Closing Event 22-23 November 2023
Programme for consortium members

The TU Delft (Delft University of Technology) based in the Netherlands, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC) and other local and international partners, organized a Mid-Term Engagement Workshop for the Addis Ababa Living Lab project. The team convened in Addis Ababa from 22-23 November to review the project’s outcomes. During the workshop, they discussed potential policy statements and invited stakeholders to provide their feedback.


BK Talks: BK Africa

A laboratory of the future?

BK Talks presents “BK Africa: A laboratory of the future?”, an upcoming event that will be streamed live on June 15th from the European Cultural Centre in Venice, in the occasion of the exhibition “BK Africa, A laboratory of the future?”, organized by the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (Delft University of Technology) at Palazzo Mora.


BK Africa at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale showcased projects that focused on the rapid transformation of Africa’s built environments. The esteemed TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment curated an exhibition titled “BK Africa: A Laboratory of the Future?” that presented relevant initiatives developed by faculty, students, and partners. The exhibition featured an array of physical models, photographs, films, and written manifestos that explored key topics related to overlooked spatial realities across different African countries.


Circular Paradigm as part of the Quo Vadis Addis Exhibition

Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC) hosted a symposium on the Circular Paradigm as part of the Quo Vadis Addis exhibition. The symposium was moderated by Rahel Shawl with distinguished panelist that included Prof Marc Angelil, Dr Essayas G/Yohannes, Prof Dirk Hebel, and Dr Zegeye Cherinet. The panelists shared their expertise on topics such as circular design and economies, sustainable architecture and engineering practices, and the use of ECC concrete, as well as reusing, recycling, and composting.


Density & Design: Steps Toward Green, Affordable, Equitable and Beautiful Housing

The 11th Session of the World Urban Forum, WUF 11, was organized by the UN-Habitat in partnership with the Government of Poland, in Katowice, on June 26-30, 2022. 

Density & Design: Steps Toward Green, Affordable, Equitable and Beautiful Housing was a participatory workshop held on June 28, it provided architects from around the world with strategies for creating affordable and mixed-income housing while addressing issues related to increasing urban populations in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Addis Ababa Living Lab
Creating Resilient Dwelling Clusters for Urban Resettlement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The ‘Addis Ababa Living Lab’ research project, jointly funded by TU Delft and NWO-WOTRO, commenced one year ago in May 2019. A team of researchers from TU Delft and the Ethiopian Institute for Architecture Building Construction and City Development (EiABC) have been collaborating over the past year to produce the first research outcomes. This participatory research and design, aims to build a Pilot Project in Addis Ababa, coordinated by Prof. Dick van Gameren (Mecanoo Architecten) and Rahel Shawl (RAAS architects). 



abRen is envisioned as a platform for architectural design practice, knowledge elevation, and the exploration of new narratives by the convergence of different voices in a practical and creative learning environment. Through meaningful collaboration, workshops, research, practice and documentation, abRen will strive to accurately capture and represent culture in the ways of life valued in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa.



On March 25th, Rahel Shawl and Dawit Benti gave a presentation titled “Contemporary Architecture in Addis Ababa” to students at the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning.

The students were also given the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a lively discussion with the presenters, making it a highly informative and interactive session.



The CityLab aims at re-imagining the co-production of space in Dar es Salaam. It’s a space for experimenting and developing solutions for a more sustainable path in African cities. The CityLab seeks to regroup urban researchers, practitioners, game changers, activists and residents to inquire, document and intervene in the way the city is reproduced.


African Perspectives key speakers

African Perspectives +12

In March 2019, TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment hosted the African Perspectives conference. The discussions during the conference were enlightening, as they focused on Planning, Design & Construction for Inclusive, Fair & Sustainable Urbanization. The conference aimed to connect with African academics, gain insights into the challenges of African urbanization, and strengthen the bonds with Africa to have a positive impact on urbanization.

Photo album 


The Association Women’s Building Forum was founded about 40 years ago. The organization was formed by a group of dedicated architects to raise women’s user knowledge and experience so that they can be translated into programs, drawings and instructions for housing that is good for women and men and partly to create a forum for Women in the construction industry to meet and share experiences of working in a dominated industry.


IASPIS Kitchen Talk 2019

IASPIS provides a favorable environment and time for artists to develop their skills, meet people from different countries, and share knowledge. On May 29, IASPIS Kitchen Talk featured a talk with Rahel Shawl, the founder of Raas Architects in Addis Ababa. During the event, she shared her years of experience in design thinking, specifically focusing on the importance of home, place, and identity. She also discussed how her firm engages with young people to promote and share knowledge of architecture, as well as advocating for equity in design practices.


The Urban Age “Developing Urban Futures” conference, jointly organized by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, focused on the development of cities in rapidly urbanizing countries. By convening urban experts, policymakers and practitioners from sub-Saharan Africa and other world cities, the 17th Urban Age conference raised questions about the economic foundations of urban change and investigated how current models of planning and governance succeed or fail to achieve greater integration between efficiency, accessibility and social justice.


African Perspectives Preparatory Conference

The African Perspectives Preparatory Conference was held on 25th-27th January 2018, jointly organized by the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (BK) at TU Delft and the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction, and City Development. The conference aimed to engage with African academics, learn about the challenges of African urbanization, and define a path to follow. Learn more


Architecture Film Soirée: “Francis Kéré: An Architect Between”

The screening will be followed by a public discussion with Mr. Schwartz, moderated by Marlene Rutzendorfer, Harvard University visiting scholar from IFK Kunstuniversität Linz, and also featuring Rahel Shawl, founder and director of RAAS Architects (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) , Justin Tata, senior urban planner at Juba City Council (Juba, Sudan), Suzanne Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and Michael Hooper, associate professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


2018 GSA Boogertman + Partners International Lecture Series

This is an opportunity for architects and lovers of architecture and design to interact with some of the most original, world-class architectural thinkers.


Spring 2018 Lecture Series: Rahel Shawl

The Boston Architectural College invites the community to join us for the 2018 Cascieri Lectureship in the HumanitiesArchitecture and Engagement, by Rahel Shawl Zelleke, founder of Raas Architects, on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at 6 pm in Cascieri Hall.


Meet the Loeb Fellows 2017

In 2017, Rahel Shawl became the first architect from sub-Saharan Africa to receive the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. During her fellowship, Rahel shared insights into her architectural practice and emphasized the importance of architects taking a leading role in promoting positive social change.


Architecture Practice in Ethiopia,Design X ,MIT Urban Africa

MIT designX is an academic program in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) and part of the MIT Morningside Academy for Design (MIT MAD). 


The J-Term Course on African Cities at Harvard Graduate School of Design was a workshop that covered urbanization in African cities, with a focus on five cities that have been undergoing fast development and urban sprawl over the past two decades. Led by instructor Rahel Shawl, the workshop explored the opportunities and challenges of urbanization in Africa, as well as the impact of master plans and sustainable development ideals on just and equitable city development.



The 8th African Development Conference took place at Harvard Law School. The conference featured a panel discussion titled  ‘African Cities’ which aimed to explore creative and collaborative solutions to African challenges. The discussion was moderated by Professor Michael Hooper and included panelists Rahel Shawl, Tata Justin, and Thomas Coggin. The topics covered included governance, education, public health, and urban development.


Massachusetts College of Art and Design Rapid Urbanization in Africa

The Architecture Department of Massachusetts College of Art held its weekly Tuesday Talks series, where Rahel Shawl presented on the topic of “Rapid Urbanization in Africa”. Rahel Shawl is the founder and director of one of the leading architecture firms in Ethiopia, and is a role model and mentor for young architects in her country. She takes pride in designing quality building projects.


Architecture and Society in Contemporary Ethiopia

We have Dawit Benti serving as the moderator, and Mrs. Rahel Shawl, Mr. Wouhib Kebede, and Mr. Yohannes Mekonnen as the panelists. The Goethe Institute is organizing a dialogue on Architecture and Society, as the society in Ethiopia is currently undergoing significant transformations. The built environment is the most visible physical manifestation of these changes.

Image: Juergen-Strohmayer


Women in Architecture

In March 2016, the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction, and City Development (EiABC) organized a lecture series called “Women in Architecture” at the Swedish Pavilion. The goal of the series was to empower and inspire women in the field of architecture, and to promote diversity in the profession. The EiABC Chair of Architecture and Building Science planned the event, which featured guest speaker Architect Rahel Shawl.