Students 2022

Patricia Aguchiku

Patricia (1992, São Paulo, Brazil) is an Architect and Urban Planner focused on the promotion of sustainable urban development. She graduated from FAUUSP - College of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo, with a complementary degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, and during this period was involved in academic research regarding open spaces systems and urban form of Brazilian cities.
During her professional career, she worked in the consultancy company CTE – Centro de Tecnologia de Edificações in its Smart Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure Unit, participating in the development and consolidation of the methods applied to projects distributed around the country and dealing with several stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams. In this context, she gained expertise in urban-scale green certifications as Sustainable SITES and LEED for Neighbourhood Development.
Between 2020 and 2021 she took leadership opportunities to address the 2030 Agenda in a local level by joining the Local Pathways cohorts of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth. She purposed a project in a vulnerable context in São Paulo built on the role of public open spaces and their qualification based on the demands of these communities. This experience expanded her perspectives and the enrolment in the IUSD Double Degree Program is in line with the goal to transform cities and obtain the tools to critically localize solutions.

Alan Tonatiuh Cayetano Borja

Alan (Mexico City, 1995) is an architect graduated with a merit diploma from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), honored for his thesis entitled "From urban fabric to social fabric”.
During his studies, he did an academic exchange in Barcelona at the Universitat Politècnica of Catalunya where he developed his interest in public and sustainable spaces, and upon his return to Mexico he decided doing his Social Service at the Laboratory of Sustainable Environments (LES) at the UNAM. 
His knowledge is based on the understanding of different scales and contexts. He started working at the architecture office DF Arquitectos where he was in charge of residential projects. Later, due to his interest in urban planning, he joined the Urban Improvement Program of the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development, a program that is responsible for providing urban equipment and public services to the most segregated municipalities around the country.
At the same time, Alan has volunteered with NGOs that provide housing in popular settlements in Mexico City. As well as activities involving the organization of communities so that through awareness and empowerment, they can improve the conditions of their surroundings and quality of life.

Miljana Drincic

Miljana Drincic (1995, Serbia) graduated at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture in 2019 with a Master’s degree in architectural design. Her thesis analyzed spaces for urban and digital nomads as a globally growing social group. The same year, she completed a two-month program Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, where she worked in two architectural and planning offices. Through this experience, she got invaluable insight into the interdisciplinary approach to urban planning and various scales it encompasses. She continued with her internship in Serbia for two years, predominantly working on residential buildings. During her studies, she learned hands-on about the role of planners as moderators between the public and private sectors, strategic documents, and public participation. In 2020, she attended several earth and clay natural building workshops. Her passion lies in analyzing local conditions, relations between architecture and wellbeing, and connection to nature. 

Jessica Chaves

Jessica was born in Fortaleza, Brazil. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Federal University of Ceara in 2016. In the very first semester of graduation, Jessica joined the CANTO Student Office of Architecture and Urbanism, where she had the opportunity to perform technical advisory under the supervision of professors from the University, responding to the needs of communities in Fortaleza. During her graduation she studied abroad for one year at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nantes in 2013 with a scholarship from the Brazilian Program Science Without Borders. Soon after completing the course, Jessica acted for three years as an elected representative on the Council of Architecture and Urbanism, mainly on issues related to housing and urban policy, contributing to the realization of debates on technical advice on social housing. Furthermore, Jessica founded with other colleagues an NGO called Taramela, which conducts urban development projects with the objective of offering technical advisory services and promoting actions to politically strengthen communities and social movements in the struggle for the right to the city and to decent housing conditions.

Ibrahim Adnan

Ibrahim (Maldives) completed his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture at Taylor’s University, Malaysia in 2016. During the past 5 years, he has worked at public corporations; Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Maldives and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL). At HDC, Ibrahim has led projects ranging from Urban Rejuvenation projects to complex industrial and Housing projects, where he grew interest in sustainable architecture and climate-resilient cities. Learning from his experience at HDC, he took a key role at MACL in delivering one of the biggest building development projects nationally – the New International Passenger Terminal Building. This project gave him valuable insights into public infrastructure planning and design management best practices. Ibrahim is also a passionate Teacher and has worked as a part-time lecturer at Maldives Polytechnic and Focus Education Center Maldives. With IUSD, he seeks to deepen his knowledge of urban policies, ecology, and management and explore solutions for resilient and Socially Just Cities.  

Ahmed Hussien

Ahmed Hussien is a Cairo-based architect and Urban designer who obtained his bachelor’s degree from Cairo University in Architectural Engineering. His thesis focused on the urban development of informal settlements in Cairo. During his studies, he joined Megawra – BEC as an urban designer to work on the Open Spaces program in Historic Cairo, which is dedicated to converting empty lots around Historic Cairo into recreational public spaces inspired by the local heritage. After graduation, he and his team started the Athar Lina Groundwater and Research Project, which discusses the problem of rising groundwater in residential and historic buildings. This project was followed by the implementation of Khalifa Heritage and Environment Park, which is irrigated by groundwater extracted from two historic domes on al-Khalifa Street. This project was selected to present Egypt in IABR-2020. In parallel to that, he worked as a freelance architect where he designed several architectural design and rehabilitation projects inside and outside Egypt, in which he, as part of the Noon Architects team, won the first prize to design sustainable housing prototypes in Islamabad, Pakistan. By obtaining knowledge and advanced tools in the urban realm provided by the IUSD program, Ahmed aims to return to Cairo with new integrated and participatory approaches to shape more resilient and sustainable cities towards the socio-economic and environmental challenges.

Erick Bergelund Rambow

Erick studied Architecture in Lima, Peru (2015). After his studies, he worked on various architecture and urban design projects, both for architecture offices and independently, in Lima and Berlin, mainly focusing on modularity, resource optimization and spaces for interaction.

From 2016 to 2021, he was part of the academic coordination team of a newly created architecture school in Lima (UCAL) while working as an assistant professor at an architectural design studio that explored diverse relationships between natural and built environments.

During his time in the faculty, he also had the opportunity to contribute to participatory design projects that allowed him to understand the reality and challenges of Lima. Therefore, he’s interested in the interactions between natural systems and anthropogenic processes in cities and the implementation of sustainable urban design strategies to deal with current and future challenges.

Amani Mardini

A diverse passionate architectural engineer who obtained her bachelor's degree in architecture engineering from the University of Jordan in 2019. She holds international experience as she completed an exchange semester at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and did her technical internship in Poznan, Poland in 2018. After her graduation, she had the chance to gain more experience for three years in the architecture and construction field while working on projects based in Qatar and Jordan. She is focused on design, construction, and urban planning with a huge interest in sustainability, resource efficiency, and green buildings, and a strong believer in the capability of architecture and research combined with integrated design thinking to create positive impacts, on our societies, climate, and natural environment.

Tanzila Ahmed

Tanzila Ahmed (1991, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
She received her bachelor degree in Architecture from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology at 2016, and started working at a consultancy firm. During her four years there she worked on commercial and industrial building design projects, later on oversaw project implementation wing of the firm. Moving on to her own practice, she joined Cactus Consultants, a design consultancy firm in Dhaka as a partner on 2021 and ever since has been actively working on building design projects and moving on to involve themselves in urban design & planning projects at Bangladesh. In order to gain specialization and bring versatility to their design practice, as a partner at CACTUS she decided that further knowledge is required on the field that she is interested on- Urban Planning and Design, which led her to IUSD. Currently focused on infrastructure growth, the country of Bangladesh needs more planners and designers now more than ever and she plans to join them as part of their practice upon concluding her journey at IUSD. Apart from work, she takes every opportunity to broaden my perspective through travelling. From work trips at China to fun trips at India, Bhutan or Thailand, she has had the opportunity to travel through major Asian cities and now excited to do the same for European cities.

Emmanuel Appiah

Emmanuel A. Appia graduated in 2019 from the College of Arts and Built Environment in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. HIs Bachelor thesis investigated the influence of development control on physical development in peri-urban areas. After graduation, he worked with the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, seconded to work with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on the Governance for Inclusive Development Project (GovID) in Ghana. The project sought to build partners capacity for ensuring accountable and inclusive development through local revenue mobilization and management, stakeholder engagement on economic development, planning and budgeting. He was actively engaged in training of District staff in district local revenue software (dLRev), building capacities of physical planning officers in map making on various software systems such as; ArcGIS, Map Maker, QGIS. His main aim in studying IUSD is to gain the knowledge necessary to create designs with favorable living circumstances in developing cities with social, environmental, political, and livable deficits, where sustainable methods are the main aspect of the urban plan. 

Elsa Yepez Westreicher

Elsa (*Lima, Peru, 1994) graduated as an Architect from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Her bachelor thesis project, which continues to be an interest for her, is titled "Coexist: Multi Credo Retirement Center". Through this project, she sought to develop an architectural system that allowed the peaceful interaction among the four most important religions in Peru. By overlaying drawings of iconic religious structures, she was able to transfer the social problem of inter-religious non-dialogue to an architectural problem. Once she finished her studies, Elsa worked in two architectural offices where she gained experience in commercial architecture, public space design, and housing projects. Later, she participated in a cross-disciplinary team in the National Program of Educational Infrastructure, an initiative of the Peruvian Ministry of Education, in which systematic modules are used to design educational institutions suited to the needs of different regions of Peru and their intended population. She also participated in the presentation of 20 maps that showed topics regarding anthropic and socio-economic hazards, operating cost, and potential saving and that allowed the educational ministry to establish a ranking of 70 schools projects. This first-hand experience allowed her to understand the importance of urban planning to build future sustainable projects. Through the IUSD program she aims to learn tools to reach sustainable projects by the use of each location’s potential.

Frank Dagbe Kpoglu

Frank Dagbe (1998, Ghana) studied Architecture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He is most passionate about building design ideas which inextricably combine the interests of environmental consciousness, sustainable architecture and green design approaches to evolve solutions by considering the natural site characteristics, building context and local microclimatic conditions.

This interest inevitably inspired his own research thesis tittled “Investigating the Effects of Bioclimatic Principles on the Energy Performance of Hotels in the Tongu Area''. He has some experience in the building design and construction sector in Ghana, but it was during his days as a Teaching and research assistant at the department of Architecture (KNUST) that he cultivated the habit of researching and having a thorough understanding of African cities with the aim of reviving and encouraging the use of traditional building clusters which were originally known for their distinctive passive design strategies. These strategies he firmly believes will help better prepare and equip African cities to face the detriments of climate change and global warming in the near future. 

In the IUSD program, he hopes to develop the skill of being able to think of the city in a holistic manner, and being able to develop pragmatic solutions for cities with the involvement of all stakeholders involved in the city planning process.

Nandni Shah

Nandni comes from the western part of India, born and brought up in the city of Ahmedabad- India's first World Heritage City. She is an architect, who graduated in the year 2020 from CEPT University (Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology), Ahmedabad. Her professional experience weaves through core architectural and urban design, academia, and real estate development in Ahmedabad. 

Nandni's core interest lies in studying informal settlements and urban housing trends/ developments which she also explored during her bachelor's thesis. She comes with an eagerness to learn more about sustainable design strategies. Nandni has consciously made efforts to engage with rural communities in various workshops and design summits and believes in learning through travel- her internship in the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim, and academic exchange semester at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, etc., have shaped her understanding of contextual planning in cities. 

Nandni is always up for anything hands-on and loves working with different materials. She has some experience in conducting construction-based workshops with students where they understand various building materials and techniques. After this course at IUSD, she hopes to be able to become a more conscious thinker of the urbanscape and emerge as a responsible professional of the built environment. 

Ajaykumar Chandran

Ajaykumar Chandran, born and brought up in a socio-culturally diverse country like India, he puts himself consciously on unfamiliar grounds with the intention of becoming boundless. These continuous transitions instilled in him the interdependencies amongst people and sense of community, eventuating to a keen interest in urbanism.

With the notion of “One world”, he's here in the IUSD program with a handful of world citizens creating dialogues across any man made identities/differences, with a common goal of making the world and it’s cities a better place for every other stakeholder. He anticipates this unity in diversity to facilitate the individuals to become empathetic, accommodating and open-minded people, rooting for a cohesive and holistically visioned world, where he would be a glad part of.

The intention to readily belong anywhere, enabled him to a honest seeking of most needed project. In turn his bachelor’s thesis addressed a local facade of the global phenomenon of climate change induced migration. By establishing cross-disciplinary ties into networks of experts and end users. Post his thesis, he chose to participate as an architect in a practice/firm which values human infrastructure as the most of any resource, moderating accurate material actualizations of intentions. Now here in IUSD to equip himself to create an environment enriching, people empowering, holistically envisioned regional/urban development.

Álvaro Martínez Mejía

Álvaro Martínez Mejía, architect graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has volunteered in damage assessment brigades in rural communities; and collaborated in the design and construction of housing in the communities of Ocuilan and San Mateo del Mar which were severely affected by the 2017 earthquake. As a result of this experience he became interested in social architecture, low-tech sustainable architecture, cost-effective construction and participatory design.

Another relevant experience was his work with the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU) in the development of urban equipment projects in cities located in the northern and southern borders of the country with an increasing presence of immigrant population. All these projects were developed with ecological principles and sought to become an example of environmentally sustainable architecture for the inhabitants of the region.

Throughout his professional career he has also collaborated with various architects and design firms such as TO Arquitectura, Colectivo C733 and Sordo Madaleno with whom he developed projects such as the pavilions for the International Fair of Friendly Cultures (FICA) 2018, "Campanario" at the Experimental Museum El Eco, educational and cultural spaces for Mexico City’s PILARES program and the "Refugio" proposal for the Young Architects Program (YAP) 2019 competition at MoMA PS1 in New York.

His objective is to continue promoting inclusive and sustainable urbanizations that ensure access to basic equipment and public services for the inhabitants of informal settlements and low-income communities in response and closely related to the Sustainable Development Goals defined for Mexico in the 2030 Agenda.

Ana Caribe Bobadilla Sanchez

Ana comes from the small beautiful Montería, Colombia. Graduated as an Anchitect in 2017 from La Universidad de La Salle in Bogota. During her studies she was always involved in different volunteer work from design to build inside some edged communities in Bogotà, As well as a monitor and co-funder in a Research Seedbed Project, called LAB - LAHC, recognized today for developing projects for modular Architecture and working with Minciencias (Colombian ministry of science). Studying, living and traveling abroad are some of her passions from a winter school coursed in 1015 at UNL, Argentina; focused on issues and challenges faced by Latin American countries to an exchange semester in Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy in 2016. In 2017 she worked in some Colombian firms as a designer for short periods. But in 2018 teaching came across and so on for the next four years at CAFAM School in Bogotà; while still working as an architect in her free time. Her last projects focused on participatory design and construction of sustainable spaces for communities in Tierralta, Cordoba with the Colombian NGO Benposta. By profession she is an Architect, by occupation and choice she was an architecture teacher for children and by vocation she would love to work with and for others, always through architecture she thinks IUSD can provide her the necessary tools to face any dynamic current challenge, transforming from transdisciplinary approaches and different complementary fields to finally propose architecturally, socially, economically and sustainable solutions.

Tiffany Liu

Tiffany Liu is an Architect and Urban Planner who graduated from the University of S.o Paulo, Brazil in 2018. In 2014, she received a Science Without Borders Scholarship to study two semesters of urban planning at Newcastle University, United Kingdom. Her final graduation project was focused on the Glicerio region in Sao Paulo, which has a historical relationship with water, LID strategies were used in order to reconnect the local community with their public spaces. After graduation, she worked as a trainee for Genos Environmental Consultancy where she was able to participate in a number of urban plans in conjunction with the public sector, such as: master plan, urban mobility plan, urban expansion plan and strategic environmental analysis. She also has over four years experience working in the private sector as an urban regulation analyst, focusing on urban and rural legislation regulations and GIS map analyses. Before coming to Germany, she received a FAEPEX scholarship for a post-graduate degree in architecture, urban planning and civil engineering from Unicamp University for the plan for the International Hub for Sustainable Development. In IUSD she believes she will acquire an in-depth knowledge on urban planning and sustainable practices through the multidisciplinary approach this course offers.

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