The main focus of this exhibition is on contemporary positions. Many of today’s protagonists were students, assistants or companions of Muzharul Islam and in recent decades they have formed an independent architecture scene that carries the societal and architectural concerns of their predecessors forwards in a contemporary way. Again and again, it is this loose group who, despite dynamic global pressure to develop, collectively stand up for architectural values and for an awareness of Bengali culture. The exhibition ‘Bengal Stream’ brings together over 60 projects by established and emerging architects in Bangladesh. One of the most internationally prominent architectural photographers, Iwan Baan, was brought in to document the projects.
The multitude of difficult issues that are caused on a global level and must be addressed locally make the Bangladesh phenomenon a universal case study. The thinking of a previously small architecture nation could thus become a global model for architectural action. An ever-enlarging group of responsible-minded architects are acting in the interests of cultural identity and a contemporary approach to pending problems. One impressive aspect of the very active architectural debate is the fact that the architectural argument is constantly kept in mind. With inventive spatial approaches and innovative detailed solutions, it is being demonstrated that architecture as a discipline is able to provide relevant responses to urgent societal, economic and ecological issues.
With ‘Bengal Stream’ S AM is the first museum worldwide to present an exhibition on Bangladesh’s architecture. In a chequered historical sequence of events, various trends have expressed themselves in different architectural ways, according to religious or socio-cultural developments.
Bengal Stream is the first exhibition in France to focus on the architectural scene in Bangladesh. The exhibition presents over sixty projects demonstrating the extraordinary vibrant architecture scene in their country. Simplicity, adaptability, and an ability to cope with vulnerability are the collective strengths and values of architecture in Bangladesh.