shankari raj

Architect , Nudge Group

Shankari Raj, known to most as Shanks, is peerless within her generation, as a leading architect, teacher and agitator. She has been trying to make the world a better place through architectural design since she founded her practice Nudge Group. Enhancing and empowering social change is at the forefront of the design across Nudge's portfolio, encompassing a thoughtful awareness of the needs of the community. She began her career at the Bartlett School of Architecture then completed her Masters at Sheffield University. Having grown up in Nigeria, Oman and London before settling in Bristol, in 2004 Shanks returned to her motherland to broaden her skills at the world-renowned studio of, Geoffrey Bawa's. Shanks returned to Bristol to set up her own architectural practice, deploying a new confidence in her people centred, curatorial approach. As associate director of the international organisation Local Futures, led by Helena Norberg Hodge, Shanks has developed a firm belief that the world's mainstream perception of progress is problematic and flawed. Through this, and building on her Masters thesis on 'Making development Sustainable', Shanks has developed a thorough understanding of the both positive and negative impacts of development by comparing the construction industries around the world: An understanding gained in the early stages of her architectural journey, that the threats facing humanity were in fact global and interconnected. And it is these frustrations with the big picture of interconnected challenges that have led her to concentrate on co-design, communities, and social change, because in response economic and climatic unrest Shanks firmly believes that engaged and connected communities will be better placed to rise and support each other. It is this that will create resilience. If we can create beautiful spaces to support these connections and better educate people then these are positive steps towards social and environmental change.