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Aya Riad is a computational architect, design researcher, creative engineer, and educator. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Interactive Media program at NYUAD. She is also the Middle East Regional Manager at DigitalFUTURES; a global, educational, accessible initiative with a particular emphasis on the latest computational design and fabrication technologies. She is currently a Doctorate of Design (DDes) candidate at Florida International University. She has a master’s in architecture (MArch) from the Design Research Lab at the renowned Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. She obtained her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architectural Engineering from the American University in Cairo (AUC).

Aya is the co-founder and chief architect of Shift+Space; a design and research studio positioned at the intersection of architecture, robotics, emerging technologies, and art. It focuses on interactive, participatory design that begins with the person and expands to the surrounding environment. Her research includes looking into behavioral systems that act as autonomous, self-assembling, and self-aware design systems that aim to provide an alternative approach to living and extend the ideas of endless and ever-evolving architecture. She is currently developing a framework for the integration of emotive AI and affective computing methodologies within interactive design and spaces.

Riad, acclaimed for her innovative contributions, secured the prestigious Emarati Futurism Award 2022 (1st Prize) within the Architecture and Urbanism domain, granted jointly by the Dubai Future Foundation & Dubai Culture. Additionally, she earned recognition through the Scriptathon Design Award from Autodesk. Riad has demonstrated leadership by spearheading and participating in numerous international panels, amplifying the discourse on computational design perspectives, particularly rooted in the Arab region.

NYUAD faculty webpage

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