New York, NY, USA & Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Raya Ani is a Multidisciplinary Architect, her passion and interest crosses over disciplines to include architecture, urban design, interior design, fashion, art and the environment.

Raya is the President of the American Institute of Architects-Middle East, a licensed Architect in the State of New York and a US Green Building Council Accredited Professional.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, she was named one of the top most powerful Architects in the Middle East by Design MENA in Dubai.

She was selected as one of five inspiring and powerful personalities in the world by Black Tomato travel and Cadillac and she represented Dubai and the MENA region.

She was recently shortlisted from a list of 43 leading women architects in New York to enter an international design competition to convert a women’s prison to an international Hub for Women’s Empowerment in Manhattan.

She received her BSC in Architectural Engineering from Baghdad University with distinctions, and an MS in Architectural studies from MIT where she was awarded the Harvard / MIT Aga Khan Scholarship.

Raya has designed the first public green school in New York City and two green residential towers in Battery Park City.

In 2010, Raya moved to Dubai and took the role of design director at DWP.  There she designed and managed numerous high-profile projects in the UAE and was nominated in 2011 for the Middle-East Architect of the year Award.

In 2012, she founded RAW-NYC Architects, an interdisciplinary architectural studio based in New York City. In 2014, She established the Dubai office.

Raya Ani has taught architecture studios and served as a guest critic at leading architectural schools in the US and the UAE. She is a regular guest speaker at international conferences including the Harvard Arab conference that was held in Dubai where she moderated a panel on the future of the Arab city. She has been an active participant in workshops held in Dubai to help design and build schools for low-income communities in Tanzania.

Raya is well recognized for her innovative designs and initiatives. She is an inspiration figure for architects and women in the UAE and abroad. Her research focuses on future living, future cities, economical and social sustainability and the intersection between technology, innovation and sustainability.

A selection of projects illustrates the inordinate intelligence, drive and creativity, which Raya brings to her work; work easily described as innovative, and even visionary in nature. These works include:

+Al Khor master plan that seeks to address the three dimensions of sustainability while protecting the mangroves.

+The AMH Terraces: a 44-story tower in Dubai creates an architecture that is inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon.

+A design (winner of AIA ME honor award) to organize the marsh communities of Southern Iraq into an economically viable entity while addressing critical ecological concerns.

+ Raya was a speaker at the Smart Skyscraper Summit where she talked about Innovation and Environmental, Social and Economic systems of sustainability. She was interviewed at Sabah Al Dar and SKYNEWS Arabia on the topic of skyscrapers & sustainability.

+The Aspire sports complex in Qatar (Leisure Project of the Year Award by Middle East Architect). Raya endeavored to create the experience of playing outdoors in an indoor environment, and, to that end, designed a breathable building that relied on passive technologies.

+Through extensive discussions with a beverage company, Raya started an initiative to recycle their plastic bottles, which she then used to make a stand for RAW-NYC Cityscape.  She used the same plastic bottles a second time in an ethereal piece of art (“Wanderlust”) at the zero exhibit inaugural exhibition.

+ In 2016, Raya Ani led RAW-NYC team for Liberland to design a masterplan for a new country that uses Innovative technologies to power the city. The design won first place and was widely published. 


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