Joana Dabaj is Co-Founder and Principal Coordinator at CatalyticAction, a not-for-profit design studio based in London, United Kingdom.
She is an architect, urban designer and researcher. She has valuable experience in architecture in development, sustainable design, cultural heritage, migration and human rights in the Middle East.
Her recent work revolves around working closely with displaced and host communities in Lebanon to develop inclusive educational spaces; this includes participatory planning, design and implementation of playgrounds, public spaces and schools.
She holds a BSc in Architecture from the American University of Beirut and an MSc in Building & Urban Design in Development from University College London (UCL).
Joana Dabaj was part of a team from CatalyticAction that won a LafargeHolcim Awards Bronze 2017 for “Pavilion Re-claimed: Adaptive reuse for refugee education in Lebanon”. The project at the Jarahieh Informal Tented Settlement was praised by the independent regional jury for its contribution to the ongoing humanitarian crisis of Syrian refugees and the ingenious reinvention of a pavilion from Expo 2015 in Milan purpose-designed for later reuse as a school.
Joana Dabaj will be a member of the LafargeHolcim Awards jury for region Middle East Africa in 2020.