— Mashhad on his love for architecture
Daakiya translates to "the postman" in Urdu. I wanted to start a platform to share my passion for design, photography, and fashion. I’m also very fond of travelling and exploring new cities and cultures. Putting two and two together I came up with “Daakiya” - the concept is to explore new places & spaces and reflect on them with my aesthetic.
Also, I was drawn by the role a postman plays in our society. The postman constantly moves from house to house barely interacting with anyone and yet absorbing the changing landscape and environment along the way – that is how I see myself with “Daakiya”.
The desert reflects an interesting juxtaposition of the past and present in Dubai. Before all the tall buildings dominated the skyline in Dubai, the people here lived and travelled through the desert and it was part and parcel of their lives for a very long time. Today, it is the oil that is often found beneath the desert surface that serves as a driving force for Dubai to transform itself and plan for the future.
Personally, I am very fond of the desert. It shapes and influences the landscapes and acts as a hideout when you want to disconnect from the city's hustle and bustle.
Absolutely. Being outdoors means breathing the city and its culture. The city offers a wide spectrum of opportunities to train both indoors and outdoors. Although the hot temperatures in the majority of the year can make it harsh to stay outside, early mornings and late afternoons are always great options to exercise outdoors in Dubai. Also, you can be sure to sweat it out and burn some calories just by taking a walk outside in the summer.
When the lockdown was enforced in Dubai, I started reading “The Beautiful Fall” that talks about the ins and outs of fashion in the late '60s and the rivalry between Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.
Art has always been a constant in my life, and that's what led me to study architecture. I must have been five or six years old when I first created a sketch of my dream house. I find it fascinating that I have constantly evolved that very sketch even to this day. The layers represent how my feelings evolved through my experiences with certain people I've crossed paths with.
The layout changed over time; my personal experiences helped guide dimensions of space and placement of objects in my sketch. Reiterating and changing that piece of paper gave me a lot of satisfaction and a sense of comfort. Because of this, from an early age, I have felt a strong connection when it comes to designing spaces. Whenever I needed a quick escape, I drew. I knew that my love for Art would always be a constant and that is what led me to pursue Architecture professionally.
I love to travel, exploring unbeaten tracks, and making new discoveries through my camera. On weekends, I often find myself exploring different parts of Dubai I haven’t visited before, which led me to be an insider for Wallpaper* City Guides for Dubai. I’m also very fond of exercising and training and never miss an opportunity to sign up for a good class!
I think the approach of designing is what influences the outcome more and makes it more personal. The way to understand design is very intrinsic to the way I pursue life, which is reflected in my work. I'm also very passionate and dedicated to my work; my desire to change the "conventional" practice through advanced technology to harness aspects of nature and its behaviour in architectural design.
Creating a sense of space is crucial. My main objective is to change the spaces we design into places that have a meaningful impact on its occupants and visitors. Also, teamwork is essential, as it results in important synergy and creativity.
I always try to explore challenging opportunities that can contribute to revitalise the urban environment. My current project in Dubai - Museum of the Future is a good example. Nowadays, everything is about imagination, and sometimes the experience is forgotten, and it shouldn't be. So, I try to focus on how the people are going to interact with the building in order to maximise their experience there.
I'm always amazed by the power they represent as landmarks in the city. I’ve had the privilege to work with the best teams on very large scale projects that have had a deep impact on shaping the landscape of multiple cities such as Dubai and Singapore. They also represent a part of me, of my ideas of how future societies should live and behave, and I feel very proud to be able to contribute to that.
Undoubtedly, you can feel this, especially in the UAE. This city is a confluence - a junction between the old and new, west and east, of people and cultures. Its influence is taken from the past to inspire generations of the future.
When designing the expansion of Dubai Mall Fashion Avenue, we had to consider that the space does not just serve as a place for shopping but also for reuniting families and friends.
Uniformity always limits creativity, but it can be good in terms of organisation. Cities like Manhattan and its uniformed grid makes them more dynamic and plays a big part in how the city is experienced and enjoyed. You also have cities like Barcelona or Kyoto, where the difference between neighbourhoods is what gives them their personal touch and vitality. I think it all depends on the purpose and the approach at the time, but it's true that less uniformed cities contribute to a more bold and diverse community.
Being at the office for long hours can be risky for the health, so I like to keep active doing some training at home or at the gym, or taking a walk with my companion Mish, a Pekingese dog I adopted five years ago. I spend my free time pursuing my love for art and challenging my techniques to incorporate lines and geometry used in architecture into Figurative Art. Also, I find joy in cooking. Since I've studied abroad for my architecture degree, a good cooking session, Zoom video calls with close friends, and Netflix is how I disconnect and relax from a long day’s work.
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