Submitted by Berrin Chatzi Chousein

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

United Kingdom Architecture News - Jan 25, 2022 - 13:42   5680 views

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

In 2017, World Architecture Community launched the Country Editors/Reporters Program, a volunteer-based program. The program, which has reached a great success for four years, consists of many architects, journalist candidates, editors and reporters from different disciplines and backgrounds.

The program, which emphasizes the importance of local architecture and urbanism, and enables us to share the most accurate news from its place with WAC's global audience, continues successfully as an important tool of reaching local information at first hand.

In order to better understand and explain the dynamics of the program, WAC asked the most successful Country Editors/Reporters of 2021 to share their views on the program.

The most successful WAC Country Editors/Reporters, including Lola Kleindouwel from the Netherlands, Palak Shah from United States, Flora Jing Lin Ng from China, Mert Kansu from United States, who reached at least 10 articles in 2021, explained the importance of taking part in this program.

"The program provides the independence to choose your own topics and projects"

"I believe joining the World Architecture Community was the perfect opportunity for me to combine my passion for architecture and interest in writing and journalism, beyond my academic career,” said Lola Kleindouwel, the Netherlands, WAC Country Reporter.

Lola also underlined that the program gives the author great freedom in choosing her own topics and projects. She mentioned that managing a live talk with world-renowned architects and designers and working on a topic and directing the whole framework of a conversation was a very important and educational process for her.

"The program provides the independence to choose your own topics and projects, write short news articles, more elaborate essays or host conversations with internationally renowned architects," Kleindouwel added.

"I have had the opportunity to set up and host conversations with Kim Herforth Nielsen, Anupama Kundoo, Alexis Dornier, Sou Fujimoto and Lina Ghotmeh. Doing research, picking a topic and diving into their architectural vision and projects was a very educational journey for me," she added.

"I have learned to be self-critical towards my work and develop writings that address a global audience"

While WAC's Australia Country Reporter Parisa Ziaesaeidi emphasized the importance of being recognized internationally as a journalist in architecture through the program, WAC's United States Country Reporter Palak Shah highlighted how she learned how to be self-critical of her own writing and how to create a content that captures a global readership.

"To be able to receive strong support, constructive feedback, and appreciation from a widely diverse community of design professionals was one of the main drivers for participating in this program," said Palak Shah.

"I have learned to be self-critical towards my work and develop writings that address a global audience."

"An opportunity to speak and interview experienced Architects, Designers, as well as Creative professionals, serves as an excellent resource that contributes to the way we advance our individual professional careers," Shah added.

"The program has opened up many opportunities with great connections to influential people in the industry"

In general, the point that Country Reporters and Editors draw attention to is that the program provides a continuous communication with the world's influential architects and designers and allows them to get to know the practice of architecture more closely. Taking part in WAC's live interviews or directing written interviews are only a few of them.

"My experiences from the program strengthened my ability to elevate spaces through words and to tell stories that are otherwise untold," said WAC's China Country Reporter Flora Jing Lin Ng

"I had the prestigious opportunity to interview several great architects practicing in China such as Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu from Neri&Hu and Zhang Lei from AZL Architects, as well as conducting a live interview on WAC's Instagram Videos channel with Chad Oppenheim from Oppenheim Architecture,” she added.

"The program has opened up many opportunities with great connections to influential people in the industry; being in contact with different architectural firms lend me an insight into the realities of architectural practice," Flora Jing Lin Ng added. 

"I became more familiar with the pressing issues in the architecture and urban fields in Egypt," said Asmaa Kamaly, WAC's Egypt Country Reporter. "The point of the program is to bring in the local news in your country to the platform and this increases your awareness of the field," she added.

The WAC Togo Country Reporter Franklin Yemeli believes that the program teaches a writer to work collaboratively, emphasizing that each article creates an opportunity to encounter a new office, a new innovative project.

"This program teaches you to work collaboratively and, as you work from home, it is also an opportunity to practice teleworking," said Yemeli. "Each new article is an opportunity to discover a new dynamic agency, a new innovative project, a new impactful event or new inspiring people," he added.

"The community not only is very welcoming, but also engaging"

On the other hand, Mert Kansu, WAC Unites States Country Reporter, agreed that the program provides "an opportunity to gain a wider audience for himself as a young architect," and added that through the articles he published, the program allowed to grow his professional network.  

"The community not only is very welcoming, but also engaging," said Mert Kansu.

"The program also gives you a focus, to delve into the projects and news from the country you are living in, therefore letting you grow an intellectual specialty of the local architectural scene."

"This program has been contributing to my professional career even before I have graduated."

"I have had comments from my prospective employers regarding my articles and news reports published on WAC website and all expressed their excitement that I had interests in researching and writing on local architecture," Kansu added.

Currently, the program has 28 Country Reporters and 4 Country Editors distributed to 20 countries (the figures are subjected to change). If you want to be face of your country and join the WAC’s Country Editors / Reporters Program, you can read WAC's application details on this page and send your applications accordingly.

Read on for the 7 WAC Country Editors / Reporters (sorted by the number of content they've posted):


The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Lola Kleindouwel, the Netherlands Country Reporter of WAC. Image courtesy of Lola Kleindouwel.

Lola Kleindouwel

The Netherlands, WAC Country Reporter (reached 15 articles in 2021)

"The program provides the independence to choose your own topics and projects"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters Program?

In my graduation project for the Masters in Architecture at Delft University of Technology, I combined my design project with architectural theoretical research - discovering my strong interest in writing. I believe joining the World Architecture Community was the perfect opportunity for me to combine my passion for architecture and interest in writing and journalism, beyond my academic career. I have always been fascinated by (social) media, communication and PR. The program provides the independence to choose your own topics and projects, write short news articles, more elaborate essays or host conversations with internationally renowned architects.

What have you learnt in the program?

One of my favorite contributions to the World Architecture Community reporters program is moderating Instagram Live interviews. I have had the opportunity to set up and host conversations with Kim Herforth Nielsen, Anupama Kundoo, Alexis Dornier, Sou Fujimoto and Lina Ghotmeh. Doing research, picking a topic and diving into their architectural vision and projects was a very educational journey for me. Moderating these conversations allowed me to grow as an architectural journalist and gave me the opportunity to not only have conversations and connect with the architects in question, but also with the audience.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life?

Working for WAC motivates and inspires me to be up-to-date on the architectural news. I love being 'on the hunt' for news articles, connecting with architecture offices and attending press previews - such as the opening of the Depot in Rotterdam by MVRDV. I believe my work for the program contributes to my personal frame of reference in architecture, but also allows me to connect and build a network with other international architectural professionals and fellow country reporters / editors.

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Australia Country Reporter. Parisa Ziaesaeidi. Image courtesy of Parisa Ziaesaeidi

Parisa Ziaesaeidi

Australia, WAC Country Reporter (reached 13 articles in 2021)

"Being internationally recognised as a journalist in architecture is a great opportunity provided for me through this program"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters program?

World Architecture Community (WAC) is a great platform to learn about new architectures and find more about talented architects around the world. When I received an email about this opportunity, I was a PhD student in Australia. There were not many projects about Australian architecture and talented architects in the community. So, through this program, I could learn more about Australian architecture and introduce talented Australian architects to others.

What have you learnt in the program?

Being internationally recognised as a journalist in architecture is a great opportunity provided for me through this program. I have learned how to interact with other architects around the world. WAC has provided an opportunity to meet professional architects and build networks with them around Australia.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life?

WAC provides an opportunity for me to learn what I have not learned from university when I was a student in architecture and connect to other professional architects around the world.

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Palak Shah, United States Country Reporter of WAC. Image courtesy of Palak Shah

Palak Shah

United States, WAC Country Reporter (reached 13 articles in 2021)

"I have learned to be self-critical towards my work and develop writings that address a global audience"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters program?

I have always been fond of writing- writing essays, letters, stories, and everything that goes behind the process of articulating my words on paper; my professional endeavors as an Architect has consistently added value to these latent interests and exposed me to a creative realm that has prevalently been so broad- there cannot be enough written about it. When I first read about the World Architecture Community's Editors/Reporters program, I could not see any reason to not join in on an opportunity that would advance my two-way interests in writing and my passion for Architecture. To be able to receive strong support, constructive feedback, and appreciation from a widely diverse community of design professionals was one of the main drivers for participating in this program.

What have you learnt in the program?

Apart from the technical process of meticulous organization, research, planning & review that goes behind publishing every article and news story, I have learned to be self-critical towards my work and develop writings that address a global audience. It has developed my inert confidence and taught me how to challenge myself through different topics I choose to write about. As I continue to build this skill, I am positive this skill will develop into something much more meaningful to my personal skillset.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life?

I anticipate the program to offer resources and a platform for young writers & designers to network and build professional relationships within the community. An opportunity to speak and interview experienced Architects, Designers, as well as Creative professionals, serves as an excellent resource that contributes to the way we advance our individual professional careers. I hope WAC will continue to develop its program to benefit the architecture community and advance its growth and reach.

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Flora Jing Lin Ng, China Country Reporter of WAC. Image courtesy of Flora Jing Lin Ng

Flora Jing Lin Ng

China, WAC Country Reporter (reached 12 articles in 2021)

"The program has opened up many opportunities with great connections to influential people in the industry"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters Program?

I joined World Architecture Community to honour architectural design in various scales across diverse geographies. Having grown up in China I witnessed the immense change in the architectural scene. Through the program I wish to showcase some of the most intriguing works happening across China, as I believe writing and capturing the ideas of architecture, whether built or unbuilt, is pivotal in pushing the industry and our built environment forward.

What have you learnt in the program?

My work in journalism has taught me to shift my perspective from designing buildings and spaces to narrating and critiquing them. My experiences from the program strengthened my ability to elevate spaces through words and to tell stories that are otherwise untold. I had the prestigious opportunity to interview several great architects practicing in China such as Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu from Neri&Hu and Zhang Lei from AZL Architects, as well as conducting a live interview on WAC's Instagram Videos channel with Chad Oppenheim from Oppenheim Architecture. The program has given me the honour to learn from great architects first-hand and present their design philosophy and ideas to the world.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life?

The program has opened up many opportunities with great connections to influential people in the industry; being in contact with different architectural firms lend me an insight into the realities of architectural practice. I am always aware of the exiting architectural news happening around the globe, which contributes towards my perception and understanding of our built environment as I practice architecture. After all, architecture is a global practice.

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Asmaa Kamaly, WAC's Egypt Country Reporter. Image courtesy of Asmaa Kamaly

Asmaa Kamaly

Egypt, WAC Country Reporter (reached 11 articles in 2021)

"I became more familiar with the pressing issues in the architecture and urban fields in Egypt"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters Program?

I chose the program because I am interested in the interdisciplinary fields and intersections between sciences and arts. I was drawn to the fact that there is a program combining reporting/journalism and architecture and is designed for and targeted to architects and professionals with urban interests and backgrounds.

What have you learnt in the program?

I became more familiar with the pressing issues in the architecture and urban fields in Egypt. During the program, I searched for urban and architecture related news and I have conducted some interviews with initiatives and enterprises in the field. The point of the program is to bring in the local news in your country to the platform and this increases your awareness of the field.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life?

The program could contribute significantly to my architecture and urban related networking areas in addition it could contribute to extending and expanding my architecture and urban knowledge in general, which is very much related to other fields as well.

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Franklin Yemeli, Togo Country Reporter of WAC. Image courtesy of Franklin Yemeli

Franklin Yemeli

Togo, WAC Country Reporter (reached 11 articles in 2021)

"This program teaches you to work collaboratively"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters Program? 

I was less than 10 years old when I started to develop the desire to write a book. It would have been a simple collection of questions and answers that I had collected on multiple topics of general knowledge. However, I never saw it through to the end. This anecdote is amusing, but I think it says a lot about the spirit of curiosity and sharing that has driven me since I was a child. Since then, I have come a long way and my love for writing has grown. For several years now, I have been putting this passion for writing at the service of architecture, a field in which communication; education and awareness-raising will become more and more important. So I saw this program of the World Architecture Community as a great opportunity to make a difference in this respect.

What have you learnt in the program? 

"Learn is more" is a philosophy that accompanies me in everything I do. I joined this program in January 2021, so I'm still at the beginning. However, I have already learned a lot. First of all, this program teaches you to work collaboratively and, as you work from home, it is also an opportunity to practice teleworking. Moreover, each new article is an opportunity to discover a new dynamic agency, a new innovative project, a new impactful event or new inspiring people.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life? 

All these new things I learn contribute to the evolution of my vision of architecture and have a positive impact on my designs. The new encounters could lead to potential collaborations. In addition, my ambition is to develop a media project to promote this field in parallel to my career as an architect. Writing books on architecture is also an idea I am very keen on. In the long term, this role for the World Architecture Community will help me on more than one level.

The most successful 7 WAC Country Editors/Reporters of 2021

Mert Kansu, United States Country Reporter of WAC. Image courtesy of Mert Kansu

Mert Kansu

United States, WAC Country Reporter (reached 10 articles in 2021)

"The community not only is very welcoming, but also engaging"

Why did you choose to join the World Architecture Community Country Editors/Reporters Program?

I chose to join the program as I wanted to broaden my horizons as an architect and what I do in my daily work life. By reporting on projects and writing articles, I am able to improve my research and intellectual abilities. The community not only is very welcoming, but also engaging. I have been glad to be a part of a new network that I can learn and get inspired from.

What have you learnt in the program?

I have not only learnt how to work as a member of a digital media outlet, reporting, crafting, and publishing news and articles. I have also had an opportunity to gain a wider audience for myself as a young architect. I have met numerous people through the articles I wrote and was able to grow my professional network. The program also gives you a focus, to delve into the projects and news from the country you are living in, therefore letting you grow an intellectual specialty of the local architectural scene.

What do you expect that the program will contribute to your professional life?

This program has been contributing to my professional career even before I have graduated. I have had comments from my prospective employers regarding my articles and news reports published on WAC website and all expressed their excitement that I had interests in researching and writing on local architecture. As for my daily professional life, serving as a country reporter has kept me up to date on the new projects, and has kept the theoretical side of my brain active, which is a challenge to do in professional life. I expect these contributions to grow and continue as I grow as a reporter and writer.