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IASPIS Kitchen Talk: Rahel Shawl, Raas Architects, Addis Ababa

Welcome to a presentation and conversation with Ethiopian architect Rahel Shawl.

Rahel Shawl is an architect based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She was born and educated in Ethiopia and founded Raas Architects in 2004. As an Ethiopian architect working in a complex ecosystem in Ethiopia, Rahel strongly advocates that architects have to be the leading voices to bring positive impact within the construction sector and thereby assuring the health and well being of communities, cities and the built environment. Based on her values of positive engagement and through some examples of her design works and social interests, she manages to sustain an architecture firm based on values of good practice and youth empowerment. Her firm is based on engaging in areas of design thinking where aspects of home, place and identity are important as well as through engaging with young people to promote and share knowledge of architecture and in the advocacy for equity in design practices.

Her list of projects on local as well as international collaborative work is extensive; designed and executed with traditional and contemporary architectural approaches and true to the environment and its users. Rahel received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007 for her work as architect of record on the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa; received the AEA best Architecture Piece Award in 2017 for her collaborative works on the South African Embassy in Addis Ababa; Abyssina Award for Social Engagement in the fields of Architecture and Engineering in 2017; was awarded the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2017 as well as various recognitions from the Association of Ethiopian Architects. Recently Rahel was nominated and was finalist for the Dorfman award at the Royal Academny of Arts in London and the Association of Women in Business in Ethiopia.