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Kuwaiti architect wins Omniyat Hadid fellowship

DUBAI, February 28, 2019

Omniyat, a Dubai-based property development group, has named Kuwaiti architect Aiysha Alsane as the winner of its Zaha Hadid/Omniyat Harvard University Graduate School of Design Fellowship award.

The Zaha Hadid/Omniyat Fellowship was set up as an homage to the internationally renowned Iraqi-British architect and her extraordinary contributions in architecture and design. It provides financial aid to qualified candidates of the UAE and the rest of the Arab world who are enrolled in the GSD Master in Architecture programme.

The fellowship winner, Architect Alsane is currently pursuing a master’s in landscape architecture at Harvard University GSD, said a statement from Omniyat.

The young architect, who works for international design firm AGi architects, was involved in notable academic projects at the GSD under the tutelage of prestigious professors. The fellowship has funded part of her master’s education, it added.

Omniyat CEO and Executive Chairman Mahdi Amjad led the unveiling of the Fellowship back in 2016 at Harvard GSD, where Hadid taught as a Design Critic in Architecture in 1986.

A recipient of numerous awards, Hadid was bestowed the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, making her the first woman to do so. She was also the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize.

Lauding the young architect, Amjad said: "We are pleased with Alsane’s accomplishments at the GSD. Studying her past projects, we were intrigued by her curiosity and unique execution, complementing Omniyat’s commitment to develop signature buildings with striking design and architecture."

"We believe she embodies what Zaha stood for as she advocated for designs that went beyond the norm. We hope to continue inspiring a new generation of designers in a bid to discover talent that will sustain Zaha’s legacy and works on the international stage," stated the top official.

On the fellowship win, an excited Alsane said: "The Zaha Hadid/Omniyat Fellowship has allowed me to pursue a professional degree at one of the most prestigious programmes in a field I feel passionately for. It has made one part of graduate school easier, and for that, I am very grateful."  

Alsane was engaged in noted projects at the GSD that were products of a highly collaborative environment.  
During her first semester, she and her two team members designed a project titled “Symbiotic Infrastructure,” a working landscape where people engage with the water process consolidating otherwise distant processes in the treatment and consumption of water in urban living.

Alsane was also part of a team of 12 students who worked on a comprehensive project titled “Regenerating Sovereignty.” The site of the project was the Juana Diaz Watershed, home to the defunct Fort Allen US Military Base.

Both projects along with another personal project for a separate course were nominated for Platform 11, the GSD’s “annual compendium of select student work, events, lectures, and exhibitions.”

The Kuwaiti architect is now participating in a project in which the site is located in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, a rural area with rich archaeological history.

Alsane is also an active member of Women in Design and participated in the organization of Convergence. ‘Women in Design’ is a student group “engaging students, staff and faculty to think about the role of women in the field.”-TradeArabia News Service




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