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Threads of time: supporting India's craftsmanship through architectural design

MArch graduate, Warren D'Souza tells us how his time at Bath shaped his architectural vision and led to him winning the 3DReid student prize in 2023.

Weaving history, tradition and innovation

Master of Architecture alumnus Warren D'Souza working with design model in front of a wall of his architectural design drawings of his project
Warren at the review of his final-year project

Warren's MArch final year project, "Threads of Time," is a Museum and Creative Centre for textiles in Udaipur, India. Located at the edge of Udaipur's historic old city, this project aims to revive the city's lost textile bazaar. It reconnects the city with its textile heritage and supports the future of Indian craftsmanship. The building is divided into three main sections: The Museum, The Craft Centre, and The Community Centre. These sections form an interwoven network promoting sustainable textile culture and educating the public on the circular journey of fabric.

The project's vision emerged from a master plan group project during the first semester of Warren's master’s study. A visit to Udaipur, sponsored by Studio Saar, revealed the city's rapid urbanisation and the stark contrast between its growth and fading traditions. Textiles emerged as a unifying symbol, inspiring Warren to design a project that bridges tradition and modernity. His design process involved studying local vernacular architecture, material use, and climate-responsive strategies, evolving through sketches, models, and CAD.

Winning the 2023 3DReid Student Prize was a significant milestone for Warren. The journey from being shortlisted to presenting at the finals in London was both gratifying and reflective. The experience of presenting his project to industry professionals, receiving their feedback, and ultimately winning the prize validated his hard work and reinforced the value of projects with a regenerative vision for the future.

Reflections, insights and a promising future

Master of Architecture alumnus Warren D'Souza standing in Bath Old Town in his graduation gown
Warren graduating with a Master of Architecture degree

This winning project was a culmination of his learning at Bath, allowing him to express his architectural approach and address real-world challenges. The experience taught him to be curious and self-critical, ensuring his designs were holistic and impactful. His advice to future MArch students is to immerse themselves in the design process, enjoy the journey, and trust that the outcome will follow naturally.

Warren chose to pursue his Master of Architecture (MArch) at Bath due to his positive experience as an undergraduate here. The high teaching standards, excellent facilities, and creatively stimulating environment made continuing his academic journey here the obvious choice. The unique structure of the MArch course, which blends professional experience, experimentation, and urban-scale design projects, provided an ideal platform for Warren to explore his architectural interests.

After graduating, Warren expanded his skill set with animation and freelance projects. Currently, he works as a Part 2 Architectural Assistant at Hayhurst & Co in London, with plans to qualify as an Architect. The skills and experiences from his time at Bath continue to shape his professional journey, providing a strong foundation for his future endeavours.

Threads of Time by Warren D'Souza

Design files of Warren's award-winning project

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