Hanif Kara: The engineering of empathy

Structural engineer Hanif Kara lectures on the relationship between architecture and engineering for this Current Work event.

April 25, 2012
7:00 p.m.

Hanif Kara | Turner Contemporary Museum, Margate, United Kingdom. Credit: Valerie Bennett

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Structural engineer and Design Director and co-founder of AKTII, Hanif Kara will present his approach to engineering in the lecture: “The Engineering of Empathy.”  Kara will discuss 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 will elaborate 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.

His work includes collaboration on Foster + Partners’ Sheikh Zayed National Museum, Zaha Hadid’s Phaeno Science Centre, Thomas Heatherwick’s UK Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, FOA’s Ravensbourne Design College, and David Chipperfield’s Turner Contemporary Museum.

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.

Moderated by Gregg Pasquarelli. Pasquarelli is a founding partner of the New York firm SHoP Architects and serves on the Architectural League’s Board of Directors.


This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.

The Architectural League is pleased to acknowledge the support of TRESPA for this Current Work lecture. This program is additionally supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.