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March 28, 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Land Suspended in Water

Built on a clay mound and surrounded by three rivers, Dhaka, Bangladesh is home to one of the densest populations in the world.  
©KieranTimberlake

Partner Stephen Kieran was a guest earlier this month on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, New York City's NPR station. Focusing on his work with fellow partner James Timberlake on the Dhaka Design-Research Laboratory, Kieran discussed the challenges facing the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as the book inspired by their research, Alluvium: Dhaka, Bangladesh, in the Crossroads of Water
 
Home to a population three times as dense as Manhattan and built on a constantly changing floodplain, Dhaka is one of the most extreme cities on earth. Kieran and Timberlake have been working with the University of Pennsylvania School of Design for nearly a decade in a research design studio that studies the relationship between the people of Dhaka and the various waterways that connect the city. Their research has culminated in their book Alluvium.  
 
When asked about the book's title, Kieran stated that "we in the U.S. really think of land and water as very separate things. [Bangladeshis] as people don't have a sense of the otherness or separateness between land and water. They think of the two as one in the same. Hence the term "alluvium," which is land suspended in water." 
 
To listen to the full interview, click here.