Aziza Chaouni is founding principal of Aziza Chaouni Projects and assistant professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, where she leds Designing Ecological Tourism (DET) — a collaborative research platform that investigates the challenges faced by ecotourism in the developing world.
Chaouni was formerly principal and co-founder of Bureau E.A.S.T. She holds a Master of Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Civil Engineering from Columbia University.
Chaouni’s personal research is focused both on developing world design issues and on methodologies to integrate architecture and landscape, and more particularly through investigating the potential of green technologies in arid climates. At the University of Toronto, Chaouni teaches graduate option studios set in the Moroccan Sahara, investigating sustainable modes of construction and xeriscaping technique and their integration with tourism. She has also lead an initiative with Professor Liat Margolis called the Out of Water project, identifying and assessing the performance of different methods to harness, treat, collect and describe water.
Chaouni was awarded the Progressive Architecture award in 2007 for her research project, “Hybrid Urban Sutures: Filling the Gaps in the Medina of Fez” and was the Aga Khan Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2006-2007. As a fellow, she collaborated in the production of a seminar on desert tourism and a studio on the Medina of Fez. Chaouni exhibited her research on Desert Ecolodges at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She also organized an international conference on Desert Tourism with Professor Virginie Lefebvre. A book by Chaouni and Lefebvre based on their research and teaching, “Visiter le desert: architecture durable et architecture” was published in 2009 in collaboration with the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism and Harvard GSD (Editions Lefennec, 2009.)
Chaouni is also the Director of the Research Board of DO.CO.MO.MO Morocco, a chapter of an international organization that seeks the preservation of the modern heritage. Her research on architect J-F Zevaco will be assembled in a book, Detailing Modernism, to be published with a grant from the Graham Foundation and the ArchiLab Center in Orleans.
Chaouni developed her professional experience in offices in Morocco, Europe, Canada, and the United States including Hashim Sarkis ALUD; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; and Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Chaouni's former office with partner Takako Tajima, Bureau E.A.S.T., as well as Aziza Chaouni Projects have been recognized with top awards for both the Global and Regional Africa and the Middle East competition from the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction; the Architectural League of New York Young Architects Award; Environmental Design Research Association Great Places Award; the American Society of Landscape Architects Design Awards; and other professional design awards and prizes. Chaouni's work has been published and exhibited internationally, including the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam; INDEX: Design to Improve Life in Copenhagen; and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT) World Urban Forum.