LECTURE: CCAE, Cork School of Architecture

Sara Shafiei and Ben Cowd lecture, Cork School of Architecture, Ireland.
Many thanks to all student and staff for the invitation, warm welcome and hospitality throughout the day. A special thanks to Kieran Cremin for organising the event. 

For further information on Cork school of Architecture please visit:
You can also follow the student work on:


CRITS: Oxford Brookes University Unit J

Many Thanks to Unit J critics Dietmar Koering, Alex Russell, Sam Clarke and Ben Cowd on behalf of Unit J tutors Sara Shafiei and Aleksandrina Rizova, and all Unit J students.


WIN: £10,000 Lend Lease/Architects Journal Grand Award for Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition, London

Ben Cowd's Book: Solar Topography, The Farnese Gardens, Rome has won the Lend Lease/ Architects Journal Grand Award for Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition London.

Sara and Ben with Thomas Hopkins are also exhibiting a drawing: The Mosque of the Sun, Qatar and will be giving a talk about the work at the Royal Academy on 20th July



Sara Shafiei and Ben Cowd invited lecturers at International Conference, 'Conversations In Architecture'  hosted by Hugh Fraser. COA Cape Town, SA
Press Release:
“After two decades of marvelling in the possibilities of computers, enough time has passed to appreciate that they often don't make better buildings”, says architect Hugh Fraser, seminar host. “Using the work of Saraben Studio as a departure point, the COA conference explores what is possible now that we better understand digital rendering, modelling and fabrication. The boundaries between the design fields have also blurred allowing architecture, interior and furniture design to blend with product and graphic design more seamlessly.” Hugh Fraser 
Photographs by Jurie Senekal



Mosque of the Sun II: Crown of Doha Exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Show 2012.  
Project Location: Doha, Qatar
Team: Ben Cowd, Thomas Hopkins,
Sara shafiei
Materials: Paper, Etched brass, Rapid Prototype.


WIN: Stefanie Kuhn wins Oxford Brookes prize

Stefanie Kuhn wins Oxford Brookes prize for ‘originality in sustainability’.
Image of  Project ‘Breaking Symmetry: Stage at St. Stephen Walbrook Church, London’  by Stefanie Kuhn and Lucinda Prophet.
Tutors: Sara Shafiei & Horhizon.


BD CLASS OF 2012: Luke Snow

Towards a Carbon-Negative Britain is an alternative vision of a renewable energy plant

Sited opposite the Kingsnorth Power Station in the Medway Estuary, Luke Snow’s project, Towards a Carbon-Negative Britain, presents an alternative vision for a renewable energy plant that takes inspiration from bio-mimetic forms.

The judges were impressed by his evocative representations and intricate model-making skills. “An inspiring interaction between recycling and archi-tectural processes,” said judge Juan Lago-Novás Domingo.

For more information visit: BD Class of 2012



Sara Shafiei of saraben -studio is guest desk critic and visiting lecturer at VCU Qatar, Interior Design Department, Qatar Foundation. 
For more information on Qatar Foundation and VCU please visit: http://www.qatar.vcu.edu/


WIN: Mark Sykes & Luke Snow win Creative Thinking Award

Congratulations to Mark Sykes who wins the £4,000 prize, with Luke Snow picking up the £2,000 prize.
“The emergence of technologies such as 3D printing has the potential to change the way we design, manufacture and distribute physical objects,” said Mark, 27, who’s from Sydney, Australia.
“What needs to take place is a conversation about how this new technology, and the principles of open source design, will affect the architectural design process.
“My proposal for a Faculty for Open Source Architecture would provide a physical location – at a former US spy station – where these ideas could be explored by architects, designers and members of the public.”

Also impressing was 26-year-old Luke Snow, who’s idea was an integrated design project that aims to create a ‘carbon negative Britain’.

Tutor: Ben Cowd


RIBA Presidents Medals: Silver Medal Commendation and Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing

Christopher Christophi's 'Ecological Research & Macro Algae Monitoring Facility, North Arsenale, Venice' wins a commendation and the Serjeant Award for excellence in Drawing at the RIBA Presidents Medals.

Review by Phineas Harper at The Architecture Review 20/12/11

"This atmospheric montage is the work of Christopher Christophi, a graduate from De Montfort University School of Architecture and winner of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing at this year’s RIBA President’s Medals. Three laboratory towers converge with existing lecture halls, connecting to historic nodes by public walkways creating a macro algae monitoring facility and ecological research centre symbiotically existing with Venice’s fragile lagoons.

The complex programme was exhaustively researched under tutors, Ben Cowd and Sara Shafiei. Christopher conceived his own strategy of defensive design that seeks to protect Venice and its lagoons from a creeping onslaught of microscopic invaders.The project, which was also commended in the Silver Medal category for Part 2 students, combines romanticised
murky drawings with a pragmatic manifesto."

To see Chris's winning entry click here