Indian architect Nuru Karim transcends the conventional with a transformative, sustainable and progressive design approach.

Architecture is a complex system of relationships between programme and function, emotion and practicality, tradition, and experimentation. Nuru Karim, the award-winning architect and founder of Mumbai-based multi-disciplinary studio, Nudes, strikes that elusive balance with his forward-thinking and progressive design solutions.

BAORI | India

This experimental housing project derives its name from the Indian word for water wells. What may seem like a highly unusual form for a building that seeks to explore housing models for India’s vast agrarian community, is both an exercise in finding a new way of life and uplifting the country’s most vital sectors.  When complete, the mixed-use proposal will house living spaces and farmer markets. Integrated into the building’s designated zones, Hydroponic systems, and sustainable technologies will equip the community to face the future of farming.


Paying homage to the role of illumination in Islamic architecture, Nur explores the combination of light and built form to create a spiritual experience. Light bounces off the doubly curved surfaces and filters through the ‘mashrabiya’ apertures. Their seemingly complex composition is generated from simple repetition of Islamic geometries. Whilst creating an enchanting display of dappled light, the architectural system also protects the inhabitants from intense sunlight and provides a cooling environment. The ‘mosque of light’ is proposed for the Dubai Creek Harbor development.

Straw Bale School│ Malawi  

Nudes developed a conceptual design for a secondary school in Malawi constructed entirely from straw bales. The modular concept is based on a timber framework comprising a series of ladder-like wooden A-frames. The horizontal treads within the structure provide support to hold the hay bales that make up the exterior shell. The framework is composed of curvilinear forms that open up to accommodate the school's various programmatic functions, whilst offering a sustainable design solution for future growth and adaptability.

Cardboard Bombay │India 

Apart from the shell, core, and services, everything else at this Mumbai café is made from biodegradable material. Multiple layers of the humble, everyday material were compressed and precision cut to create the interiors scheme – from curved wall panels to tables, chairs, benches, and bespoke lighting. Karim wanted to highlight the durability of this material as a solution for sustainable design. 

BAD | India

The BAD Yoga building features a ‘skin’ of 25,992 receptors - recycled PVC electrical conduits - grafted onto a CNC-ed aluminum composite box-panel structure with surgical precision. The porous, perforated nature of the exterior cladding allows this Mumbai project to insulated from typically high levels of air and sound pollution, and yet reinforce the relationship of its interior with its surroundings. Rough ‘true to material’ textures draped in a striking black-on-black composition lend a life-like quality to the undulating exoskeleton.


A severe gap in access to Personal Protective Equipment across India prompted Karim to launch an initiative rallying the country’s creative community to explore open-source ‘design and make’ techniques including 3D printing, Laser cutting, Injection Moulding, and Origami. Corralling home-grown 3D printing communities to combat COVID-19, #WethePPEople is a remarkable story of human resilience wired by technology.


To find out more about Nuru Karim and his design studio Nudes, click here.