Yasmeen Lari, recognized as the first female architect in Pakistan, has had a significant impact both in her home country and internationally due to her innovative and socially conscious approach to architecture. Through a systemic approach, Lari’s work takes into consideration local culture, site-specific opportunities, and challenges. Born in Pakistan in 1941, Yasmeen Lari moved to London with her family at the age of 15. After graduating from Oxford Brooks School of Architecture, she returned to Pakistan at the age of 23 to establish Lari Associates with her husband, Suhail Zaheer Lari. The couple settled in Karachi. Here, she began to study Pakistan’s ancient towns and the vernacular architecture of earth buildings, igniting her interest in the architectural heritage and traditional techniques of her country. In 1980, she co-founded the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan with her husband, becoming instrumental in the preservation of her country’s rich cultural heritage.
Yasmeen Lari: The Latest Architecture and News
Yasmeen Lari Receives the 2023 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that Professor Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect, will receive the 2023 Royal Gold Medal for architecture. The award, one of the highest honors for architecture and the first to be personally approved by King Charles III, recognizes Yasmeen Lari’s work in championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations. The Royal Gold Metal will be officially presented to Yasmeen Lari in June 2023.
Shaping History: The Impact of Women Architects in Post-Colonial South Asia
In the mid-twentieth century, a set of South Asian countries collectively experienced a catharsis from colonizers’ rule. The period that followed sparked an era of ideas and philosophies for a new future. During this time, architects were pivotal in creating modernist structures that defined the countries’ post-colonial, post-partition and post-imperial identities. South Asian architects used design as an expression of hopeful societal visions, most of which have been actualized. With this success in nation-building, there has been a lack of accreditation for women architects in shaping South Asian histories.
Amid Pakistan’s Devastating Floods, Architects and Urban Planners Are Developing Flood Control Methods
Record monsoon rains, in part due to melting glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountains, have brought devastating floods that have covered over a third of the country’s surface. According to BBC and UN estimates, around 33 million Pakistani, one in seven people, have been affected by the floods, as more than 500,000 houses have been destroyed or severely damaged. Flood waters have also swept away an estimated 700,000 heads of livestock and damaged over 3.6 million acres of crops. The Sindh province is the hardest hit, receiving 464% more rain than the 30-year average.
MoMA Exhibition Explores the Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia
The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA has announced the opening of an exhibition that explores the ways modern architecture in South Asia shaped up "idealistic societal visions and emancipatory politics" of the post-independence period. Titled The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947–1985, the exhibition includes over 200 works, ranging from sketches and drawings to photographs and architecture models sourced from prominent lenders and institutions in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Atelier Bow-Wow, OMA, and Amale Andraos Live From the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale
“Belonging,” the curatorial quintet of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale, After Belonging, argue, “is no longer something bound to one’s own space of residence, or to the territory of a nation.” For this group of Spanish-born architects, academics and theorists—Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio Galán, Carlos Minguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrese Llopis and Marina Otero Verzier—the very notion of our belongings and what it means to belong is becoming increasingly unstable.
After Belonging is the sixth incarnation of the Triennale and the first one in which a single curatorial thread has woven all of the festival’s activities together, including the international conference. The goal of the two primary exhibitions—On Residence and In Residence, including a series of Intervention Strategies—is to develop platforms with the aim of “rehearsing research strategies,” providing new ways for architects to engage with “contemporary changing realities."
International Dialogues – Vernacular Approaches: Yasmeen Lari with Razia Iqbal
The RIBA welcomes Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first woman architect, to discuss her work and the importance of vernacular architecture with BBC Correspondent Razia Iqbal. Over 45,000 disaster relief structures have been built under the direction and influence of Yasmeen Lari since 2010. With an emphasis on vernacular building techniques and materials she produces buildings that not only create a smaller carbon footprint, but also are simple enough to be built by the inhabitants in need.
Forthcoming Exhibition to Examine 'Creation From Catastrophe'
A new exhibition, opening later this month in London, aims to examine the varying ways that cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of natural, or man-made, disasters. Including work by Yasmeen Lari, ELEMENTAL, OMA, Shigeru Ban, NLÉ, Toyo Ito, Metabolism (Kenzo Tange and Kurokawa Kisho) and Sir Christopher Wren, who redesigned London in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666, the exhibition will primarily explore contemporary responses to earthquakes and tsunamis. Posing questions about the fragility of architecture, our relationship to nature, and the power of architects to instigate change, it will ask whether we are facing a paradigm shift in the way that cities and communities recover from destruction.
Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 2, “The Traditional Future”
The second episode of Al Jazeera’s new series “Rebel Architecture” features Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari, who has built over 36,000 houses since 2010 for those affected by Pakistan’s floods and earthquakes. Rather than using the mass-produced housing designs offered by international organizations, Lari implements traditional building techniques and local materials. In this 25-minute episode she returns to the Sindha Valley region to see how her homes survived floods in 2013 and helps villagers in Awaran district who were hit by the 2013 Balochistan earthquake.
Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…
Rebel Architecture: Al Jazeera’s New Series to Feature Activist Architects
On August 18 Al Jazeera will launch “Rebel Architecture,” a new series featuring architects who use design as a form of resistance and activism. By designing for the majority rather than the elite, the architects in “Rebel Architecture” are tackling the world’s urban, environmental and social problems. Through six, half-hour documentaries the series will highlight architects working in Vietnam, Nigeria, Spain, Pakistan, the Occupied West Bank and Brazil.
“In contemporary architecture, people are always concerned with ‘what a beautiful building’; or ‘what a pretty project’ – architecture should be about something more,” said Spanish architect Santi Cirugeda, who will be featured in the series’ first episode. Cirugeda works in Seville reclaiming abandoned urban spaces for the public, despite the fact that self-building is illegal in Spain.