Lari, who became the first female architect in Pakistan, retired from commercial practice in 2000 and formed a foundation that began working with distressed communities. Her goal was to help them rebuild their lives, using architecture as a tool for self-help.
Lari's approach is simple but effective: she only uses three readily available materials - bamboo, lime and earth - which can be reused or recycled. Her buildings are designed to address reginal challenges, such as flooding and earthquakes, with elevated spaces or lightweight structures made strong with cross bracing and trusses.
Further demonstrating Lari's commitment to feminist and environmental activism is her adaptation of the Pakistani Chulah. Lari created a safe outdoor stove to replace the more dangerous cooking methods traditionally used by South Asian women, which exposed them to fires, burns and respiratory issues. She developed a smokeless, low-cost mud and line plaster stove positioned on an elevated mudbrick platform that helps protect it from flooding and provides a more hygienic and ventilated workspace.