Dr Shams Naga is the founder, principal and managing director of Naga Architects. He is the holder of three masters degrees and a Phd and one of the leading voices in both the theory and practice of the profession in the Middle East.
What is your over-riding philosophy when it comes to architecture?
In my experience, successful architecture cannot be achieved by any singular idea – it requires a harmonious interweaving of the metrics surrounding a design project.
These may range from grand items, such as a building orientation, to items like the arrangement of cabinets and drawers in a kitchen. In my design approach, I ensure nothing is overlooked – every part and corner of the project is molded with the highest integrity and commitment. As a study of culture, I also see architecture as a futurist profession.
Many buildings take decades from conception to construction completion and some buildings are already architecturally obsolete by the time they are open for occupancy. I think the most significant challenge in architecture is a cultural one – finding design solutions that are long lasting and continue to be relevant for many future generations.
How can buildings make a positive impact on the lives of people, especially in developing countries? How do you see the relationship between a building and its occupants? As designers of buildings, architects make decisions that have a direct impact on the people who use them.
We all have our own concepts of beauty, but there are certain things that we can all agree are fundamental to a comfortable existence: views, space, daylight, and ventilation. When buildings transcend their shelter-providing function, they can provide occupants with peace and tranquility.
A harmonious combination of these elements will lead to a positive environment for the building occupants, no matter where the building is located.