Category Archives: Students_2017

Carolina Bettarello

Carolina Bettarello was brought up in a Brazilian/ Italian family dedicated for more than 80 years to footwear manufacturing, which led her interest to the design field in general, and finally to architecture. Born in a multicultural country and having been exposed to contrasting environments since an early age, she developed an investigative perception towards different ways of living and how architecture dialogues with its users. Carolina studied Architecture and Urbanism at Pontiff Catholic University of Campinas, in Sao Paulo. Since 2002, she has had a multidisciplinary career as an architect, designer and researcher, mostly in Brazil, but also in London, where she worked as an architectural assistant and studied design at Central Saint Martins. In addition to her own architectural and design practice, she has been a consultant for projects involving cultural identity such as ‘inspiramais by Assintecal’, supported by the federal Brazilian government, and has contributed as a freelance writer to the British creative intelligence company, WGSN. Having recently made a career change going back to the Academic environment, Carolina intends to follow a PhD after achieving her Masters Degree in History and Critical Thinking at the Architectural Association. She reads architecture as a field that keeps raising questions. Her research interests lie on investigating the origins of the concept of architecture, connecting it with the paradox between the built environment and the way we use it.

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Sukhdeep Singh Saini

Born and brought up in India, Saini completed his Bachelor of Architecture at Amity University, Noida, India. He worked as an intern in offices in Noida, Gurgaon and Abu Dhabi getting experience regarding drawings, site management, and client handling. After his graduation, he worked as a resident architect in Akriti Perfections, a furniture company based in Manesar, India.

Saini’s interests include studying Indian architectural history, writing, and photography. He is currently pursuing MA in History and Critical Thinking from AA School of Architecture.

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Shawei Qiao

Shawei Qiao was born in Jilin, China. She received her Bachelor degree of Engineering in Landscape Architecture at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou. She was involved in different researches on urban planning and architectural design by participating at workshops in China and South Europe. Before enrolling into the MA History and Critical Thinking at the AA, she gained practical work experience as an architect for five years in Beijing. Her works of architecture have been published in a number of publications and exhibitions such as ArchDaily, the 14th Venice Biennale, and Open State Exhibition at Studio-X, GSAPP.

Currently, her interests lie in finding methods with broader meanings to explain what kinds of architecture city requires, and how architects consider various factors when designing for the city of tomorrow. The important geographical and cultural changes help her to break limitation and explore the various design approaches. The collaboration of ideas from different disciplines in HCT Program enables her insights into more creativities and complex understandings of architecture.

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Katerina Zacharopoulou

Katerina Zacharopoulou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She received her diploma of Architect Engineer from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2016. She completed part of her degree in the Czech Technical University in Prague and participated in educational programmes in Paris, Latvia and Poland. During her studies, she worked for various cultural events in her city, such as the International Film & Documentary Festival and the Open House. She has also studied theory of music and plays the piano.

Her diploma research thesis, titled Untitled, was a parallel between self-referential art and architecture and explored the role of humour as a means of doubting well-established systems in both cases. Her interests continue to lie in the links between art and architecture, located specifically in the concepts of irony and mimesis. She is currently enrolled in the MA History and Critical Thinking in the AA to further explore these interests and also gain insight into the practice of architectural education.

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Lennart Wolff

Lennart Wolff studied architecture at the University of the Arts in Berlin and has participated in research-based studios at TU Berlin’s Habitat Unit as well as a joint project by TU Braunschweig and Columbia University. During his training he has worked for different offices in Santiago de Chile, Berlin and at Selldorf Architects in New York City.

Together with Elisa R. Linn he has founded the curatorial project km temporaer and has organized exhibitions in non-profit spaces, galleries and institutions like Neuer Aachener Kunstverein and On Stellar Rays in NYC. He has co-authored texts for magazines like Frieze and Kaleidoscope among others.

His research interests lie in the politics and mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion that structure the realm of culture and their influence on notions of innovation and the “vernacular” in contemporary architecture, in particular by turning to the role that different forms of discursive and curatorial strategies play in drawing the boundary between the profane and the valorized.

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Gili Merin

Gili is an architect, photographer and journalist based. She studied architecture at the UdK Berlin, Waseda University in Tokyo and The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where she had taught first and third year design studios since her recent graduation.

Her writings and photography have been featured in numerous international print and online publications including Mark Magazine, Artsy, Surface, Wallpaper, ArchDaily, Uncube Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Quaderns, Detail and Frame.

Gili had various training as an architect and a researcher in AMO*OMA in Rotterdam, COBE in Berlin and ArchDaily in Santiago, Chile. She participated in the curatorial and production stages of various international exhibitions including The Urburb at the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, Fire and Forget at the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art and Wohnungsfrage at HKW Berlin.


Currently, Gili works as a freelance editor for OMA, a publication with Spector Book and the 25th Biennale for Design in Ljubljana.

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Rakhshaan Qazi

Rakhshaan Qazi was born and brought up in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Before enrolling at the History and Critical Thinking program at the Architectural Association she has had experience with different architectural firms teaching her how to become a critical designer. Her current focus lies in the inter relation between design and culture and how they interact with one another to create a spatially informed synthesis. She also loves to paint and read history books. She is also interested in the role history plays within culture and how architecture can help to inform one of their history and possibly, their future. After pursuing this degree, she aims to go into the education field back home.

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Chris Doray

Born and raised in Singapore, Chris Doray began his architectural career at a young age of eighteen as an architectural draughtsman. Nine years later, he pursued his formal architectural education in the UK and completed his Graduate Studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. After three decades of international exposure in both practice and theory, he returns to the ‘melting pot’ to indulge into a year of vigorous debates, seminars, critiques and readings that will propel him forward onto the last leg of his journey in this life-long career. Upon completing the History and Critical Thinking programme at the AA, Chris wishes to spend his remaining years nurturing the next generation of designers while contemporaneously attempting to salvage the inevitable disappearance of what once used to be a simple single profession. He is convinced that a new form of human conditioning; something more entropic will become the order of the day in cultivating the knowledge and skillsets for what was once the noblest of all creative disciplines.

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