Ar. Nuru Karim, NU.DE Architecture

Nuru Karim

"Innovation is crucial to our commitment as design professionals. Innovation needs to be viewed as an iterative design process driven by ideological, philosophical positions." Ar. Nuru Karim

Ar. Nuru Karim, Founder & principal architect of NU.DE Architecture completed his Masters in Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association [AADRL], London, United Kingdom in 2006 and has done a brief stint with Zaha Hadid Architects before coming back to Mumbai to start his own studio 'NU.DE Architecture' where architects have freedom to experiment with new theories and explore the possibilities of technology, materials and design.

Ar. Nuru's decision to enter into the architectural and design world was primarily a subconscious cerebral act. According to him, he was drawn to Architecture almost hypnotically, intoxicated by the drama, play of space both physical and psychological. The decision was taken fairly early on during high school years and although there were no instances of architects within the family, the hypnotic drag of the discipline was too strong to resist.

NU.DE Architecture
He believes in the philosophy "Innovate or Die" The Future is NOW. He believes that "Innovation is crucial to our commitment as design professionals. Innovation needs to be viewed as an iterative design process driven by ideological, philosophical positions. Darwin's theories on natural selection, 'survival of the fittest', shall be driven by innovation in the years to come."

He thinks that Architecture must become experimental. And defines architecture as "an attitude of dedication and commitment towards design and building technologies yet to be tested; an absolute focus on detail and materials innovation; and with it, a strong belief in the avant garde." It is critical that we commit ourselves to larger social/humanitarian goals and architecture has the power just to do that. This could unfold even in a voluntary capacity across several sectors impacting the habitat and environment. India faces several issues, those of lack of housing, lack of infrastructural services, lack of property rights, air pollution, traffic and a serious lack of Urban Governance. Dive in, make a difference!

Commenting on his design philosophy he explains, "Through our work we engage design as an open system of interrelated issues ranging from typology, digital methodologies, sustainability, structure, fabrication, materiality, tactility, and use, as well as larger networks of the social, cultural, and environmental. We have been exploring the 'digital' both in design and production largely as a systems based approach. The ability of the 'digital' to augment "design history" [in parametric computational design] as an editable entity enables the transformation of 'design histories' into 'design futures'. Transfer of Technologies and 'smart materials' are significant to our process as well."

For him, nature is a huge source of inspiration behind his admiring projects. He is being inspired and influenced by Jane Benyus' book Biomimicry (1997) where she argues for using nature as mentor, model, and measure, "because animals, plants and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found out what works, what fits in and what lasts here on Earth. After 3.8 billion years of R&D, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival."

Ar. Nuru has won several awards and competitions for his work, most notably for an Architectural, Engineering Monument for Contemporary India organized by the TATA Group and IAB, for which his work 'The Charkha' was selected the winner. The Charkha was also nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013 and has also won the prestigious NDTV Design and Architecture award for "The Deployable Arts pavilion and EDIDA International Awards 2011 for Blob Skin besides many other awards".

Architecture and Urbanism

His projects were exhibited at the Architectural Association, DRL 10 in 2008. Nuru has also experimented with art installations, with his work 'Machining Sound' in collaboration with LAN and DuPont Corian featured at the Bodhi Gallery in Mumbai in 2008 to critical acclaim. Nuru's writings and projects have been published in a variety of professional journals, both national and international, as well as through architectural exhibitions and conferences.

Apart from his design practice, Nuru has also taught, at Architecture Design Studios and conducted Design Workshops and is regularly invited as a guest jury member for several leading national design schools.

He sees the on-going phase as the truly exciting times! He has a few interesting projects in the pipeline in the sectors of Housing, Institutional, Art & Culture which he is looking to work on.