Hanif Kara


Hanif Kara
AKT II

Recorded April 25, 2012

In this excerpt from his Current Work lecture, Hanif Kara, Structural Engineer and Design Director and co-founder of AKT II, discusses the evolving relationship between architects and engineers brought on by new struggles and challenges with technological advancement, economy, and ecology in the past decade. Kara elaborates on what he refers to as the “strategic model” of practice, which, he explains, requires the engineer to “sit in the mind” of the architect or client, while thinking with the expert knowledge of the engineer. Here, Kara discusses, among other projects, two collaborations with Heatherwick Studio, East Beach Cafe and the UK Pavillion, and finally his work on the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

In addition to professional practice, Hanif Kara is the Pierce Anderson Lecturer in Creative Engineering at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Visiting Professor for Architectural Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He is a commissioner for CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and was the first engineer to be a judge for the annual RIBA Stirling Prize 2011. He serves on the board of trustees of the Architecture Foundation and has been an advisor to the Aga Khan Development Network.

n.b. The slide at 3:15 should read “adapted from Siteless 1001 Building Forms by Blanciak.” The slide at 4:21 should include the credit “adapted from Le tensostrutture a membrana per l’architettura by Capasso, Majowieski and Pinto.”