On the occasion of the annual RIBA President’s Medals 2011, Basmah Kaki from the Architectural Association, received the SOM Foundation 2011 Travelling Fellowship Award given to a student who has completed the RIBA Part 1 course of study at a school of architecture in the United Kindom. Basmah’s winning submission for her award is entitled, “An Acoustic Lyrical Mechanism.” Basmah describes her project as, “ Part documentary, part speculation, the project reflects on sites and people lost in the rush of technological progress, but at the same time celebrating the cultivation of hope through acoustic lyrical mechanisms.
Ms. Kaki grew up in Saudi Arabia and completed her secondary education at high school in Switzerland, following which she enrolled at the Architectural Association in London for her Part 1 studies in Architecture. Basmah has just completed her Year Out, having worked initially at the office of Sir Peter Cook where she developed energy studies and prototypes explored in her “ Acoustic Lyrical Mechanism” project, but adapted to different conditions. Halfway through her Year Out, she began work at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners on a project currently under construction, which was designed with a smart/ efficient energy system which should result in low operating costs in the long term. Basmah will return to the Architectural Association in autumn of 2012 for her Part 2 studies, and hopes to continue her research into new technologies that not only provide energy efficient solutions, but also in parallel, resolve social communal problems.
Basmah plans to utilize her Fellowship Award to travel to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 where the theme is, “enclosure, the process of protecting, but also defining inside from outside, private from public, and the individual from the community.” In referring to her project, the “Acoustic Lyrical Mechanism “as a refuge, in a place where a an entire community is being exploited, she calls upon a quote from David Chipperfield to summarize the theme of her project: “As the world seems to increasingly indulge the aspirations of the individual, we seem to find the idea of community, the civic, the public, the common more difficult to define.”
Following completion of her architectural studies, Basmah aspires to join an architectural firm in Saudi, and eventually set up her own firm.