Yusra Ansari, a fifth year Jamia student of architecture, was recently declared second prize winner of the prestigious Landscape Foundation Students Design Competition 2014 titled “Seen-Unseen” organized by the Landscape Foundation of India. The second place prize also carried with it a cash prize of Rs. 30,000.
The competition required students to think of a random physical backdrop which they think has the potential of being perceived despite being abstract and thus in a way highlight the thought of seeing the unseen. Their design was expected to communicate the unique sense of experience and a sense of place that it creates.
Speaking about her design of choice for the competition, Yusra said:
Passing by the Gazipur landfill site a few years back, I could experience atrocious environment even before actually seeing the landfill. The whole area has a crummy ambiance and the stinking overflowing mounds of filth is the reason behind it. Everyone looks and points out the dirty conditions but the fact that people conveniently ignore is that it is their deed and every single person on the planet is responsible for the same.
The unseen character of this place deserves a chance to be seen. The repetition of experience over long periods of time creates the idea of a place and the landfill is just an impression of the seen representation of it.
However, such an idea of a landscape is formed by the balance of the SEEN mounds of overflowing filth with the UNSEEN admirable character it requires. We cannot freeze people and places in some abstract space, but should rather aim to ﬁll in the distance between the spatial representations of the world with our everyday experience of it.
The whole seen-unseen scenario will be set to reverse itself, once the site is developed. The landfill will be seen as a space which is beneficial to everyone sitting right over the filth which had decreased the positive character over these long years.
When Jamia Journal asked Yusra how she felt when she found out she had won, she said:
“I was extremely happy when I got the news and was certainly beaming for the whole day. What felt extremely nice was the congratulating wishes I got from everybody.”
The formal award ceremony is scheduled to take place in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 22nd Nov. 2014.[EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re a Jamia student and you have a similar story of some personal achievement, then do share your story with us. Email us at editor[at]jamiajournal.com]