Director of the Academy of architecture, Groningen and Doctorate student with the PhD subject: how can architecture contribute to the quality of life of people with an intellectual impairment who show challenging behavior? Berit Ann is an architect with Swiss origin. Her passion is to connect space to people to improve their wellbeing. In her current job as director of the Academy of Architecture in Groningen she translates her passion in a renewal of the academy into the question what architecture can contribute to solve the societal problems of the future.
She studied architecture at the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture. After her degree as an architect she moved to the Netherlands to get her master degree in architecture at the Technical University in Delft, cum laude.
Her work experience consists of working as an architect in Switzerland, Russia and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, she has worked at the office of Abel Cahen in Amsterdam and spent 13 years as senior architect and managing partner at Onix architects in Groningen. In these years, she won a series of awards for her buildings in the Netherlands and Germany, amongst them is the Dutch Design Award for interior space in 2013.
The last 10 years she has been teaching at different architectural schools in the Netherlands and given lectures and workshops in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
In her own architectural office, she designs and consults for a wide range of clients who want to improve the wellbeing of their users. She works always in co-creation not only with the clients but also with future users. To fully understand, how people react to space and how space can be designed in a way that it improves the wellbeing of the users she is doing her PhD about the relationship between architecture and the quality of life of people, who are mentally disabled.
When judging the Redevel(o)p submissions, which aspects in particular will you be paying attention to?
In line with my passion and knowledge I will judge the way in which the concepts and architecture contribute to the quality of life of the future inhabitants. The quality of life includes aspects of independence, social participation and well-being. Therefore, I will assess if the residents live their lives as independently, with as much participation and well-being as possible. If the concept includes the participation of the residents during the design process it will be valued greatly.