Aziza Chaouni is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and the founding principal of the design practice Aziza Chaouni Projects (ACP) with offices in Fez, Morocco and Toronto, Canada. Chaouni is also the Director of the Designing Ecological Tourism (DET) research platform at the Daniels Faculty. Her practice, research and teaching focus on sustainable design and construction in the developing world. Chaouni’s research work focuses on two topics primarily: the integration of architecture and landscape, particularly through the implementation of sustainable technologies in arid climates, and modern heritage preservation and adaptive reuse. She is the co-author of Desert Tourism: Tracing the Fragile Edges of Development (with Virginie Lefebvre) and Out of Water: Design Solutions for Arid Regions (with Liat Margolis), and the author of Ecotourism, Nature Conservation and Development: Reimagining Jordan’s Shobak Arid Region.
Chaouni has led several modern heritage preservation and awareness projects: on the future of Ontario Place with Professor George Baird and the ACO and with support from the World Monuments Funds, on the Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Station in Morocco thanks to a Getty Foundation Keeping It Modern grant, with Mourtada Gueye on the International Fair of Dakar thanks to a Getty Foundation Keeping It Modern grant, and with the World Monuments Fund on Old Fourth Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone thanks to a grant from the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
In 2017, Chaouni co-created, with Halim Sbai, Thomas Duncan and Wanda Hebly, the NGO Joudour Sahara, which offers free music and anti-desertification classes to local children and youth in the Moroccan oasis of M’hamid El Ghizlane.
Chaouni’s design work has been recognized with top awards such as the Gold Global and Gold Regional Africa and Middle East prizes from the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, as well as the Silver Global and Regional Acknowledgement prizes of this same award; the Architectural League of New York Young Architects Award; the Environmental Design Research Association Great Places Award; the American Society of Landscape Architects Design Award; and the ACSA Collaboration Award, among others.
Her work has also been published and exhibited internationally, including at the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, INDEX: Design to Improve Life in Copenhagen, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT) World Urban Forum, the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen.
Chaouni holds a Masters of Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Civil Engineering from Columbia University.