2022 Young Architects Award

Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

Chana Haouzi, AIA

As a licensed architect, Chana Haouzi, AIA, is driven by a sense of responsibility, recognizing that good design holds the potential to address many of society’s issues, transform communities, and change lives. Throughout her career, Haouzi has distinguished herself as a versatile and immensely talented architect as well as a leader with a clear and distinct vision. Her work spans the public and private sectors and, through innovative design solutions, bolsters the built environment and advances architectural education.

Haouzi’s determination to improve her community and achieve far-reaching positive change was recognized with an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship. She currently serves Boston’s public as an architect and Rose Fellow in the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development. In her role, she leverages design thinking on a citywide scale and is fully engaged in addressing Boston’s affordable housing challenges. She leads the Additional Dwelling 2.0 Design Initiative, a pilot program that promotes incremental density, intergenerational living arrangements, and new opportunities for renters.

Haouzi believes that innovation emerges from a design process that engages the stakeholders who are most intimately familiar with their neighborhoods. In Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, she oversees a project that involves developing empty parcels of city-owned land to create 23 subsidized housing opportunities for first-time homebuyers. The designs were developed in partnership with the community and are supported by an interdepartmental effort to shift the development process.

Previously, as a project architect at Boston’s Peter Rose + Partners, Haouzi gained the practical experience needed to manifest ambitious ideas as build projects, a critical skill for professionals seeking to develop socially and environmentally conscious work. She led the design of a 10,000-square-foot nonprofit bookstore and warehouse, which catalyzed her interest in community-focused design. The new space greatly increased the organization’s efficiency, helped double its annual earned income, and was recognized in the Boston Society of Architects’ 2020 design awards.

“In order to bring new communities into architecture, we also need new models of leadership who translate skill and experience to communities to help those communities realize their visions—Chana embodies this new spirit of leadership.”

“Under extremely challenging circumstances, rife with conflict, budget challenges, and difficult personalities, Chana was able to create alignment among the many players and make magic happen,” Peter Rose, FAIA, wrote in a letter supporting Haouzi’s nomination for the Young Architects Award. “She is that rare person who works exceptionally hard, brings out the best in others, and somehow creates an atmosphere of happiness and positivity around her.”

To further her work in communities, Haouzi founded Architecture for Public Benefit, a design firm committed to solving the discrete challenges faced by mission-driven organizations, in January 2020. So far, the firm has partnered with numerous organizations, supporting their strategic thinking and fundraising and providing pro bono COVID-19 design services. Architecture for Public Benefit is fully invested in shaping a business model that demonstrates architects can and should address the needs of underserved communities through private practice.

Haouzi is also committed to empowering architects and emerging designers as an associate professor for design of environmental justice and public good in the built environment at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture. There, Haouzi promotes socially engaged and inclusive design practices rooted in community and context. Since joining Northeastern’s faculty in 2014, she has led 14 studios and formed strong connections with more than 150 students, introducing them to a wide range of the school’s core curriculum.

In addition to her structured classes, Haouzi is a mentor for students as they move through their educational experience. She imparts her wisdom on time management, career options, and professional development. In 2018, she was the school’s interim academic advisor, helping students who questioned how they might fit into the profession. Her positive influence is evident in consistently positive course evaluations and a nomination for an excellence in teaching award.

“It should be noted that Chana is often cited by a vast range of students, with varied experience levels, as an exceptionally kind, helpful, and empathetic professor. These traits are increasingly important as we are working to grow the inclusivity and diversity of the discipline,” Dan Adams, director of Northeastern’s School of Architecture, wrote of Haouzi in a letter. “In order to bring new communities into architecture, we also need new models of leadership who translate skill and experience to communities to help those communities realize their visions—Chana embodies this new spirit of leadership.”

Image credits

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Smantha Okazaki

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More Than Words

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Mary Hughes

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Matthew Snyder

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