Current Work: Critical Response, Kashef Chowdbury/URBANA

Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 7 - 9pm

Add to Calendar

Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA | Friendship Hospital Satkhira, Shyamnagar Upazila, Bangladesh, 2018. Image credit: Asif Salman

Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA | Friendship Hospital Satkhira, Shyamnagar Upazila, Bangladesh, 2018. Image credit: Asif Salman

Register to attend in person at Scholastic's Big Red Auditorium (130 Mercer Street, NYC)

Register to attend via Zoom

The spring 2022 Current Work series focuses on architectural practices designing museums, schools, and cultural centers that contend with the complex legacies of place.
Kashef Chowdhury cofounded the Dhaka-based firm URBANA in 1995 and has led the practice as solo principal since 2004. The firm’s projects span various typologies and methodologies, from climate-action initiatives to cultural, educational, sports, health, industrial, religious, and residential facilities. In its own words, the practice aims to cultivate “a contextually and socially responsible…architectural and planning response” to the twin crises of climate change and migration in Bangladesh.
Recent projects include:

  • Friendship Hospital Satkhira, a brick hospital in a rural fishing community in Bangladesh oriented around a rainwater-collecting canal;
  • Ukhia Schools, a prototype school in a Rohingya refugee camp constructed entirely of bamboo;
  • Kuakata Cyclone Shelter, an exposed concrete cyclone shelter that doubles as a school and community clinic in rural Bangladesh.

Kashef Chowdhury studied architecture at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). He received an ar+d Award for Emerging Architecture from The Architectural Review in 2012, an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016, and the RIBA International Prize in 2021. URBANA received first prize in the national competition for the Independence Monument and the Museum of Bangladesh in 1997.

The lecture will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with Paul Lewis. Lewis is a principal at LTL Architects and a professor and former associate dean at Princeton University School of Architecture. He is the president of The Architectural League.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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

1.5 New York State and AIA CEUs available for both in-person and virtual participants.

This program is free and open to all. All participants—both in-person and online—must register in advance. All registered online attendees will be sent a link to participate through Zoom. In-person lecture attendees are required to show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster and must wear a mask while indoors.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.