Isona used the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship to support research work while undertaking a placement at the development charity Article 25. Isona's original intention was to complete a research trip to Algeria looking at historic conservation, urban renewal and slum upgrading in the historic UNESCO World Heritage site of the Casbah of Algiers. However, due to visa restrictions, this travel was delayed so Isona took the opportunity to learn from the projects undertaken by Article 25, in the hope that she could apply this knowledge to her Algerian project proposal:
'My role has allowed me to be involved in a wider range of projects, meet clients, and think strategically about the role of professionals, particularly designers, in poverty relief, disaster response and international development. Organising feasibility trips requires a sensitive approach and a detailed understanding of the strategic aims and objectives of the charities that we partner with [...] This has certainly made me think a lot about how I might go about developing my proposed project in Algeria - who will fund training and construction; how will need be assessed; how might the project operate with the approval of the government while also challenging their aim of regentrification? The list could go on. What I have found at Article 25 though is that many people who are supportive of the project, and eager to lend their knowledge and expertise to my research once I get the ball rolling again.'
Isona's full report can be downloaded below. A summary of her report was featured in the April edition of the RIBA Student newsletter.
Isona Shibata holds a First Class Honours degree in Architecture from the University of Sheffield and an MEng in Structural Engineering from the University of Sheffield. She is continuing her work at Article 25 through support from the Vodaphone World of Difference Scheme.