Talk: Yasmeen Lari on “Building Resilient Communities by Decolonizing and Decarbonizing Humanitarian Assistance”, December 12 , AKU Auditorium, AKU, Karachi

Yasmeen Lari will talk on ‘Building Resilient Communities by Decolonizing and Decarbonizing Humanitarian Assistance’, Tuesday, December 12 , AKU Auditorium

Yasmeen Lari is a legend in Pakistan and increasingly all over the world. Her impressive journey from international modernism for the elite to zero-carbon architecture for the masses was rewarded on 13th June with the Royal Gold Medal in architecture, the first one approved by King Charles III and only the second woman to receive the Gold Medal in her own right since 1848.

Having completed her education in England at Oxford Brookes University (then Oxford School of Architecture), Yasmeen returned to Pakistan to open her architectural practice in Karachi in 1964 as the first woman to do so, going on to become Pakistan’s star architect. As a pioneer of Brutalism, she built houses for the new lifestyle of the urban middle class in an independent Pakistan. She created urban landmark buildings, as well as social housing. She co-founded the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, dedicated to the research and conservation of the architectural heritage of her country—both the World Heritage Sites in Makli and Lahore, as well as everyday buildings.

Modern architecture was based on the claim to build a better future—today we are living with the consequences: extreme weather events, fossil fuel dependence, and destruction on a planetary scale with building materials such as concrete and steel contributing to much of this damage. Yasmeen is challenging architecture and architects to become responsible for a future in
architecture that works towards ecological justice and “treads lightly on the planet.”

Yasmeen received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Oxford Brooks on 26th May, 2023. And she was the Sir Arthur Marshall Visiting Professor of Sustainable Design and Visiting Fellow at Jesus College, University of Cambridge.