MSMR Director Simon Robinson, attended the Sheffield School of Architecture final year show last week to present the MSMR Travel Award - our annual prize of £2000 offered to final year architecture students. One entry in particular stood out this year which had a personal link and the potential for a unique architectural study of a little-known place.
Alem Derege (pictured with Simon) is a British-born, half-Eritrean aspiring architect. Growing up she would often visit her father’s native Ethiopia but has never travelled to Eritrea due its fraught political climate and tense relationship with neighbouring Ethiopia. In 2018, a peace agreement was reached, which now makes it possible to fly directly between Addis Ababa and Asmara.
Alem's dissertation, ‘Fascism and Architecture in Colonial Asmara’ opened her eyes to the beauty and complexity of the former Italian colony and her fascination with the city prompted her to apply for the MSMR award.
Congratulations to Alem, who will be posting highlights from her trip to Eritrea soon on Instagram using the hashtag #msmrtravelwaward. Pictures x3 below by Alem Derege.