The 16th International Exhibition of building products and services, IAPEX 2020, organised by the Institute of Architects Pakistan – Karachi Chapter commenced on Friday 28th February 2020 at the Karachi Expo Centre.

Themed “Designing Narratives” the event showcased both local and international building materials and service providers, with daily conference sessions that had speakers from all over the Asian region.

The event was inaugurated by the honourable Governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail, followed by a welcome address by the Chairman IAP – Karachi Chapter Ar. Ramiz Baig, a speech by the President IAP Ar. Muhammad Arif Changezi and a vote of thanks by the IAPEX Convenor 2020, Ar. Bisma Sami Askari.

This year, the conference organisers, Ar. Ali Reza Dossal and his team comprising Visual Artist Kiran Ahmad and Ar. Huzefah Haroon as co-convenors welcomed not only Architects but artists and professionals from the design community making it the first interdisciplinary conference.

Through ‘Designing Narratives’, the entire organising committee’s aim was to make the event more inclusive and create a dialogue amongst the design professionals to bring about necessary awareness and positive change.

The conference sponsored by City Tiles, had Ar. Ejaz Ahed as first day speaker followed by sessions by Swedish based Pakistani Architect Leena Naqvi. The combination of the two brought about unique perspectives about the roles of Fashion and Food within the built environment and its effects on the community.

Day two, introduced us to the influences of human presence on the environment through Sohail Zuberi’s research, followed by Ar. Marvi Mazhar, who raised concerns over protecting the city’s architectural and natural heritage. This was followed by international speaker Ar. Russell Dandeniya’s stories that drew parallels between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and how the nations can learn and adapt each other’s design practices.

The afternoon session introduced Architect Sujata Shakya, a Nepalese architect working in remote areas of the Himalayas, highlighting how architecture is about adaptation and learning from the nature. This was followed by Ar. Sadiah Junaid reflecting the fictitious world of The Arabian Nights within the city of Riyadh where she currently practices. The day was concluded, with Ar. Najeeb Omar’s narration of poetics of space through his series of projects completed throughout his career. Highlighting how Architecture is more than a set of blocks to put together to create a shelter.

The final day of the conference further drew attention to human practises and the sense of space, by Ar. Zehra Aziz who is raising awareness through her project called “Tea Party”. Concluded by Ar. Andy Rehman and internationally acclaimed Indonesian Architect who showcased how important it is to learn from the past to improve architecture of the present and build for the future.

This year IAPEX 2020 not only emphasised on professional practise but also on the education of students and young graduates. The event added a learning forum for students and architects by holding ‘Young Architects Forum’ convened by Ar. Samar Zehra at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture which incorporated sessions from various artists and architects from the design field.

Students from all universities also got the chance to be involved in the IAPEX 2020 as volunteers and participants in the design charette. Design Charette curated by Ar. Hira Zuberi and Ar. Rakshaan Qazi, gave the students a chance to be mentored by young and upcoming designers and artists resulting in a learning inducive three days for all university students.

IAPEX 2020, was concluded with a Gala Night dinner and musical evening with the Qawwal duo of Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad, and a ceremony to honour the new inductees to IAP Fellowship. The architects honoured were Ar. Mujahid Sadiq, Ar. Shahid Abdulla, Ar. Sadia Fazli, Ar. Komal Parvez, Ar. Arshad Faruqui and Ar.Amir Nazir Chaudhary. A special award was also given to Ar. Yasmeen Lari on her recent achievement of the Jane Drew Prize 2020.

The organising committee of the IAPEX 2020 made great efforts to make the event a huge success, and hopes that the next year brings about a wider audience to the platform. They would also like to thank all the sponsors without which this event wouldn’t have been possible.

IAPEX 2020 organizing committee comprised of the following members:

Name: Designation:
Ar. Ramiz Baig Chairman, IAP Karachi Chapter
Ar. Bisma Askari Convenor, IAPEX 2020
Ar. Hussain Kapadia IAPEX Treasurer / Co-Convenor IAPEX 2020
Ar. Mariam Nabi IAPEX Honorary Secretary / Convenor Registration
Ar. Ali Reza Dossal Convenor Conference
Ar. Huzefah Haroon Co-Convenor Conference
Ms. Kiran Ahmed Co-Convenor Conference
Ar. Khadija Tul Kubra Convenor Conference Design
Ms. Rija Siddiqui Co-Convenor Conference Design
Ar. Hira Zuberi Convenor Student Charrette
Ar. Rakshaan Qazi Co-Convenor Student Charrette
Ar. Mishaal Rozina Merchant Convenor Student Expo
Ar. Samar Zehra Convenor Young Architects Forum
Ar. Karim Ali Samnani Convenor Print & Design
Ar. Dabeer Hemani Ar. Dabeer Hemani
Mr. Mah-e-Amsal Co-Convenor Print & Design
Ar. Anwer Quettawala Convenor Architects Portfolio
Ar. Haya Qadri Co-Convenor Architects Portfolio
Ar. Ramnani Hari Convenor Hospitality
Ar. Wasim Sheikhani Ar. Wasim Sheikhani
Ar. Tarique Hussain Co-Convenor Logistics
Ms. Sara Jamil Communication Design Lead
Ms. Tehmina Naqvi IAPEX Marketing Manager
Mr. Farhan Siddiqui Manager Secretariat, IAP Karachi Chapter
Mr. Mohsin Mushtaq Executive Assistant, Secretariat, IAP Karachi Chapter