Wesam Al Asali
Wesam Al Asali is an architect, educator, researcher, and enthusiast for combining digital and manual fabrication technologies with local building crafts and natural materials. His work spans construction history, building technology, and craft studies to explore the role of culture and society in rethinking architectural practice in the context of climate challenges. Wesam received his Ph.D. in 2021 from the University of Cambridge, where he worked on design strategies for thin-tile vaults for low-carbon ceiling systems. Following his Ph.D. completion, Wesam was the 2021-2022 Global Fung fellow at Princeton University before joining IE School of Architecture and Design. His research received the RIBA President’s Awards for Research in Architecture (2021) and the Salje Medal for Best Doctoral Research in Arts and Humanities at Clare Hall, Cambridge University (2022). He received research funds and commissions from the Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica, and Princeton University. His current projects include the use of natural materials in Spanish building crafts, scarcity-driven informal and vernacular architecture in the Middle East, and the relationship between domestic spaces and food production in Syria during the crisis. Wesam is a design and innovation lead at his co-founded architectural practice (IWlab) and founder of the social enterprise (CERCAA), a center for learning and innovation in building crafts and natural materials in Spain-Valencia. His practice engages with heritage knowledge for contemporary environmental design.