Raya Ani

Homecoming Queen

Raya is an award winning Architect and urban designer with 25 years of professional experience having worked in Baghdad, Germany, Boston, New York and Dubai.

In 2015,2016 and 2017, she was named one of the Top most powerful Architects in the Middle East. She received her BSC in Architectural Engineering from Baghdad University with distinctions, and an MS in Architectural studies from MIT where she was awarded the Harvard / MIT Aga Khan Scholarship. Raya is the 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects-Middle East; she is a licensed Architect in the State of New York and a US Green Building Council Accredited Professional.

Raya has designed the first public green school in New York City and two green- certified (LEED) residential towers in Battery Park City. In 2011, she was nominated for the Middle-East Architect of the year Award and her work was highly commended by the jury. In 2012, she founded RAW-NYC Architects, an interdisciplinary architectural studio based in New York City and Dubai. In 2013, she received AIA-ME honor award for her visionary work on the marshes of southern Iraq as well as a merit award for her design of Aspire sports complex in Qatar. In 2014, Her Aspire Sports complex project received the Leisure Project of the Year Award by Middle East Architect. In 2015, one of RAW-NYC Architects’ commercial projects was named “Most innovative Commercial structure” in Build Magazine’s 2015 Architecture Awards.

She has taught urban and architectural design studios and served as a guest critic at a number of leading architectural schools in New York and Boston. She is a regular guest speaker at many international architectural conferences including Harvard Arab conference where she moderated a panel on the future of the Arab city. She has been an active participant in workshops to help design schools and build communities. Her research focuses on future living, future cities, economic and social sustainability and the intersection between technology, innovation and sustainability. 

Raya Ani

Founder & Design Director, RAW-NYC Architects