Akash is an Architectural and Urban Designer at Collingridge and Smith Architects. He studied at Unitec, gaining a Bachelor of Architecture in 2015, and has completed his Master of Architecture (Professional) and Urban Design qualifications from the University of Auckland in 2019.
He entered his Masters Urban Design project ‘Toitu Kāinga: The Home of the Sustainer’ into the DINZ 2019 Best Awards student spatial and public good category, gaining a silver and bronze award for his innovative and sustainable community design project.
Akash’s architectural journey is influenced by his Indian heritage and upbringing in Aotearoa. His thesis, ‘In Search of My Bindu: A Place to Stand’, investigated the Hindu and Māori cultures to create a place, Bindu, for New Zealand-Indians. The word ‘Bindu’ means the centre of the universe, home or place of belonging. He found the two cultures shared strong similarities as his findings revealed a total of fifteen ways the architectural language could be expressed and communicated across both cultures. Using these learnings, he was able to develop an architectural language to design a community centre which was of a hybrid Hindu and Māori Architecture. He applied the spiritual process to his design because he strongly believes that you also develop the energy in the space when you design the building. This thesis went on to win Bronze at the DINZ 2020 Best Design Awards in the Public Good and Toitanga categories. Silver at the International Design Awards 2020 in three categories, Architecture Mix-Use Architectural Design, Architecture Urban Design, and Architecture – Landmarks, symbolic structure, memorials, public.
He is a great believer in Muhammad Ali’s quote about champions. Especially the last line, which reads ‘But the will must be stronger than the skill’. No matter what the skill set, greatness can be achieved by drive, desire, and determination.
Since joining the practice full-time, Akash’s highly motivated approach to life has made him a great addition to our team. His key interest in powerful community and urban spaces reflects his personal vision of creating sustainable architecture for our past, present, and future generations.
“We design spaces, and spaces design us.” – Akash Kumar