KARACHI: Yasmeen Lari made history when she became the Pakistani
first female architect in the 1960s. Today, more than five decades later, it continues its fine work and global recognition by winning one of architecture’s most coveted awards, the Royal Gold Medal.
Yasmeen Lari is now the second woman, after Zaha Hadid, to win the prestigious prize awarded to her by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Royal Gold Medal is awarded to someone who has had “significant influence on the advancement of architecture”. And according to the RIBA, they “recognize the work of Yasmeen Lari who champions the concepts of zero carbon self-construction for displaced populations”.
RIBA describes Lari as a “revolutionary force in Pakistan”. She has been particularly recognized for her work in creating accessible and environmentally friendly homes for marginalized communities in Pakistan and for those living below the poverty line and those displaced by natural disasters.
Lari released a statement to CNN expressing surprise at the award, “I was so surprised to hear this news and of course totally thrilled! I never imagined that by focusing on the most marginalized people in my country, venturing wandering uncharted paths, I could still be considered for the architectural profession’s highest honor.” She also went on to say, “I believe that (recognition) is a reflection of emerging consciousness, especially among young professionals, who want to shape a new world order in the face of the challenges posed by growing disparities, homelessness and climate change.”
The award is personally endorsed by King Charles III and is the first award he has signed this year.
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