Lectures & Workshops

'Prosperity, Community and Identity: The built environment and creative capacity,' conference at the Legatum Institute.
As part of the legatum Institute's 'Architecture of Prosperity' series, the seminar explores the role of urban landscapes in shaping our wellbeing and creativity. Many thanks to the organisers and participants for a fantastic day.
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Sara Shafiei and Ben Cowd invited lecturers at Biennial Art and Design Conference. Many thanks to all students and staff for the invitation, warm welcome and hospitality throughout the week. A special thanks to Kevin Woolley for his organisation and collaboration throughout Tasmeem 2013. 


Many thanks to all students and staff for the invitation, warm welcome and hospitality throughout the week. A special thank you to Kevin Woolley for his organisation and his collaboration throughout Tasmeem. 


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 

Sara Shafiei and Ben Cowd lecture, Cork School of Architecture, Ireland.
"Architecture is Magic: The work of Sara Shafiei and Ben Cowd"

Many thanks to all students 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:

Lecture and Workshop by Sara Shafiei
Architecture and the loss of craft, VCU Qatar, Education City, Doha
April 2011

Sara Shafiei gives lecture and workshop at VCUQatar, Education City, Doha on the work of saraben-academia and saraben-studio.

Dietmar Koering, Crit and workshop.
Oxford Brookes University, November 2012

"Nurbs to Mesh-ups" The Leicester School of Architecture
25th - 30th November 2010

Dietmar Koering, Ben Cowd and Sara Shafiei
Lecture and workshop by Dietmar Koering in Rhino and Cinema 4D for 5th Year BArch students at the Leicester School of Architecture.
Output: Rapid-prototype and milled hardwood landscape

“Spaces Being Layered Through Time”, Leicester School of Architecture, DMU
15th – 19th February 2010

Eva Sommeregger, Ben Cowd, Sara Shafiei
A weeklong workshop run by Eva Sommeregger to re-examine the implications of previously completed work to further communicate and animate existing drawings through film.

“Layers and Lair in Edinburgh”, Leicester School of Architecture, DMU
4th – 7th March 2010

Dietmar Koering, Ben Cowd, Sara Shafiei
A skills workshop run by Dietmar Koering set to introduce new software to examine digital space and in the physical context of historic Edinburgh. The work attempted to form atmospheric, crafted spaces via digital means with which they could continue the project till end of term

"Urban Scenario", Architectural Association, London
25th to 30th March 2009

Ben Crowd, Bruce Davison, Tobias Klein, Dietmar Koering, Justin Lau, Sara Shafiei, Johan Voordouw.
‘Urban Scenario’ was a five-day workshop aimed at designing an architectural cinematic response to a possible London flooding scenario. Set along the river Thames, students utilised a number of monumental buildings to create a narrative architectural response to the brief. Students explored various tools of digital design and representation, and were guided by one-on-one tutorials, as well as lectures and software lessons.

"Digital Dreamland", University of Brighton
5th to 9th January 2009

Dietmar Koering, Ben Cowd, Justin Lau, Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui, Johan Voordouw, Sara Shafiei.
The main objective of the workshop was to explore digital poetic narratives within the familiar context of popular film. Run over a five-day period, students were introduced to several 3D-modelling programs and encouraged to balance work in the digital medium with haptic investigation through the use of models.
By way of recording, re-creation and re-contextualisation, film creates, defines and re-creates our future, present and past memories. For this reason, it was proposed as a powerful setting from which to manipulate, annex, intensify, elucidate, decipher, depict and design a speculative response. The workshop proposed that the tools and techniques originally used to design a filmic space can be reintroduced, and in doing so leveraged to imprint a secondary layer of experience and ultimately an evolutionary reading or future.