KARACHI: Yasmeen Lari made history when she became Pakistan’s
first female architect in the 1960s. Now, over five decades later she continues her stream of good work and global recognition by winning one of architecture’s most coveted prizes, The Royal Gold Medal.
Yasmeen Lari is now the second woman, after Zaha Hadid, to win the prestigious award which was presented 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 as per RIBA, they, “Acknowledge Yasmeen Lari’s work championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations.”
RIBA describes Lari as a “revolutionary force in Pakistan.” She has especially been 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 people displaced by natural disasters.
Lari released a statement to CNN expressing her surprise over the award, “I was so surprised to hear this news and of course totally delighted! I never imagined that as I focus on my country’s most marginalized people, venturing down uncharted vagabond pathways, I could still be considered for the highest of honors in the architectural profession.” She also went on to say, “I believe (the recognition) is a reflection of the emerging consciousness, particularly among young professionals, who wish to fashion a new world order in the face of challenges posed by rising disparities, homelessness and climate change.”
The award is personally approved by King Charles III and is the first award he signed off on this year.