Founder and architect|
Shankari Raj, known to most as Shanks, is peerless within her generation, as a leading architect, teacher and agitator. Shankari Raj has been trying to make the world a better place through architectural design since she founded her practice Nudge. Enhancing and empowering social change is at the forefront of the design across Nudge’s portfolio, encompassing a people centred, curatorial approach. She was born in Srilanka and grown up in Nigeria, Oman, Toronto and London before settling in Bristol.
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.
Shanks’s practice Nudge is a versatile architecture collective with a strong reputation for designing and delivering spaces that enable people to innovate, be bold, work, muse and reflect. She founded the practice to challenge traditional approaches to architecture head-on, focusing on community led, sustainable design processes and takes the approach of hiring people on job-by-job basis, in order to better embed the project and its participants in their place. Since 2013, Nudge has developed a growing portfolio of award-winning spaces in the UK and beyond. Recent projects include, The GreenWay project, OVO Energy headquarters, Engine Shed, and...