Blueprint for Decolonisation

Join us for a half-day symposium exploring steps towards a decolonised architectural education with Karl Mok, Dr Kamna Patel, Ming Cheng, Sanaa Shaikh, Khensani de Klerk and Shumi Bose


02:00pm, Tuesday, 30 March 2021


05:00pm, Tuesday, 30 March 2021

All talks are free and accessible to everyone, but for security reasons, we do require attendees to have a registered Zoom account.

All times are stated in UK time (GMT)


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The racialisation of space has its roots in colonial practices that sought to wield control over people perceived as ‘Other’. If the future of practice begins with education, how has the practice of ‘othering’ become absorbed into the structure of education?

Join us for a half-day symposium in collaboration with the recently established Asian Architects Association (AAA) exploring the steps towards a decolonised architectural education. Chaired by AAA co-founder Karl Mok, the discussion will seek to propose a blueprint for the future of architectural education, with panelists and students alike sharing their thoughts and experiences. Karl is joined by Dr Kamna Patel, Associate Professor at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, Ming Cheng, tutor at the London School of Architecture, Sanaa Shaikh, tutor at Oxford Brookes and director of Native Studio, Khensani de Klerk, founder of Matri-Archi(tecture) and researcher at Cambridge, and Shumi Bose, Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins.

The symposium invites an open dialogue with those who have felt oppressed now or in the past by traditional architectural curriculm.

Asian Architects Association (AAA) is an emerging forum that promotes, examines and debates the work of asian architects. The AAA was founded by Sumita Singha, Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, Ming Cheng, Vinesh Pomal and Karl Mok.



Karl Mok is an educator and entrepreneur. He is a Design Tutor at Newcastle University and the founder of spatial design practice TA!LAB. Originating from Malaysia, his professional interests lie with alternative practice and democratising design education.



Khensani de Klerk is an architectural designer and planner from Johannesburg. Her efforts are centred on gender empowerment in the architectural industry and practicing intersectionality through research and practice. She is the founder and co-director of Matri-Archi(tecture) which is a collective that empowers African women as a network dedicated to African spatial education and development. She is currently reading an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (RIBA II) at the University of Cambridge with her research focusing on safe space, infrastructure and social provision with aims to reduce Gender-based violence in cities. Her work is currently based between South Africa and Switzerland and is located at the intersection of architecture, social science and public policy. Khensani is also an occasional editorial contributor at The Architectural Review in London. 

Sanaa Shaikh is an Architect, educator and activist with a passion for inclusion in the built environment. After graduating from the Bartlett and the Architectural Association, she worked for a number of practices in London. She was a partner at MAKE for 5 years leading large scale commercial projects in the Bahamas, Mumbai and Birmingham. She then practiced at Studio Egret West working with larger scale masterplans and residential projects in London concentrating on the symbiosis of nature and the built environment. Simultaneously she has worked to encourage wider participation in the built environment from marginalised groups and has designed, led and participated in workshops with the Stephen Lawrence Foundation, Construction Youth Trust, Open City and the Manchester Museum. Sanaa teaches, examines and critiques at various universities, encouraging the discourse between education and practice at the Architectural Association, Oxford Brookes University and Central Saint Martins. She is a director at Native Studio, an architecture practice that seeks to create accessible and inclusive places and spaces. Through investigating the physical, social and cultural environments specific to a place, they look to enhance and enrich these qualities in their approach towards the built environment.

Shumi Bose is an architectural historian, curator and teacher. She is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Central Saint Martins, covering architectural history, theory and broader cultural issues. She also teaches Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art.
 Shumi has worked as curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects since 2017; exhibitions include Freestyle: Architectural Adventures in Mass Media (2020) with Space Popular, and A Home For All: Six Experiments in Social Housing (2018). In 2016, she co-curated Home Economics, the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, alongside Jack Self and Finn Williams. 
Shumi works as an editor on books on architecture, regularly contributing to publications including Pin Up, Log and Metropolis. Recent publications include Spatial Practices: Modes of Action and Engagement with the City (ed. Mel Dodd, Routledge, 2019), Wherever You Find People (Park Books, 2017) and Home Economics (The Spaces, 2016). 

Ming Cheng is an architect, town planner, urban designer and educator. He is a Director of Urban Architecture and a co-founder of Place Profile, a data-driven architecture and urban design consultancy that use empirical data to analyse cities and to design sustainable masterplans. Outside of private practice, Ming remains in contact with his universities to carry out research and academic teaching. He is a visiting lecturer/dissertation tutor at The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, a design tutor at The London School of Architecture and the University of Suffolk. He has worked on a diverse range of projects both in the UK, the US and overseas, from one-off urban infill housing project on behalf of Islington Council, school and cultural projects in England, regeneration of the dockyards in Cardiff, Town Hall campus regeneration masterplan for Waltham Forest Council to a 20-year university campus masterplan in New Zealand.

Dr Kamna Patel is an Associate Professor at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit and is The Bartlett’s – and UCL’s – first Vice-Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Throughout her appointment her aim is to move The Bartlett away from EDI’s “low-hanging fruit” and into space of long-term strategies to reform structures of how equality can be embedded within the university. In addition, Dr Patel is the co-curator and project lead of 'Race' and Space, a new curriculum that has been developed by The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment. It responds to a need for greater understanding of race and where and how it affects the built environment, and a demand for practical sources of support for teachers and learners.