Zain Al Sharaf Wahbeh
Born in Jordan and raised in the United Arab Emirates, I am a Palestinian academic who is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Growing up in Abu Dhabi, a city replete with high-rise emblems, hovering cranes, and globalised industry has saturated my memories with images of novel material systems, forms and typologies.
Throughout my undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh, this institution has driven me to enrich my design skills in the context of architecture and the built environment. This process involved theoretical and technical design exercises, ranging from the conception of a theatrical culinary library in Rome to a mixed tenure housing complex in London . These modules have underlined my capacity to synthesize a vast range of structural, spatial, and material techniques through pragmatic responses to complex urban conditions.
Within the professional setting, I have dedicated the third year of my study at the Arcadis and X Architects offices in Dubai. During this period, I participated in the various stages of design and construction. This included but was not limited to working on research, drafting, and modelling tasks at the office, as well as partaking in site visits, presentations, and meetings with planning authorities. In doing so, I had gained valuable insight into the regulatory frameworks, building procurement, and coordination workflows of some of the most reputable design consultancy practices in the Middle East.
Following the completion of my graduate studies, I have enrolled at the Royal College of Art to pursue the second stage of my Architectural education. I have dedicated the past year to clinically examining the no-longer-existing neighborhood in my country of origin. In doing so, I confronted the discursive erasure of this contested territory under the Zionist occupation, using a series of journalistic, forensic, and illustrative exercises.