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Pallavi was raised in the UAE and spent much of her childhood in Sharjah her parents moved to the emirates in the 70s , culminating in five years studying architecture at the American University of Sharjah. Today she teaches as adjunct faculty and her firm Pallavi Dean Interiors, while based in Dubai Design District, is working on a string of projects across Sharjah. But more than that, you have to realise that Sharjah is much, much more than a commuter town: so many cool design junkies I know live, work and play in Sharjah.
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Pallavi choose the sweeping Al Majaz waterfront as her first location. Despite having only signed a two-year contract, with the intention of returning to the Gulf, Jackson went on to work in Africa for 27 years, initially in Zambia, then settling in Zimbabwe, with projects in Mozambique and Botswana.
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In Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, Jackson jointly established his own practice, Architects Partnership, with much of his early work tending to the development needs of rural areas. We offered a variety of facilities, depending on the priorities of each local authority.
From a sample group of key district councils, we were able to offer a significant variety of different market centres, tailored to local needs. Architects Partnership also delivered projects in Zimbabwe for people who had missed out on much of their secondary education during the war of liberation, and now needed to learn basic skills. These projects were usually undertaken using finance from international non-governmental organisations.
I always had an interest in architecture without architects, which is why I was fascinated by the wind-tower houses in the UAE. Throughout his career, Jackson has written a number of books that contribute to the ongoing understanding of vernacular and historic buildings. The publication was the first to document the fading building tradition in the UAE.
He also published a further book on this type of building in , entitled Windtower. In , Jackson wrote Historic Buildings of Harare, which explained the architectural importance of these buildings in the identity of the post-colonial city, and offered planning strategies to make their survival economically viable. The country had changed — it was the early s, and after 30 years, many expatriate architecture firms had found a footing and were now locally based.
Jackson found himself missing the community focus of much of his work in Africa, but after being invited to join Brian Johnson at Godwin Austen Johnson GAJ , his professional enthusiasm was rekindled.