Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art. This fall and early winter, Current Work spotlights influential and innovative design practices that bring widely varying perspectives to contemporary housing challenges.
Yasmeen Lari is the cofounder and CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, an organization working to conserve the nation’s historic art and architecture while providing large-scale humanitarian aid to local communities. Since the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, she has refocused her career on traditional materials, technologies, and architectures in a process she describes as “unlearning.” Positing a sustainable, grassroots model for the development of Pakistan’s built environment, she advocates for “barefoot social architecture,” a women-centered, carbon-neutral approach to housing that emphasizes co-creation and the use of sustainable materials like bamboo, lime, and mud. Under Lari’s leadership, the Heritage Foundation has helped build over 40,000 carbon-neutral structures across Pakistan.
The program will be moderated by urbanist, filmmaker, and writer Cassim Shepard. Shepard teaches in the urban design program at Columbia GSAPP and consults for mission-driven organizations on editorial and media strategy, public engagement, and urban planning projects. He was the founding editor of Urban Omnibus.
The event is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.