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02.16.12 – Designing Ecological Tourism wins Progressive Architecture Award

Designing Ecological Tourism (DET) — a collaborative research program led by Assistant Professor Aziza Chaouni — has received recognition from the Progressive Architecture Awards for its project on Ain Nsissa Eco Tourism Facilities in Bouarfa, Morocco.

DET brings together faculty members from the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, as well as international experts, local stakeholders, government officials and graduate students, to develop and disseminate transferable tools, strategies, and visions for low impact forms of tourism that safeguard fragile environments and invigorate local economies. For this project, DET worked with a team of Saharan nomads and local officials to produce a zoning study and a series of housing prototypes for tourists and nomadic people alike.

"This is a cultural investigation that results in structures that tie the culture to the land, but in a progressive way," said juror Ann Beha.

Daniels student Samar Zarifa and graduate Utako Tanebe will represent DET at the award ceremony on Thursday, February 16. Both were part of the team, led by Professor Chaouni, that completed the project last summer.

Architect magazine has more information about DET's award and other winners of the 59th Annual Progessive Architecture Awards here.