Inspiring Role Models for a Younger Generation of Women Architects

Saturday, 6 May 2023, 6 pm

Diversity in Architecture e.V. (DIVIA) will host the prize-giving ceremony for the first divia award, dedicated to promoting and celebrating women in architecture, at ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory. The winner will be announced and the exhibition featuring the work of the winner and the four finalists will be opened.

Video: Reframe

The international, biennal divia award aims to promote the visibility of women in the architecture industry. It was founded by Ursula Schwitalla and Christiane Fath in 2021. A high-profile jury - Sol Camacho, Odile Decq, Rahul Mehrotra, Martha Throne - has chosen, among 27 nominees, the five finalists: May al-Ibrashy (Egypt), Katherine Clarke & Liza Fior (UK), Marta Maccaglia (Peru), Noella Nibakuze (Rwanda) and Tosin Oshinowo (Nigeria). In addition to announcing the winner, who will receive 20,000 euros in prize money, the event will also feature the presentation of the accompanying award catalogue dedicated to all five finalists. It is published by Hatje Cantz Verlag and can be purchased during the ceremony.

Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss, Director, Aedes Architecture Forum and ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin

Elisabeth Kaiser, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building, Berlin

Welcome and introduction
Dr. Ursula Schwitalla, Initiator of the divia award, Chair of Diversity in Architecture e.V., BDA ao

Introduction of the five finalists, winner announcement
Martha Thorne, Jury Member and Distinguished Professor, IE School of Architecture and Design, Madrid; Senior Advisor, the OBEL AWARD, Copenhagen

Sol Camacho, Jury Member and Co-founder, RADDAR, São Paulo; Coordinator, Archive Lina Bo Bardi, São Paulo

Winning finalist
Ambassador of the winner’s country

Presentation of the catalogue 
Veronika Lukashevich, Copy and Managing editor of the publication

Exhibition opening
Dr. Ursula Schwitalla, Initiator of the divia award, Chair of Diversity in Architecture e.V., BDA ao

Dunya Bouchi, Managing Director, ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin

Sunday, 7 May 2023 – Sunday, 14 May 2023, 2 pm – 6 pm

The exhibition will be on display at ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory in Berlin for one week, 7 May – 14 May 2023, before travelling on to the BDA Wechselraum in Stuttgart and the country of the winner. The exhibition will highlight films presenting the winner and the four finalists with their work and exclusive interviews. The exhibition will also feature mission statements of two jury members, Martha Thorne and Odile Decq as well as DIVIA chair Ursula Schwitalla.


Tosin Oshinowo, Nigeria
Educated in the UK and with work experience in various architectural firms across Europe and Africa, Tosin Oshinowo (*1980) returned to Lagos in 2009. Inspired by the city’s creative freedom and brimming potential, she played a key role in developing the Nigerian capital into the epicenter of architecture and design that it is today. In 2012, Tosin Oshinowo established cmDesign Atelier, an architectural studio where she functions as the founding principal. She is most famous for her projects Maryland Mall in Lagos and the rebuilding of the Ngarannam village in cooperation with UNDP. In 2015, the Boko Haram conflict caused a destruction of this area in northeast Nigeria, resulting in forced displacement of the population. With her buildings, Tosin Oshinowo aims to reflect a “truly African” style that she calls afro-minimalism. Based in Lagos, Nigeria.

May al-Ibrashy, Egypt
May al-Ibrashy’s (*1969) work within cultural heritage and conservation of Historic Cairo revolutionizes the idea of what might traditionally fall under the idea of practicing architecture as a profession. In 2011, she created the non-profit architectural studio called Megawra which runs in partnership with the Built Environment Collective, a local cultural and urban development organization. It is a place where cultural heritage is seen as a driver for progress—a key factor for changing societies and creating urban development on the community’s terms. Grounded in the idea that heritage is a resource and not a burden, May al-Ibrashy aims to ignite the relationship between people and their heritage by encouraging the local Egyptian communities to become co-creators of their city. Through her work, she has positively impacted the impoverished groups living in Cairo’s historic center, helping them develop a new sense of ownership of their heritage. Based in Cairo, Egypt.

Marta Maccaglia, Peru
Only three years after her arrival in Peru, the Italian architect Marta Maccaglia (*1983) founded Semillas, a non-profit architectural organization that builds schools and public spaces in the most remote areas of the Peruvian jungle. Based in Pangoa, Lima, and San Ignacio, it is run by an interdisciplinary team of architects, builders, and artisans. Together they create and execute projects by collaborating with governmental, non-governmental, and educational entities. Marta Maccaglia takes into consideration the voices of indigenous communities in all stages of the process. She believes that cooperative work is the only way to forge development and create a strong foundation for a harmonious social community. Based in Lima, Peru.

Noella Nibakuze, Rwanda
Noella Nibakuze (*1985) strives to establish an authentically Rwandan architectural narrative. After completing her architectural studies in South Africa, she moved back to her home country in 2012, where she became one of the first fifty nationally certified architects in Rwanda. Since 2017, Noella Nibakuze works as a design director at the Kigali office of MASS Design Group. As such she was the project leader of RICA, Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture, the 1400-hectare “One Health” agricultural campus. With her work, Noella Nibakuze aims to promote the use of local materials and labor, focusing on architectural design, construction administration, building technology, and sustainability. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to pursue careers in STEM and design and acts as a mentor for architecture students and young professionals. Based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Katherine Clarke, Liza Fior, UK
muf architecture/art is an international, transdisciplinary architectural studio, founded in 1995 in London. The two founding partners Katherine Clarke (*1961) and Liza Fior (*1962) work with the intention of making genuine public space. Their projects range from urban design schemes to smallscale temporary interventions via landscapes and buildings—a constant dialogue between details and strategy. Always going beyond the job, artist Katherine Clarke and architect Liza Fior do not shy away from challenging a commission. With their primarily female studio, they have worked on various projects, mainly in London and internationally, including urban strategies in the cities of Pittsburgh, Malmö, and Gothenburg. Every project is met with a great amount of research, interviews, and discussions with residents, users, developers, associations, and institutions. Simultaneously pragmatic and endlessly ambitious, they have pioneered methods of working directly with the communities. Based in London, UK.

Generously supported by
COPRO, Bundesministerium für Wohnen, Stadtentwicklung und Bauwesen,, HENN, Kreissparkasse Tübingen, gmg color, Zaha Hadid Architects, Sto-Stiftung, HPP Architekten, CS Tübingen, Berlin Hyp, Gustav Epple, Sky-Frame
© Images: Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk





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