Ola Saad Znad

Ola is an architect, practicing architecture in both fields of design and research. Ola is currently working as cultural representative in Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities. Ola was born in Baghdad and left Iraq because of the war when she was 10 years old. She moved to Bahrain with her family, where she continued her education and graduated with honors from University of Bahrain in 2018. During the course of her studies, she grew a deep interest in urban design and cities. Honoring her Iraqi roots, Ola has designed an urban pedestrian bridge in Baghdad as her final year project. Her design approach proposed a different reality in Iraq, where architecture and urban structures are active promoters to positive human interaction and coexistence. As a result, her project won the graduate students project award, followed by the publication of her thesis titled: “Urban Bridge of Baghdad: Whispers behind the barriers.” Ola derives her concepts and ideas from her reflections on the complex relationship between contemporary architecture and society and injects this philosophy in her contribution to design and research. 

Ola is very passionate about the different disciplines tangential to her major: art, music, literature and politics. She believes these are the pillars that hold meaning in architecture. Her concepts and ideas are inspired by society and people’s struggles. She is attentive to how people feel about spaces they inhabit and interact with because, when designing spaces that make people feel a certain way, one declares the kind of architect he/she is. Ola is open to all ideas, thoughts and concepts and welcomes diversity and different perspectives. She thinks that being open to people and society helps us to create innovative solutions in architecture.