Intersections : Where the Bus StopsArt in Public Spaces
Where the Bus Stops, the second public art project in the Intersections series, is a collaboration between the Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF), the Commissioner’s Office, Lahore, the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), the Lahore Transport Company (LTC), the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT). In January 2016, LBF launched an open call for creative practitioners in the fields of art, architecture, urban planning and other relevant disciplines, to source design solutions for six LTC bus stops along the city’s central routes.
Winning proposals now mark vital spaces within Lahore’s transportation network with their distinct brand of visual identity. The project has aimed to be instrumental in creating infrastructural support that is mindful of the interests of all of its stakeholders, especially those of its end users. The output is highly functional in nature, providing comfort to the city’s many commuters.
Where the Bus Stops is a project that carries in it the ethos of what LBF is truly about. The approach to all of our programs conducted within the public realm is to bring together diverse thinkers, practitioners and partners in such a way that outputs and outcomes generate new synergy that is collectively more effective than any isolated effort. By working with, and mobilising its partners, LBF has been able to champion this goal, as well as look out for the interests of all parties involved including those of the public.
Through an exhaustive two-stage jury process that took place in March 2016, the designs were judged on the basis of functionality, cost effectiveness, comfort, project sustainability, along with how intelligently the design responded to its context. The jury collectively consisted of Imrana Tiwana, renowned architect and environmentalist; Mr. Waqar Aziz, architect and Head of Department at CIIT; professionals from SIL, LUMS; Abdullah Sumbal, Commissioner Lahore; and Mian Shakeel Ahmed, Director General PHA.
Anique Azhar & Ayesha Sarfraz
Anita Nadeem, Saniya Jafri, Umer Farooq
Bibi Hajra Cheema & Mehmooda Khan
Musa Jadoon & Saman Malik
Rashid Rasheed (SRDW)
In May 2016, the 48 sites designated for this project came alive as the designs moved on to the construction phase. Lahore’s busiest areas around the Jail Road, M. M. Alam Road, Gulberg, Dharampura, Canal Road, and the Punjab University now benefit from this public intervention. Although seemingly small if viewed in complete isolation, each bus stop serves as part of a much larger network that has been developed by LBF and its partners with the hope of providing support and comfort to Lahore’s citizenry. Five out of six designs have been completed so far, and the bus stops have been assimilated into the city’s transport infrastructure seamlessly. The public continues to use them regularly with much vigour, especially along the routes of Jail Road and Gulberg.
Anique Azhar is a co-founder of the Lahore based studio, MAS Architects. He was previously the principle architect of the design firm, Des-arc and has worked with OHA Design Works. He has also been a visiting faculty member at the National College of Arts. Mr. Azhar graduated with a distinction at the National College of Arts in Lahore in 2012. His works have been published in journals in both North America and the United Kingdom. Aside from architecture his interests include illustration and graphic design.
Ayesha Sarfraz is a co-founder of the Lahore based studio, MAS Architects. She is also a visiting faculty member at COMSATS, Lahore. She was previously working at the Office for Conservation and Community Outreach (OCCO) and has taught design studio at the National College of Arts. She holds a keen interest in writing and research and has been presenting her work at various European conferences. Ms. Sarfraz was a Fulbright scholar and has a Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She earned her undergraduate degree in architecture with a distinction from the National College of Arts in 2007.
Musa Jadoon is a lecturer and design instructor at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT Lahore). He has been involved in projects, competitions, and the academia since graduating from The University of Edinburgh University with a Bachelor in Architecture. He holds a Masters degree in Design Research from Bauhaus Dessau in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence Image-Knowledge-Gestaltung of Humboldt University of Berlin. His research interests revolve around creativity, learning, science, knowledge, and artistic/social paradigms. Jadoon’s research attempts to address the gap between design education and professional practice. His recent work, titled Thinking Through Making, explores the stages and sequences in ‘making’ as an embodied way of thinking in design studio pedagogy.
Zeeshan Sarwar completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Razia Hassan School of Architecture – Beaconhouse National University (BNU-RHSA), in 2011. After working for two years in prestigious architectural firms in Lahore, he has since joined the RHSA faculty. His experience with construction has lent itself to a very critical understanding of the various pedagogy as well as a constantly evolving curriculum and course outlines for the building materials and construction details courses offered to B. Arch students in their second year at BNU.
Social Innovation Lab, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)
Prior to final selection, experts from the Social Innovation Lab at LUMS conducted in-depth workshops on human-centered design for the shortlisted candidates. Regular fieldwork and visits were a part of the development process, with particular existing bus stops diligently tested in an attempt to understand user turnover, habits and preferences. Safety, accessibility, feasibility and practicality of the proposed design was assessed by the architects on site. Designs were further altered and developed over a course of two weeks, and the final winners were then selected to proceed.