MSA Monograph launched in Islamabad Report by Ar. Saamee S. Mufti, Moderator Event A very unique evening was planned in Islamabad in the Polo Grounds of Islamabad Club on August 20, 2016, a first of its kind event under the banner of ARCASIA Committee on Young Architects, ACYA & Zone A, ARCASIA. The ARCASIA Young Architects Collaborative celebrated the book launch of young award winning couple Syed Fawad Hussain and his wife Leena Hassan. Fawad is an architect while Leena is an interior designer and practice in Lahore, Pakistan. After winning their first International Award this March 2016 from Architectural Digest India they published their first monograph called Assemblage. The 3rd ARCASIA Young Architects Collaborative was organized on the 20th of August, 2016 at the beautifully articulate and intricately designed Islamabad Club Polo Grounds on a pleasant Saturday evening; the venue for the launch was generously authored by Ar. Suhail Abbasi and Ar. Fawad Suhail Abbasi, and presented an immaculately designed platform that suited the themes within the building as well. Attendees to the book launch included senior architects, fellow professionals and budding students, accompanied by their friends and family: they all gathered in anticipation to hear the star studded list of speakers for the evening. Upon the commencement of the evening with the national anthem, the gathering was introduced to the book Assemblage as a compilation of discourse, an anthology of design and an architectural monograph that has been painstakingly and thoughtfully compiled by the brains behind the Metropolitan Studio of Architecture (MSA): Ar. Fawad Hussain and designer Leena Hassan. The event was introduced by the master of ceremony as being more than a mere book launch: it was an evening of celebration. The introduction of Assemblage to its potential readers could be understood as a celebration of carte blanche architectural expression: a celebration of contemplative introspection and willful self-examination and self-analysis based on both observation and rumination. The audience was introduced to the essence of Assemblage and how, as a book, it represented a dialogue of the self and the within; a discussion between the design and its designer. The book debates different perspectives on thought and action in architecture; within the context of the work done by MSA. The Studio was introduced as beginning with a modest 2 person practice that has now grown into a studio of designers, visualizes and thinkers who work keeping in mind their philosophy of imbuing spaces with experience. Furthermore the audience were reminded that Assemblage is a book beyond mere compilations of pretty pictures and fancy words: It is the consequence of the two minds behind MSA that resonate together: Of Architect Syed Fawad Hussain and Designer Leena Hassan, Of his background in Architecture and philosophy and her study of Interior design, art and psychology, Of his flair for tectonic form and her panache for formulative spaces. Their book is the materialization of Fawad and Leena’s work, their beliefs, ideas and ideologies, all captured in an analytical framework. In order to fully realize the true significance of Assemblage, its spirit, its essence and its embedded truths, Ar. Fawad Hussain was invited onto the stage. He is an Associate professor and coordinator at the proposed University of Culture and Art UCA, the former Lecturer at NCA Lahore, Former Lecturer for the Architecture Department at the prestigious Punjab University and Principal Architect of Metropolitan Studio of Architecture. Our first notable speaker of the evening was the co-designer of the venue today, Ar. Fawad Abbasi. He is currently the Chairman of ACYA, ARCASIA Committee on Young Architects and past Chairman of IAP Rawalpindi-Islamabad Chapter and a very close friend to the author of the book. He advised the younger architects to indulge in similar projects and not be scared to show whatever big or small they manage to do early on in their careers. He said we learn from each project but the most important part is to understand the process, the design phase, project implementation and supervision till its completion. We need to make sure to stay involved till the end. Following him, we had the honor of hearing the thoughts of Ar. Shama Usman, the former chairperson of PCATP and her experience with the founders of MSA. She was delighted to see their publication and the process behind it. She emphasized the need to see more architects involved in projects like these. We also had the pleasure of listening to Architect Rai Karam Elahi the youngest speaker on the panel, a recent graduate of the NUST School of Art Design and Architecture (SADA), an employee of MSA and a protégé of Ar. Fawad Hussain. The Honorary Treasurer of the IAP Rawalpindi-Islamabad Chapter, Ar. Rana Atif Rehman also spoke on the event, he has also contributed to Assemblage in the form of photo documentation for MSA’s architectural Ventures and talked about his association with the couple in the last few years. Other speakers included Architects Ali Umer Alvie, Eibne Sajjad, and Dawar Zia. They all talked about their experiences and the book setting new standards for startups, young and even senior architects to document their work more. Many Asian countries have worked in this direction and been very successful in showcasing projects of all scales. It has given their country a lot of recognition. Two senior renowned architects of the country also took the stage to share their thoughts with us: Ar. Sikander Ajam Khan, Principal of SADA-NUST and the respected Co-author of the venue and the Principal architect of Suhail and Fawad Architects: Architect Suhail Abbasi. They both spoke about the Assemblage and its contents and how important it is to have more such books published by the younger generation of architects of the country. In the last few years one has seen some work published of Pakistani architects but one needs to see more effort by the upcoming architects of the region. They were both very hopeful of the youth and what they have achieved so far. Finally towards the end of the event we had the pleasure of hearing the thoughts of the principal architect of SHATOTTO and the recipient of the World Architectural Community Award amongst many other national & international awards: Architect Rafiq Azam, who was the Chief Guest. He spoke a great deal on his association with the couple and what this book meant to him from a fairly young firm that has been able to represent their country internationally and won their first international award which is surely a huge achievement. He congratulated the couple for inviting him to this very impressive book launch and was really happy to see a lot of young architects present at the venue to celebrate it amongst some senior names that graced the occasion to support Fawad & Leena. He thanked everyone for their hospitality every time he is in Pakistan. It was a well-spent evening, which will be remembered by all for many years to come.

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