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My name is Zineb Bennouna, I am a 25 years old young architect and I am a Ph.D. candidate in Architecture and Heritage Studies in Paris. I grew up in Morocco where I learned to see architecture through the prism of history and the vernacular. I strongly believe in the uses and efficiency of traditional devices in contemporary architecture. The main purpose of my research is to free one of these devices: the Mashrabiyya from the stereotypes that the orientalism movement has anchored in the minds (most are describing it as a veiling tool) and to prove that intimacy is not opposed to hospitality.

Right now you might be wondering: why am I a part of Politics4Her? Believe it or not, everything is political and architecture is no exception. Indeed, Politics and Architecture are in close relation. Even more, I believe that architecture is a political act itself: I personally see it as the most permanent marker of a civilization, and the clearest reflection of a society and its relationship to power. Each drawing, each line, and each wall is part of bigger political performance. It took me years before be fully aware of the repercussion a “simple building/project” can have and to understand that activism is far more than going to demonstrations, it is also acting effectively by designing the world that we are part of.

Today, women are still underrepresented in the architectural landscape, at all levels of practice. However, I strongly believe in the power of creating and designing our own future, so let’s make it a good one! Through my practice and my work with Politics4Her, I dream of helping, empowering, and inspiring women to build a better future for themselves, brick by brick stone by stone, WE women, can be “the architects of the society” as Harriet Beecher Stowe once said.