Hajara Hameed—Michael C. Miller Travel Award

About the Award
Submit a 500 word essay to demonstrate why they would like to travel and what they might achieve from this funding.

The place I wish to travel is India, to be specific the Taj Mahal. I was born in India and had moved to Canada when I was two years old, my parents showed me pictures of me at Taj Mahal before we moved to Canada. However, since I went at such a young age, I do not have any memory or recollection of my trip there.

The Taj Mahal is considered to be India’s greatest treasure, the largest tourist attraction in India. To me it’s a little different than just a tourist attraction, it holds value to my roots and ancestry as I was born in India and raised in an Indian household. In addition, it holds great value to my career as an architect, it demonstrates the full potential of Asian architecture. How back in the day the attention to detail and construction was different, and very difficult but still possible in these conditions. It shows what value these buildings hold the cities, areas and also the countries they are in. The economical value, the historical value and also the value holes to its citizens. The Mughal Indo-Islamic architecture created using a marble structure is so detailed and intricate; To see the joinery and details of each piece of marble being put together, to see the crevice’s up close really shows the reality of the structure. It goes form a vision and just an image to reality, as it is difficult to understand the scale and details of this beauty through photos.
I would like to travel to India to get a better understanding of Indian architecture. I would like to see it, touch it, be beside it, fell the space and be in the space, because that is how to really experience architecture to its full potential. In school we are mostly taught the history of European architecture, I would like to see more of Asian architecture. I would like to learn the history behind architecture of the place, but not only the well-known buildings the common ones too. I would like to explore the dwellings, the malls, the infrastructure of the place. How the architecture makes up the urban landscape and shapes the cities of India. How this goes on to affect the many citizens of India, and what the plans are for the future of Indian architecture.

I believe this funding will give me a chance to go back to my home country and be reunited with its land and architecture. As an architecture student isn’t that really the dream, to be able to see the architecture of the world. Coming form a low-income family I have never really had the opportunity to travel much, but I would like to start from India, as that is where my journey truly began in the year 2000.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.