As the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 just ended in a compromised deal in Glasgow in the United Kingdom, Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum, who won the 2021 prestigious Soane medal among the first architect from the global south for her design of Khudi Bari, a modular mobile house for the climate victims, appeared as ‘A £300 monsoon-busting home: the Bangladeshi architect fighting extreme weather’ in the Guardian newspaper on November 16.
In her words, Marina says, “As architects we have a responsibility to these people. The construction industry contributes half of all global emissions, but the people being affected by sea-level rise in the coastal areas have zero carbon footprint.”
Founding Marina Tabassum Architects in 2005, she embarked on a project called Bait ur Rouf mosque in northern Dhaka that gave her international prominence 11 years later for winning the Aga Khan award. Currently they are working in the Cox’s Bazar, home to 1.2 million Rohingya Muslims fled from ethnic persecution in neighboring Myanmar. Tabassum and her team have been designing food distribution outlets and women’s centres – for both the camp and its host community – aiming to create a more dignified experience than the usual tents for receiving handouts.