks become integrated via formal and informal public engagement and an understanding of collective problem solving, finding innovative ways to reclaim and reimagine contemporary cities.”

Asiya Sadiq and Christophe Polack
(The Rising Tide – New Direction in Pakistani Art and Architecture – Karachi, 2010


Title: The 10th Karachi Studio explores;

Climate Change and the Making of Collective Spaces in the (in)Formal Cities
Case Megapolis Karachi                                                                                        

Tutor / Asiya Sadiq

Year, semester / 2022-23, sem. 3
Engagement / Urban Cultures
Language / English
Location / Campus Brussels

Karachi Studio – In Brief

Initiated  by Ar. Asiya Sadiq with a colleague Martine De Maesener in 2013 at the Faculty of Architecture – KU Leuven, Campus Brussels, the Karachi studio has completed 9 cycles. It was established with the intention of developing a specialized studio on Hyper Transforming Cities utilizing available in-house expertise, exposing our master’s students to the burgeoning urbanity in South Asia. The case of Megapolis Karachi introduces the participants to the local and global challenges faced by contemporary (in)Formal Cities in the making of their contemporary architecture, public and collective spaces, serving as a research-based design exploration for other similar situations in the global South.

Aims of the 10th Karachi Studio – Fall Semester 2022 -23 are to;


The unique design debate of Conditions vs Situations exploring the design potentials of the informal actors and processes which exist de-facto yet remain unrecognized in all our formal cities design protocols. Karachi and Pakistan serve as a case  impacted by climate change requiring new ways of thinking, imagining, and making Architecture and Collective Spaces. Solutions need to be unveiled which can deal with the local as well as the global design challenges which concern contemporary hyper transforming cities like Karachi across the global North and South, in all their formal and informal complexities, emerging spatial trends and new social realities.


The topic of (In)formality in cities and the recognition of its impact on urban and architectural design as a Choice or a Need. The current formal – informal design norms, paradigms and parameters will be questioned, and new design ideas and strategies explored especially focusing on Climate Change while responding to the overarching debates of; neoliberalism, land scarcity and density, migrations, refugee influx, increasing urban populations, decreasing municipal resources, increasing disparities, impending pandemics and natural calamities like heat waves and floodings in hyper transforming cities like Karachi.


Spatial Strategies and Projects (architectural/urban design/urban development) emerging out of the standpoint of ; Formal-(In)formal Interface, Community Participation and Reliance and Co-Creation proving that intelligent design solutions go beyond the built form for their validity, viability, and sustainability.

Links to Previous Karachi Studios




Weekly Design Development Process leading to intelligent, innovative, well analysed, and well developed.

  • Conceptual Framework
  • Socio-Spatial Strategies and Programming
  • Spatial Projects (architectural/urban design/urban development)

Final Jury – Cumulative Presentation including; A PPT, A Poster, A Booklet