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Rahel Shawl

Studio Grant holder in Stockholm 2 September – 30 December 2022

Rahel Shawl is an architect based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is the founder and Principal of RAAS Architects and blends her industry know-how with her passion for people and identity, constantly using architecture to bring about positive impact. She is a graduate of the Addis Ababa University, EIABC and a 2017 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, she has been involved in the design of an impressive body of work, including Residential, Institutional, Educational, Hospitality, Health Care, Industrial, and Landscape works. Her wide range of experience results from engaging on collaborative design works with local and international colleagues, partners and clients.

Portrait of Rahel Shawl

Photo: Rahel Shawl

Rahel seeks to use architecture to become a meaningful design and construction outcome for the end user while also having a positive impact on the environment – bringing to life an architecture that is human cantered and genuine. With decades of experience to pull from, she remains consistent and resilient as she looks to the environment – both natural and built – for inspiration to continue being adventurous with innovative ideas. She is exceptionally skilled at leading teams and believes as a leader, success is pulling out inherent talents yet to be uncovered. Driven by the need to always be present in all that she does she dedicates her time engaging with young people to promote and share knowledge of architecture; and passionately engaging in the advocacy for equity in design practices through her initiative @abRen.

Rahel Shawl has received numerous accolades, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007 for her work as architect of record on the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa; the Association of Ethiopian Architects (AEA) best Architecture Piece Award in 2017 for her collaborative works on the South African Embassy in Addis Ababa; and the Abyssinia Award for Social Engagement in the fields of Architecture and Engineering in 2017. In 2018 Rahel was named finalist for the Dorfman Award at the Royal Institute of Art in the UK and recently, RAAS has been selected as one of the 50 best architecture firms 2020 by DOMUS magazine.