Research student, Welsh School of Architecture
- 1.40, Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
I am an architect and a lecturer assistant at Zagazig University, Egypt. Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA), and a Welsh School of Architecture Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee member.
I was awarded Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Zagazig University in 2016 (very good with honours). Then I started teaching as a demonstrator at Zagazig university in different undergraduate courses including architectural design studio, architecture construction and building material, urban design, and sciagraphy & perspective, I also worked with students on their graduation projects. Meanwhile, I was working as a freelancer on different scale national and international projects ranging from residential, clinics, squares, and compounds, to social & athletic clubs. In 2020 I was awarded a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering from Zagazig University. In the same year, I was awarded Interior Design Professional Diploma from The American University in Cairo.
After M.Sc. I worked as a lecturer assistant at Zagazig University, I engaged in studio tutoring and participated in teaching several courses including architectural design studio, architecture construction and building material, and urban design. In October 2021 I started my PhD at Cardiff University, Welsh School of Architecture. In 2022 I have participated in several teaching activities in WSA.
I have always been interested in the relationship between the people and the buildings, and how they interact with them. Listening and engaging with people have always been my favourite part of the research. This led me in my M.Sc. to study the effect of smart buildings on the employees' satisfaction, my thesis titled " Buildings Automation System Impact on Internal Environment: Office Buildings' User Satisfaction as Case Study". Now in my PhD research, I am looking into how public buildings can be more friendly for people with learning disabilities based on their perspective, as the research's main focus is the prioritization of people with learning disabilities in shaping the built environment they use every day.
As the voice of people with a learning disability is vital for my PhD research, a collaboration was made with Cardiff People First, which is a self-advocacy and community advocacy organisation, that is run by and for people with a learning disability in Cardiff. Moreover, a co-researcher was assigned from there signed to support the research accessibility and facilitate communication.
Interactive Architecture for People with Learning Disabilities: Utilizing Co-Design to Move Toward Equitable Public Buildings
The full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms must be protected for all people without any discrimination regarding their ability level. There are more than one billion disabled people around the world which counts for 15% of the world population, of which 110–190 million adults have very significant difficulties in functioning, which represents 2.2-3.8% of the world’s population (WHO 2011). One of the many difficulties encountered by people with a learning disability is the challenge of feeling at ease in the environment (McAllister and MaGuire 2012), as their interaction with buildings can be confusing and difficult to tolerate. Moreover, people with learning disabilities appear to be less advantaged in many settings than those who experience a visible impairment, including public architectural environments. This creates a need for a more inclusive public environment, which is more valuable to people with learning disabilities, as it encourages their independence and increases their social interaction. Interactive solutions can support the inclusivity concept, as it has proved to be an excellent way of providing technological support to facilitate everyday activities for people with learning disabilities (Dalton 2017; Guerrero-Garcia et al. 2017; Sitbon and Farhin 2017; Frauenberger et al. 2019). However, to reach a truly inclusive design, the participation of people with learning disabilities is necessary, which can be achieved through co-design approach. This research aims to establish a framework of architectural design guidelines through co-design approach, using interactive architecture as a tool to increase the social interaction of people with learning disabilities outside controlled environments (e.g., special schools, and therapy centres). This will be attainable by adopting a mixed methodology taking a practice-led approach using quantitative and qualitative measures. Multi-data collection phases will be used to recommend architectural design guidelines that tackle the architectural barriers faced by people with learning disabilities in the public architectural environment.