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Join Soane Medal 2021 Laureate Marina Tabassum and architectural writer and historian Shumi Bose for the second of two in-depth workshops for architecture students and professionals. This session investigates the intersection between climate and community in the production of architecture. 

This half-day workshop will focus on climate and community as urgent architectural concerns, which moreover challenge the very role of the architect. In the coastal floodplains of Bangladesh, the effects of global warming and rising sea levels are affecting the very patterns of life, not only for thousands of people but for many plant and animal species. The work of MTA has engaged specifically with the lives and livelihoods of marginalised peoples in Bangladesh, prototyping construction techniques with traditional materials as a means to empower communities. 

Marina Tabassum will give a special presentation live from Bangladesh, discussing her work on fragile landscapes, demountable architectures, structural innovations and coastal remediation in the ever-shifting delta of Bangladesh. 

Participants are encouraged to bring their experiences, concerns and positions to the workshop for critical reflection, where they will engage in discussions, material debates and architectural analyses; propose speculative projects and sites of ecological and social concern.

You will look at: 

  • Material reflections; using museum objects as evidence of the architect’s role.
  • Extractive practices or environmental concern, depicted in artworks.
  • Architectural role and range of participatory processes in the work of MTA.

Activities will include: 

  • Critical reflection 
  • Drawing 
  • Material research 
  • Narrative visualisation 

Participants may work in groups to propose sites for future interventions, where architecture may address issues of community and climate. 

Learn more about the first workshop in this series, Light and Worship.

About Marina and Shumi

Marina Tabassum was born, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is Founder and Principal Architect of Marina Tabassum Architects MTA in Dhaka and is a pioneer of what she describes as ‘the architecture of relevance’.

Her practice focuses on designing buildings in tune with their natural environments (in particular, working with local materials and communities) while also embracing the design challenges of sustainability, environment, and our collective impact on the planet. She is currently working in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, in south-east Bangladesh, and designing mobile modular houses for ultra-low-income people in the country’s coastal areas.

Her notable buildings include the minimal, sun-dappled Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, opened in 2012, the Independence Monument of Bangladesh and the Museum of Independence. She was winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016. In 2018, she took part in Freespace, the main exhibition of the Venice Biennale for Architecture, where she explored the Bengali courtyard.

She is Visiting Professor at the BRAC University in Dhaka. She runs undergraduate studios at the University of Asia Pacific, and has given lectures and presentations at a number of other educational institutions and conferences having been the Director of Academic Program at Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements since 2015.

Shumi Bose is an architectural historian, curator and teacher. She is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Central Saint Martins, and teaches Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art.

Shumi has worked as curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects, at the Venice Biennale in 2012, and as co-curator of the 2016 British Pavilion, also in Venice. She works as an editor and writer, contributing to publications including PIN UP, Log and Metropolis. Recent publications include Spatial Practices: Modes of Action and Engagement with the City (ed. Mel Dodd, Routledge, 2019), Home Economics (The Spaces, 2016) and Real Estates (with Fulcrum, Bedford Press, 2014).  


Event Info

26 May 2022

1pm - 5pm


Sir John Soane's Museum