Architect Marina Tabassum to Present 'Architecture of Informality' Lecture on Oct. 23

Museum of Independence in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Image courtesy of Marina Tabassum Architects

Museum of Independence in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Marina Tabassum will present a lecture at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250 of Vol Walker Hall, on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, as part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design lecture series.

Tabassum is principal of Marina Tabassum Architects, an architecture practice based in Bangladesh, which was established in 2005.

In her lecture, titled "Architecture of Informality," Tabassum will share her works in the context of Bangladesh. In this river delta, the chemistry of land and water defines the culture, history and the livelihood of the people. These are stories of adapting, negotiating and appropriating. All that would be termed as "informal" are the ways of living. Her architecture seeks essence in the informality in order to root it to its context.

The firm began its journey in the quest of establishing a language of architecture that is contemporary to the world yet rooted to the place. The firm stands against the global pressure of industrial materials and the easy and quick breed of buildings that are confused and impersonal, out of place and context. The firm pledges to root architecture to the place, with the material palette based in the climate, the location, the culture of the people and history of the land.

The practice is consciously kept at an optimum size, and the projects undertaken are carefully chosen and limited by number per year. The projects are varied, ranging from master planning of an eco resort to 12-story residential blocks.

Tabassum graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. She is the academic director of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements. She has taught design studios in BRAC University in Bangladesh as a visiting faculty member since 2005. She taught advanced design studio as a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Arlington in fall 2015. Currently, she is teaching studio at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Tabassum received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016 for her project Bait ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She also designed the Independence Monument of Bangladesh and the Museum of Independence in Dhaka during her partnership with Kashef Chowdhury/Urbana.

This is the Ernie Jacks Lecture, sponsored by Marlon Blackwell Architects.

The school is pursuing continuing education credits for this lecture through the American Institute of Architects.

The public is invited to attend. Admission is free, with limited seating.

For more information, contact 479-575-4704 or


Haley Ruiz, communications intern
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


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