Founder, Saira Akhtar Architects
Saira is an architect and story-teller with a cross-disciplinary focus. A graduate of the English Literature program at the University of Cambridge and the architecture program at Cornell University, she is an incurable explorer of design in its many manifestations. Her passion for unpacking and communicating the aspirations of designers to key stakeholders first led her to produce and host an internationally televised series of documentaries on contemporary art and architecture. Later, this experience was seminal in empowering her to tell the stories of her own architectural and furniture design projects - some of which have had the honor of being exhibited at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, Battery Park in New York City and at the Bibliowicz Gallery at Cornell University in recent years. She has edited anthologies of design, visual culture and urban fabric for Oxford University Press, covered the arts as a columnist, and taught at the renowned Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. As an architect, she has worked on a range of typologies including theatres, universities, libraries, commercial, single and multi-family residential projects. Her work is deeply engaged with the notion that strategic, cross-disciplinary design enables us to alleviate some of the most significant challenges that we face today.