Architecture, as I believe does not exist in isolation. Several tangible and intangible factors shape up the built environment in any cultural space. History tells us that architects besides applying the principles of aesthetics and creating functional comfort also consider the available technology, financial resources, and specific local environmental and socio-cultural conditions. In this way every project demands an innovative solution within a defined context. Considering these factors in mind the challenges of architecture became multidimensional. The architects created such ouvre that were socially responsive, technologically futuristic, and economically viable, along with being climatically responsive. In the recent time the challenges of architecture has become more and more complex; from the extreme demands of the economically affluent clients requiring the best use of modern technology to the needs of the less privileged especially in areas with strong historical and cultural background.
From 1979 to 2016 I have been teaching several courses on urban design, landscape architecture, history of Islamic architecture, and architectural design studio courses. At the same time I have been continuously travelling in different geographical regions and cultures to explore theories of design in respective areas. The courses listed earlier explored specific context, people, culture, and their building technologies. The history, socio-cultural-religious traditions, climatic conditions and economic conditions in a particular space and time became a point of critical inquiry, and new solutions were sought respecting the old but futuristic in terms of form, material, and technology. Additionally, I have worked with several prestigious institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution with whom I worked on the Mughal Garden Project, leading to several publications, and with Dumbarton Oaks; Trustees for Harvard University on the Middle East Garden Project, leading to a publication and creation of a web site.
I enjoy travelling and have travelled in Europe, USA, the Middle East, and India to learn about the respective people and cultures. I continue to learn from my students, colleagues, and friends, and find academia fulfilling and exciting.