Public lecture: Weaving the Threads of Sustainable Architecture and Humanity

We are excited to invite you to the IUSD lecture “Weaving the Threads of Sustainable Architecture and Humanity” by Victoria Marwa Hellman, which will take place on Wednesday 15 May 2024 at 18h00.

The upcoming presentation will highlight the initiatives undertaken by the Tanzania Women Architects for Humanity (TAWAH), focusing on the transformative work at the TAWAH Vocational Centre for Women in Mhaga village, located in the coastal region of Tanzania. Here, women are equipped with the skills to produce modern mud bricks, emphasizing sustainable construction techniques. Additionally, as part of their training, these women are actively involved in constructing homes for the elderly within the village. TAWAH is a group of women architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and scientists, dedicated to collaborating with rural communities in Tanzania to enhance homes and building infrastructures using locally available earth materials. Despite its potential, earth as a sustainable building material remains underutilized in many areas of rural Tanzania grappling with extreme housing poverty. 

Victoria Marwa Heilman is an architect based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, committed to leveraging her expertise in architecture for community development. As the co-founder and Executive Director of Tanzania Women Architects for Humanity (TAWAH), she leads initiatives to address housing challenges in impoverished communities. Victoria transitioned from a teaching career at Ardhi University in 2018 to focus on grassroots work, assuming her current role as the Executive Director at TAWAH in 2023. At the forefront of her efforts is a significant project in Mhaga Village, Kisarawe District, where women are empowered through brick-making and construction apprenticeships and building homes for elderly, aiming to uplift both the community and the built environment. Victoria earned her PhD in Architecture from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and holds a Master’s Degree from the Catholic University of America, as well as a Bachelor’s from the University of Dar es Salaam – UCLAS, Tanzania. She is a 2004 Ford Foundation IFP Fellow, an Eisenhower Fellow since 2016, and a Mama Hope Global Advocate since 2020. In 2022, she was recognised as an SDG Innovation Champion for Sustainable Cities and Communities. In 2024, she was recognised among 50 influential African Women Architects and her work has been published by RIBA in100 Women: Architects in Practice book in 2024. Victoria’s passion lies in bridging architecture with social impact, making meaningful contributions to communities in need. 

The lecture will take place online through this link.