Design Fellows at Architecture for Humanity gain new experiences while participating in valuable design work for the projects they serve. Meet our Design Fellows!
|Rogério Costa, Edendale Football for Hope Centre, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa|
From a family of contractors, architects and carpenters, Rogério has been living and working in the field of construction and architecture since an early age. He was born in South Africa, but moved to Oporto, Portugal in the late 80’s where he took his degree in Architecture and has been an accredited architect since 2001. Having experienced several working environments ranging from Municipal building department, small and medium sized architectural practices to partnership and management of own firm. Such diversity has skilled him with all stages of the design process, with project, construction, BIM management and IT supervisor. As a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Portugal, Rogério enjoys both getting a “hands on feel” of construction as well as being amid multidiscipline environments.
|Elisa Engel, Ramotswa FFH Centre, Ramotswa, Botswana
Elisa comes from Germany but had lived in Swaziland for several years prior to her architectural studies. She studied architecture in Belfast and graduated in Architecture and Development Practices from Oxford Brookes University in 2004. For the past 7 years she has been working in the UK. Her focus is on educational architecture and participatory design. Elisa is fully qualified and registered with the UK Architects' Registration Board. She is now on sabbatical while acting as a Design Fellow for AfH. Groundbreaking ceremony in Ramotswa, July 24, 2012
|Paulo Fernandes, Manica FFH Centre, Manica, Mozambique
Originally from Portugal and a licensed architect since 2005, Paulo worked in several architecture studios in Portugal and Spain. Recently, he strengthened his personal research in sustainable architecture, with the aim of improving living conditions without compromising future generation’s resources. Currently enrolled in the post-master “DSA Terre” in CRAterre-ENSAG, France, he is developing a thesis topic on earth architecture, sustainable development, low cost housing, and informal settlements. Oven Building in Mozambique, July 31, 2012
|Gina Fontes, Guerrilla Green Sustainable Showdown, Headquarters
Born in Germany and raised all over the United States east coast, Gina is a photographer, blogger & multimedia designer, with a B.A. in Television Production from Hofstra University, in New York. After travel-blogging her way across the country, she relocated to San Francisco, where she was brought on as a headquarters Design Fellow in October of 2012, co-running the Guerrilla Green student design challenge.
|Elena Ghibaudo, Football for Hope|
Originally from Italy, Elena studied architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin and at the Higher Institute of Architecture Lambert Lombard in Liege. She spent four months working in an oasis in Marocco studying earth building technology during the period of her Master's final thesis. In 2010, with seven other people, she founded Jenga! an architectural movement working throughout Italy, France and Belgium and she continues to be part of it. After graduating she returned to Morocco and lived there for two years working for an Italian NGO and LabTerra (Architecture University of Cagliari) to coordinate an apprenticeship building programme. Elena specializes in restoration and rehabilitation of earth construction. Where her focus is on architectural heritage in developing countries and on ecological and low-cost constructions as a way of a social and economic development.
|Matthew Hughes, Addis Ababa FFH Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Matthew studied Architecture in Queensland, Australia where he worked in private practice and became registered as an Architect, and starting his own small architectural design practice. He has worked on two projects with Architecture for Humanity since 2011. The first was an Urban Schools Upgrade in Hyderabad, India – the second, finishing the construction of the Sauti Kuu Banda in Alego, Kenya. He benefits most from the various exposures to different building traditions, learning what he can to further develop and refine a meaningful design process. Sauti Kuu Banda and Community Center: Open!, June 15, 2012
|Alina Jeronimo, Manica FFH Centre, Manica, Mozambique
Alina is an accredited and registered Architect from Portugal. She studied in Lisbon in the Lusiada University and worked in Portugal and Spain during the last 4 years. Ending the post-Master “Earth Architecture” in CRAterre, Architecture School of Grenoble, France, she is focusing her thesis research on sustainable architecture in informal settlements. Building Blocks in Mozambique, August 7, 2012
|Miku Kano, Tohoku Rebuilding Program, Ishinomaki, Japan
Miku was born in Toyota, Aichi. She earned her bachelor degree in Business and Commerce and her masters degree in Economics at Keio University. During her master years, she studied Microfinance at BRAC university, Bangladesh. In February 2013, Miku joined Architecture for Humanity as a Business Coordinator to assist in building back better Tohoku with the power of local communities and design.
|Carolina Libardi, Enel Cuore, Headquarters (San Francisco)
Carolina was born in Brazil and raised moving around the world. She studied
Architecture and Urban Design at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
and at the École d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville. While living in Brazil, she worked as licensed architect for several different offices, performing design tasks and construction administration. In 2010 she moved to Barcelona, where she received her M.Arch from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Carolina joined Architecture for Humanity in 2012 to give back to her community in Brazil. Following the Sports and Recreation Area of the Vale do Cuiabá region, Carolina joined Headquarters to work on Enel Cuore.
|Yuko Okamura, Reconstruction & Resiliency Studio, Headquarters
Yuko received her BA in Architecture from the University of Washington, and her M.Arch from the University of British Columbia. While always having a strong passion for humanitarian and environmental design, her experience volunteering in the tsunami-struck region of Japan fueled her particular interest in architecture's potential to build back better and create more resilient communities following a disaster. Yuko joined Architecture for Humanity as a Reconstruction and Resiliency Studio intern in October 2012, and transitioned to a Design Fellow in January 2013.
|Ana Ramos, ESPOIR FFH Centre, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, Ana grew up in Macau, in southeast China. Having graduated as an architect in 2005, from Lisbon’s Technical University, she holds a master’s degree in ‘Building and Urban Design in Development’ from the Development Planning Unit of The Bartlett, University College of London (2010). She is a registered architect at the Ordem dos Arquitectos (Portugal) since 2007. Ana has worked as a freelancer, as well as for different practices in Portugal and the UK. She has development-related design experience in Rio de Janeiro with Jorge Mario Jauregui Architects, and for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with Thinking Development. Field research has taken her to Istanbul, Turkey, and she was part of the team developing a manual on ‘Transitional Shelter Guidelines’ at Shelter Centre, Geneva, prior to moving to Cape Town.
|Alma Ruiz, Iringa FFH Centre, Iringa, Tanzania
Born and raised in Mexico, Alma completed her Bachelors degree in Architecture at the Iberoamericana University, Mexico City. She has been involved in several urban, architectural and interior design projects in Africa and Mexico. She worked as a project leader in Interior design in several architectural offices in Mexico City, and Cape Town on urban design in 2009. She was the team leader in the research “The Vernacular Art Inside Informal Settlements”. She has had the opportunity of working within communities in Africa and Mexico and has been involved in different kind of Social Activities since her studies.
|Frédérique Siegel, Haiti Rebuilding Center, Port-au-Prince
Frédérique earned a degree in Urban Planning at Columbia University, and is a current Graduate Fellow in Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism with the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, in London. She has worked in various planning and development capacities in Hamburg, Stuttgart, Brooklyn and St. Paul. Frédérique now advises on planning and transportation issues that arise in various projects at the Rebuilding Center.
|Akinobu Yoshikawa, Tohoku Rebuilding Program, Ishinomaki, Japan
Going through two major earthquakes in Japan (1995, 2011), the former initiated his interest in architecture. Getting his professional education in New York and Los Angeles, have since returned to Japan in 2009 for his Doctoral studies. He joina Architecture for Humanity in March 2012, to assist in rebuilding the Tohoku region of Japan.
Visit our Design Fellow Alumni page for past Fellows.