Lecture: Reclaiming Space: Riwaq’s 50 Village Project in Rural Palestine Cultural Heritage as a tool for Economic, Cultural and Social Exploring spatial possibilities in Palestine: Riwaq’s ‘50 Villages’ project as a mean to stitch the fragmanted landscape.
Yara Sharif, Riwaq-Centre For Architectural Conservation, Architect, Palestine/London
Yara Sharif is a practicing architect and academic with an interest in design as a mean to facilitate and empower ‘forgotten’ communities, while also interrogating the relationship between politics and architecture.
Combining research with design her work runs parallel between the architecture practice NG Architects, London and the design studio at the school of architecture, Oxford Brookes University. Sharif has co-founded Palestine Regeneration Team (PART) along with Nasser Golzari and Murray Fraser. PART is a design-led research group that aims through speculative and live projects to search for creative and responsive spatial possibilities in Palestine to heal the fractures caused by the Israeli occupation.
Yara has been working over the past 15 years or so, in projects both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip along with NGOs and the local community. In the West Bank she has been working closely with Riwaq, a Palestinian NGO on bringing life back to 50 historic centres — while also exploring notions of stitching the fragmented landscape through responsive design.
The current strategy and proposed design for the Women Eco Kitchen and Children Eco Play – PART in collaboration with Riwaq — in the historic centre of Beit Iksa has won the 2014 Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction for the Middle East Region.
Sharif’s PhD by design has been granted the 2013 commendation award – RIBA’s President Award for Research for Outstanding PhD Thesis.
Sharif’s on-going research by design entitled Architecture of Resistance: Searching for spaces of possibilities under the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict is to be published in 2015 by Ashgate under Design Research in Architecture series.