Hana Kassem, Principal

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AIA New York Interviews Hana Kassem as Featured Fellow

After her elevation to the AIA College of Fellows, the KPF Principal sat down with the Institute’s New York Chapter to discuss the future of our cities and her dedication to human-centric design.

When asked about recent challenges in her work, Hana responded, “As an architect that has worked across the world in very diverse cities and contexts, the question of the universal and the culturally specific effect of environments on people has been and continues to be a central challenge in my work. How can we create places that resonate, both culturally and physically, with a community and with nature, across cultures and geographies?” She continued, “The challenge has to do with creating an architecture that responds to this multi-dimensional sense of belonging, in both material and cultural sustainability.”  Hana’s innovative approach to creating these spaces can be seen through her adaptive reuse projects, such as the Meta Office at Farley, as well as her education, research, and healthcare facilities, “as exemplified by the University of Michigan Center for Innovation, the all-electric Biomedical Research Building for Columbia, and HKUST(GZ)’s University Academic Center.”

In the penultimate question, Hana was asked her thoughts on the role of an architect within our culture. She shared, “The architect’s role is very multifaceted. I have, as a matter of fact, co-edited a book (Architect d.b.a.: On Redefining the Roles of the Architect Today, 2017, published by the AIANY) that is a compilation of essays by various architects and educators on this very subject. Regardless of the avenue one chooses, the responsibility of an architect, I believe, is to orchestrate the built environment so as to improve people’s daily experiences and foster, through good design, positive social, economic, psychological and physical outcomes.”

Hana was elevated alongside fellow KPF Principal Jeff Kenoff. Both were recently recognized at AIA New York’s Center for Architecture during the 2024 New Fellows Celebration. Additionally, the FAIA class of 2024 will be celebrated at the AIA Conference on Architecture from June 5–8 in Washington, DC. Read Hana’s full interview here.