January 18, 2012
Architecture student works co-op in London for world-famous architect
Alia Zayani, Master of Architecture ’12
Co-op Employer: Zaha Hadid Architects
Co-op Position: Architecture Intern
Hometown: Manama, Bahrain
It wasn’t the close proximity to Westminster Abbey or Big Ben that Alia Zayani, MARC '12, liked most about living and working in London, England—it was the opportunity to spend her co-op working at an architecture firm with people who have rich and diverse backgrounds.
The firm’s namesake Zaha Hadid, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and renowned for her theoretical and academic work, has long served as an inspiration for Zayani as a strong and successful woman in the architecture world. She has always admired Hadid and even focused a few projects and presentations at Wentworth on her work. “I never imagined that I would work at her firm, but the co-op program at Wentworth provided me with a great opportunity to apply.”
Zayani was able to gain hands-on experience perfecting architecture design programs and model-making skills, but she also learned how architects work. Her exposure to an international office with 300 employees and projects in 44 countries around the world taught her more than just collaboration and time management. “Being part of this international architecture firm was an incredible experience that helped me understand the issues of designing in a global context.” It also helped her think about her own path. “I gained knowledge about how a large and international firm operates and how I should work in response to that. Now when I’m back in my architecture studios, I feel I bring a new depth to my studies.” And when she graduates, she hopes that she can make an impact on international architecture through a leadership role at a multi-cultural firm.