Shabbar Raza

architokyo is written by  Shabbar Raza, an architect and urbanist from Toronto, Canada.

architokyo is an online journal of my adventures in Tokyo, a documentation of my architectural and urban history research, and a forum for the discussion of the research in-progress. The research is informed by the journal but I have tried to organize it so that casual observers can keep abreast of my personal accounts without having to wade into the depths of urban and architectural theory. For those who are interested in delving further, I will have a selection of my written and graphic work underway while at the University of Tokyo as well as previous research conducted at Harvard.

I’m an architect and urbanist who has lived and studied primarily in Canada, the United States and Japan. I was born in Dubai and grew up in Toronto, both of which I consider my hometowns. I’m passionate about cities and have traveled, worked, studied and researched in places as far-flung as Rome, London, Montreal, Tokyo, Kyoto, New York, Boston / Cambridge, Vancouver, and Karachi to name a few.

I’m currently doing my PhD at Tokyo University, which is funded by MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan) Research Studies scholarship. I’m delving into cities further by researching mega-city transportation networks and public space in the biggest city on earth. I live in my research, so to speak, experiencing the orderly chaos of a vast yet stunningly efficient city everyday.

Prior to my doctoral research, I completed a post-professional Master in Design Studies (MDesS ’09) degree with a concentration in Urbanization and Housing in the Advanced Studies Program at the Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University. I became interested in pursuing doctoral level work to continue a research trajectory on grid urbanism started at the GSD.

I completed a professional Master of Architecture (MArch. ‘06) at the John. H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto and an undergraduate Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES. ‘00) in pre-professional architecture with Honours at the University of Waterloo.

I have had opportunities to teach as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Toronto, as a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and as an Urban Planning and Design Instructor at Harvard University.

I have worked as a professional architect in Toronto and New York for nearly six years at firms such as, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Taylor Smyth Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. My work primarily focused on University buildings and private residences. I have also worked independently, having started my own firm in 2008 and completing a private residence exterior deck project in Toronto, and a restaurant project in Port Elgin, Ontario.

I think life is all about pursuing one’s dreams without compromise and taking (calculated) risks. These words have always spoken to me:

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

Oscar Wilde

Copyright © 2012 Shabbar Sagarwala, All Rights Reserved. Any unauthorised commercial reproduction or distribution in part or in full will constitute an infringement of copyright. Permission granted to reproduce for educational use only.


6 thoughts on “about

  1. Thanks Shabbar for sharing your work! This site both stimulating and a fantastic resource as am currently researching both Auckland and Tokyo seeking an alterative approach to conceptualing spatial organization in planning.

  2. Hi Raza: I like your blog posts from Tokyo. I am one of the editors of planyourcity blog. I would like you to consider writing a post for us occasionally. I lived in Waterloo and Toronto. We would be really interested in planning and urban design issues in Tokyo. Please let me know if you can spare some time to write for us. Thanks.

    Syed Ahmed

  3. Hi there!
    In the course of my research about my final thesis for which I will come to Tokyo in October 2014 to study at the university of tokyo I came across your blog and your specialisation on public transportation hubs sounds very interesting to me as I am going to work with them as well. Right now I am studying in Vienna at the Technical University and it would be great to connect as I will spend 6 months in Tokyo.
    Thank you for sharing your approaches and thoughts!

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