THRIVE is an AIWA project dedicated to highlighting individuals who are doing remarkable things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Arine Aprahamian, Architect + Designer, Co-Founder of MÜLLER APRAHAMIAN.
Arine Aprahamian (She/Her), Architect + Designer, Co-Founder of MÜLLER APRAHAMIAN.
Lebanese-Armenian architect, designer, and researcher Arine Aprahamian champions an innovative, affordable, and sustainable vision of the future through architecture. She founded the architecture and design studio MÜLLER APRAHAMIAN with partner Adrian Müller in 2018. With activities in Beirut, London, and Yerevan, Armenia, the studio has since worked on cutting-edge buildings and proposals, as well as on forward-thinking projects with notable designers, artists, and institutions. They recently launched Terraforma, an in-house R&D project working with local industry to explore the traditional, ancient building material of clay and produce innovative, domestic alternatives for architectural materials. As a part of the ROLEX Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative for the 2023-2024 cycle, Aprahamian has been selected to be the protege for Anne Lacaton, who is the Pritzker Architecture Prize winner.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I owe my career in architecture to my childhood neighborhood Bourj Hammoud (Lebanon), which was originally designed by the French for Armenian refugees. A low-income part of the city with small plots, it is home to locals, refugees, and immigrants as it evolves like a living organism adapting to the newcomers’ needs.
Here, space is of utmost luxury; public spaces are non-existent. Bourj Hammoud is where I first learned what space and its design could really mean, how inseparable and valuable they both are, and how their manipulation impacts the lives of its inhabitants to their societies, for better or indeed worse. It’s the reason I am an architect today.
I first discovered AIWA when looking for ways to fund my undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut. AIWA graciously supported me in a time of need.
I have been on the receiving side of these generous endeavors numerous times during my formative years, and as my career is at last on the precipice of taking flight, I look forward to finally being on the supporting rather than receiving side of this community.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian/Armenians?
For me, being Armenian is having access to a global community of practically strangers who will support and help you in time of need, nurture talent and dedication, and generally cheer you on as you move throughout your life and career.
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