Zain Islam-Hashmi

Zain Islam-Hashmi

Neshanic Station, NJ, US

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Zain is an aspiring designer, researcher, and maker. Raised in the rural farmlands of Central New Jersey, he is a first-generation Pakistani-American passionate about fabrication, materiality, and global citizenship. He graduated in 2019 from Carnegie Mellon University's Bachelor of Architecture program with minors in Intelligent Environments and Architectural Design Fabrication.  He has worked for offices and non-profit organizations across America and in Japan, Ghana, Pakistan, and France. He has worked across a range of scales and disciplines such as architecture, industrial design, curation, fashion and production, and his design and research work has been featured in several news articles and publications, as well as presented at conferences across the country. He is interested in exploring the different levels of engagement between people and design, from clothing and installations to research initiatives and participatory design events. With a basis in the architecture field, his interests and experiences have led him to intersect with industrial design, exhibitions and events, fashion and performance. He believes that architecture goes beyond building environments to creating memories for people and is excited in exploring the different avenues of engagement possible between people, design, their communities, and the spaces they inhabit.



Domaine De Boisbuchet/ Vitra Design Museum, Lessac, FR, International Fellow

Serve as the USA representative of the organization through organizing partnerships, giving presentations and leading outreach to schools and individuals within the region

Aug 2018 - current

bcWORKSHOP, Washington, DC, US, Design Associate

Worked on multiple phases of design and management for affordable housing projects, conducted research to inform policy and community development studies, and coordinated project support for national design initiatives including the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (Project Manager) & George Ballis Legacy Project & Photo Exhibition (Curator)

Dec 2019 - Jul 2020

Carnegie Mellon University, Washington, Digital Fabrication Lab Monitor

Assisted in the maintenance, operations and teaching of digital fabrication spaces and its equipment including laser cutters, 3D printers, 3.5-Axis CNC Mill, Vacuum Former, 5 & 6-Axis Industrial Robots, etc.

Jan 2018 - May 2019

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, US, Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistant for "Case Studies in Architecture" with Stefan Gruber & “First Year Seminar” with Heather Workinger

Aug 2017 - May 2019

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, US, Undergraduate Research Fellow

Conducted independent research on the implications and implementations of earth-based materials and construction in Pittsburgh

Jul 2018 - Aug 2018

Domaine De Boisbuchet/ Vitra Design Museum, Lessac, FR, General Staff

Led architectural walking tours and aided in general operations of the facility by helping tutors from around the world conduct workshops throughout the summer

May 2018 - Jul 2018

Nka Foundation, Yeboahkrom, GH, Volunteer

Participated in the design-build of a clinic for a rural village using “earth-crete” construction alongside 20 other volunteers

Jun 2017 - Aug 2017

emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design, Tokyo, JP, Intern

Iterated on multiple scales of physical modeling and fabrication of upcoming installations

Jul 2016 - Aug 2016

ARCOP ASSOCIATES PVT.LTD, Karachi, PK, Architectural Intern

Started work on a competition entry including preliminary research, creating parti drawings, site analysis and visits, and producing presentation drawings for clientele meetings

May 2016 - Jun 2016

Marina Rubina, Architect, Princeton, NJ, US, Architectural Intern

Worked alongside Principal and was in charge of the Site & Building Analysis, Schematic Design, Design Development, and more of an 1890's Victorian Interior remodel

May 2015 - Aug 2015

Cosmic Stone and Tile Distributors, Inc., New Brunswick, NJ, US, Intern

Co-lead committee to re-design company website, conducted customer tours of showroom and warehouse, and coordinated purchase orders with fabricators and supplies as part of the customer service department

Jun 2014 - Aug 2015


Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, US, BArch, Architecture

Honors: Dean’s List | College Honors | 4th Year Design Awards Finalist
Minors: Intelligent Environments & Architectural Design Fabrication
Thesis: Dirt Forms - Understanding and Implementing an Earthen Construction Collectivism in Pittsburgh

American Institute of Architecture Students Carnegie Mellon Chapter:
- Secretary | 2015-2016
- Outreach Programming Coordinator | 2016-2017
- Chapter President | 2017-2018
* Recipient of the 2018 Chapter Leader Honor Award
* Recipient of the 2018 Chapter Honor Award

MAYUR South Asian Student's Assocation
- Freshman Representative | 2014-2015
- PR Chair | 2015-2016
- Student Advisor | 2016-2017

Lunar Gala
- Designer | 2016-2019
- Head Design Coordinator | 2018-2019

Aug 2014 - May 2019


AIAS CRIT Scholar Research Program, Grant

One of six selected for a research-based fellowship program with the American Institute of Architects for work as part of my senior thesis, "Dirt Forms: Understanding and Implementing an Earthen Construction Collectivism in Pittsburgh"


Award for Artistic Excellence, Award

Given an Award for Artistic Excellence as part of Meeting of the Minds 2019, Carnegie Mellon University's Undergraduate Research Symposium. The award was given for my senior thesis, “Dirt Forms: Understanding and Implementing an Earthen Construction Collectivism in Pittsburgh” and fashion collection, “Alluminare: A Glow-in-the-Dark Collection”.


Undergraduate Environmental Research Award, Honorable Mention

Given an Honorable Mention for the Undergraduate Environmental Research Award as part of Meeting of the Minds 2019, Carnegie Mellon University's Undergraduate Research Symposium. The award was given for my senior thesis, “Dirt Forms: Understanding and Implementing an Earthen Construction Collectivism in Pittsburgh”.


Measuring & Monitoring Internship Fund, Award

Awarded $3,000 to pursue an internship at Domaine de Boisbuchet for the summer of 2018.

The Measuring & Monitoring Services, Inc. Internship Fund has been established through the generosity of James Halpern, BAC ’81. The Fund provides financial support to a SoA undergraduate student who wishes to undertake a summer internship or related program under the guidance of established professionals. The internship fund recognizes the importance and advantage of being immersed for an extended period in the creative processes and organizational dynamics of an architecture firm, non-governmental organization, non-profit organization, or CMU faculty member.


Burdett Assistantship, Award

Awarded $5,000 for "Topographic Textures" alongside Gargi Lagvankar to research the effect of the three rivers of Pittsburgh on the city's development from a manufacturing hub into a knowledge city, exposing the latent connections of hydrology, geology, and human geography through historical and architectural analysis presented through a public exhibition and the fabrication of a three dimensional topographic map of Pittsburgh.

The Burdett Assistantship was established on 10 December 1982 in recognition of Bob Burdett’s long and outstanding service to the University and profession. The award is open to all undergraduate students pursuing their first professional degree in architecture, and is intended to support projects and activities that will enhance the winning student’s future work. According to its charter, the winner of the Burdett Assistantship “shall possess love of their subject, integrity, patience, fairness, and respect for others.”


Ecolutions Fashion Show, 1st Place

One of four winners for Pittsburgh's annual Ecolutions Fashion Show by designing a garment made from recycled materials and poured earth.


AIAS Chapter President Honor Award, Award

The highest accolade presented to a chapter leader of the American Institute of Architecture Students.

Notes from the Jury: This was an outstanding submittal. The letters of recommendation were pointed and in unique support of their candidate. Zain is a well-rounded student and clearly succeeded in each piece he had submitted. We appreciated the conversation about the chapter crash that happened post hosting a quad and that Zain was able to balance research and other curricular pursuits while still lifting his peers to new heights. Thank you for demonstrating a balance between AIAS involvement, education, and extracurriculars. Well done and congratulations!


Chapter Honor Award, Award

The highest accolade presented to a chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students.

Notes from the Jury: The jury was impressed by the level of rigor the chapter went through to reinvent and re-imagine their programming having used data, town halls, and other avenues to pursue their members. In addition to getting their larger community involved, the chapter really worked to tackle socio-economic issues their peers and members faced. They had the most well-rounded application. The package was beautiful, the support material was wonderful. They gave more information than we asked for, and clearly worked really well with the administration. The integration into their academics, studio culture, and school community is clear and intentional. The letters of recommendation were strong, clear, and unique. Well done Carnegie Mellon team!! Congratulations!


Epic Metals Design Competition Finalist, 3rd Place

Awarded 3rd place alongside Kelly Li for the design of a stargazing pavilion incorporating metal decking.


AIAS Imagine: Top 60-at-60, Honorable Mention

Selected as one of the top AIAS members and participated in workshop with Disney Imagineers


.Archi Web Portfolio Design Competition, 1st Place

Created the winning digital portfolio in a national design competition hosted by .ARCHI and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). The design sought to integrate function, aesthetics and structure to showcase projects and accomplishments, and my personal portfolio website design was then produced by professionals.


Areas of Specialization