Issue | 45
Gulzar Haider ‘A man for all seasons’
Pakistan is lucky to have Professor Gulzar Haider back in its midst after an absence of some forty years. Nurturing several generations of young architects, he has contributed significantly to the profession and to theories about design through his teachings and writings. He also designed a select number of distinguished buildings.
His accomplishments are many and varied and can be read about elsewhere: here we paint his achievements with a broad brush stroke. First trained as an engineer at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, he went on to the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for a Masters in Engineering and a degree in Architecture. Driven by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, he completed his Ph.D. in 1969. Teaching seemed to be the natural follow-up career which he pursued at Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, as Professor and later Director of the School of Architecture. He was also Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at King Faisal University, Dammam between 1977 and 1978. Carleton awarded him a Lifetime Scholarly and Applied Research Award in 1999 and recognized him as Emeritus Professor in 1999.
In Pakistan since 2005, he serves as the Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, establishing one of the country’s eminent academic programs at the school through his tireless dedication and his experience.
Gulzar Haider is a teacher-practitioner-theoretician committed to a broad view of the whole person, from an international perspective to a local and detailed view in which his research on the architecture of Islam plays an important role. He has won numerous research and development grants, and has lectured widely in North America, Europe and Asia. He has been a design consultant to several architectural practices and served on many international architectural competition juries. His work for international organizations, including the UN and the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) is highly regarded. In addition to over 55 papers, reports and articles, in books and periodicals, his interest in mathematics and structures led to the publication of original and innovative research.
As a designer, his religious buildings in North America have been recognized for their design excellence – for instance the ISNA headquarters, mosque and library near Indianapolis as well as Islamic Centers in Arkansas and Ontario.
ADA is proud and honored to recognize Gulzar Haider as our first lifetime architecture award recipient.
– Hasan-Uddin Khan, 2019
On Salima Hashmi
We live in a world comprising of words and works. Or intentions and actions. Often in a person both merge in such a way, that we are unable to detach one from the other. And what emerges is a synthesis, which mesmerises us due to its purity, profundity and originality.
In the personality of Salima Hashmi, one witnesses this phenomenon. I realize that I should have put, Prof before the name, but I deliberately didn’t. Though she taught for many years at NCA, and then at BNU, but adding any description, professional or academic, may focus on one aspect of this individual, who in every sense of the term – is larger than life. She is a teacher – and the best one, the painter par excellence, author of several books and innumerable catalogue essays, curator, and a caring daughter, wife, and mother, along with being a fierce fighter for human rights, women’s movement, and freedom of expression.
I don’t know how all these roles converge into one human, but in a superhuman scheme/chemistry Salima Hashmi, manages to perform all of those, and on a level of perfection. Perhaps this quality is inherited from her illustrious father, who joined one word to next in perfect order. As his poetry talks to ordinary human beings, so is Salima Hashmi, who interacts with everyone through her ’s writing, teaching and art making.
More than making her mark with her own practice, it is her contribution in supporting generations of Pakistani art, that is her greatest forte so far. Selflessly, she promotes, projects, protects those who are voiceless, aimless and directionless. She infuses an enthusiasm in them, to that extent that many of them are now stars of international and Pakistani art world.
Thus, the history of Pakistani art since seventies, is undoubtedly the personal history of Salima Hashmi, if not written by her, but definitely about her – her alone!
– Quddus Mirza, 2019