Aly's Thesis Honored by BAC
SMMA is pleased to congratulate Ahmed Aly, Senior Designer, upon being conferred a Master of Architecture degree from the Boston Architectural College, and for receiving both an Architecture Thesis Commendation and the Edwin T. Steffian Centennial Thesis Award. The latter recognizes the Class of 2016’s most successful thesis presentation.
Ahmed’s work, Unfinished Revolution/Unfinished Space, frames architecture as a means of empowering a populace through the removal of barriers in the context of urban Egypt. Ahmed conceived an intervention in Cairo’s socially marginalized neighborhood of Bulaq—one drawing focus from nearby Tahrir Square, ground zero for the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and volatile June protests of 2013, to a community that, in his words, lies “at the heart of the struggle for social justice.”
His vision centered on a grand structure that incorporates a variety of public spaces—a playground, an art gallery, a tilted plaza, as well as gardens and areas for prayer—and fosters a feeling of connection among residents who have for so long been isolated within the city. In his design, Ahmed carefully considered materials, program, and elements of sustainability, all working in concert to help him achieve his goal of "creating a realm of belonging."
Achieving connectivity through architecture has been a theme of Ahmed’s work in the past. In 2013, for an open design competition hosted by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, Ahmed conceptualized a memorial that used place to unite a historical moment of trauma with ongoing moments of reflection. He titled his submission, “Landscape of Hope.”
Ahmed’s design acumen is informed by his more than seven years of professional architectural experience, both in the U.S. and Egypt. As his theories about architecture and its social, emotional, and political impact have developed, so, too, have his rendering abilities, providing the visual support required for his progressive ideas. SMMA looks forward to his further development and continued engagement in helping to elevate the field of architecture.