Project | Rejuvenation of JPMC Waiting Area, Karachi

Innovation in Public Space

A collaboration between the Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) and the Patients’ Aid Foundation (PAF), Karachi, Innovations in Public Space was the first ever project implemented by the foundation in the city of Karachi. LBF seeks to encourage creative, community-centric approaches to public interventions; the design of an outdoor waiting area at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) by artists Naima Dadabhoy and Roohi Ahmed makes manifest one of the many aims of the foundation.

The artists’ vision transformed and rejuvenated an under-utilized, nondescript outdoor waiting area at the JPMC into an easily accessible, therapeutic space for patients. Site-specificity, sustainability along with inspirations drawn from nature served as a wider frame for the creative process; the final design, fashioned out of bamboo, is inclusive of a Neem tree that was already present on the site.

Catering to an underserved demographic of the populace that was previously in need of a hospitable space at the JPMC, the place today teems with men, women and children alike.

Naima Dadabhoy is a multimedia artist whose art practice explores themes of impermanence and disintegration. She has worked in various media including installation, video, print-making, painting, drawing and sculpture and has exhibited widely in Pakistan and internationally.


Roohi Ahmed is a multi-disciplinary artist; her work often draws upon cartographical references in order to investigate the ontological realities of human existence, in a degenerative socio-political and cultural climate. Ahmed is an Associate Professor at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi and holds an MFA from the University of New South Wales, Sydney (UNSW Art & Design). She has exhibited widely in Pakistan and internationally, her work having been featured in the 11th Asian Art Biennial, Dhaka. Ahmed has coordinated the Foundation Programme at IVS, as well as having lectured at the University of Karachi’s Visual Studies Department and UNSW Art & Design, Sydney. She has participated in various international artists’ workshops, including: Britto (Bangladesh); Vasl (Pakistan); and Coast (U.K.), and has also been an artist in residence at Cicada Press (Australia), Coast (UK) and VASL (Pakistan). As well as art-making, Ahmed has curated Simply Paper! and her co-curating credits include: Michael Esson: A Survey of Drawing; Michael Kempson: A Survey of Prints, Aboriginal Dreams, and Let’s Draw the Line; and 6X6: The Labyrinth, in Karachi. Ahmed’s art practice investigates an individual’s relationship with society, and the space in which the two co-inhabit. Borrowing from the conventions of map-making and sewing, her work challenges a purely static notion of such a space to promote a temporal logic that reflects our fluctuating interrelationship with the invisible infrastructures that comprise our societal framework.