Tech startup launch features Texas A&M architecture prof

Ali earned the 2016 Regan Interdisciplinary Prize.

The launch in Austin of a new incubator for business ventures that feature sustainable practices was headlined by Ahmed Ali, Texas A&M assistant professor of architecture.

He was the keynote speaker at the Oct. 16, 2018 event, hosted by Austin Technology Incubator, a University of Texas at Austin initiative that helps startup companies successfully compete in capital markets by linking entrepreneurs with investors and public funding sources.

Ali champions the circular economy, in which resources are kept in use as long as possible for maximum value — an alternative to the traditional and prevalent make, use and dispose economy.

In Ali’s studios, students have created award-winning designs that reuse offal — sheet metal refuse from automotive manufacturing — into a construction material for building exteriors. In another project, his students collaborated with landscape architecture students to design and fabricate offal-made plant receptacles for a green wall at the Langford Architecture Center.

Ali’s keynote was followed by demonstrations from representatives of several circular economy companies such as Remade, which has reconstructed and resold more than 2 million smartphones, and Leaf and Flour, which turns liquor distillery byproducts into flour for food production. 

Ali is the founder and director of the Resource Based Design Research Lab at the Texas A&M College of Architecture and a faculty fellow with the college’s Center for Health Systems & Design and the Center for Housing & Urban Development.

A Texas A&M faculty member since 2015, Ali holds a Ph.D. in Architecture and Design Research, a Master of Science in Architecture, and a Master of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture from Alexandria University in Egypt. He has been teaching and practicing architecture in the United States, Italy, Turkey and Egypt since 1998.

 

Richard NIra
rnira@arch.tamu.edu

posted November 8, 2018