Nora Akawi

Nora Akawi

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation



Adjunct Assistant Professor and Director of Studio-X Amman
Faculty Profile

Areas of Interest:
borderlands, forced displacements, counter-narratives, water infrastructures


Nora Akawi is an architect based between Amman and New York. As director of Studio-X Amman, she leads the conceptualization and implementation of public programs and research initiatives on architecture in the Arab region by curating (often in partnership with other researchers or institutions) conferences, workshops, publications, screenings, lectures, and other forms of collective cultural production. 

Since 2014, she has been teaching graduate history/theory and visualization courses on borderlands, forced displacements, and counter-narratives at Columbia University’s GSAPP. She also joined the urban design faculty in 2017, teaching the Water Urbanism studio on water infrastructures and inequalities along the Jordan valley.

Akawi is also a member of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, and serves on the steering committee of the Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture. She has co-edited, together with Amale Andraos and Caitlin Blanchfield, the book The Arab City: Architecture and Representation (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016).

She completed her professional degree in architecture in Jerusalem (B.Arch 2009). In 2011, she received her MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia University’s GSAPP, where she received the CCCP Thesis Award. Her thesis investigates the role of the archive in the formation of alternative political and spatial imaginaries in Palestine.


“Traversing Territories” in Kerb Journal of Landscape Architecture (forthcoming, Barcelona/Syndey: Actar, February 2017);

“Movement as Civil Disobedience: Migration and Solidarity on Lesvos Island” in Bauwelt: Exil Europa (Berlin, Vol 41, 2016);

Architecture and Representation: The Arab City (co-edited by Amale Andraos, Nora Akawi, and Caitlin Blanchfield, Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016);

"Jerusalem: Dismantling Phantasmagorias, Constructing Imaginaries" in The Funambulist: Militarized Cities (edited by L. Lambert, 2015);

"Silencing Phantoms of Daily Life: Erasures and Pacification of Ruins in Palestine" in Volume 40: Architecture of Peace Reloaded (co-authored with Nina V. Kolowratnik, Archis, 2014)

"Mapping Intervals: Towards an Emancipatory Cartography" in The Funambulist Papers (edited by L. Lambert, Punctum Books, 2013).