top of page


Aenki Lab participates regularly in workshops, competitions, exhibitions and publications.



WIA Berlin ( is the first festival in the Capital on the topic “Women in Architecture” and will take place from June 1st to July 1st 2021 by the Berlin network of planners n-ails e.V. and the Chamber of Architects Berlin organized. Over 60 events – such as exhibitions, film series, Guided tours, symposiums, lectures and workshops - are available at various locations Berlin planned.



The partnership aims to rehabilitate the polluted Tinishu Akaki River in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has a two-pronged approach, to #rehabilitate a one-kilometer stretch of the riverside while at the same time generating revenue that will be used to further rehabilitate additional stretches of the river. Central to its financial sustainability will be the construction of a high rope course on the riverside to be used as a team-building venue for institutions and entertainment for individuals.  With this proposal the partnership aims to develop an investment ready business model. Due to its current physical appearance, the riversides do not attract businesses particularly those that contribute to SDG 5 goals .  This is a barrier for businesses to invest; one of the goals of this partnership is thus changing the perception of investors by adding value to riversides and demonstrating investment options to attract the right kind of investment. In the immediate, implementing this business model will increase accessible green spaces in the city and reduce waste entering the river, but through time it contributes to the protection and regeneration of the river ecosystem by reducing pollution and increasing the availability of fresh water.



“Culture does not make people, people make culture. So if it is in fact true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we must make it our culture.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In order to engage in this conversation, The Goethe-Institut Addis Abeba is dedicating the month of August to the topic of gender equality and women empowerment. Our aim is to raise awareness for women’s everyday struggles and to encourage women and girls to challenge traditional roles. However, we do not want to point only to the problems – but to the positive examples that show possibilities of change. Therefore, the photographic exhibition “Inspiring Women”, opening on Thursday, 10 August 2017, will display portraits with short biographies of women living and working in Addis Abeba – both German and Ethiopian - who are in some way role models. They pursue extraordinary careers or break with gender stereotypes. Some are actively involved in advancing women’s rights and supporting girls and young women. The photographs will be taken by Maheder Haileselassie and Zelalem Gizachew, as part of the Center for Photography in Ethiopia (CPE). The interviews will be conducted and translated by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the student organization Yellow Movement at Addis Ababa University. A film screening on Tuesday, 15 August 2017, will point a spotlight on women in cinema. Furthermore, a panel discussion on Thursday, 17 August 2017, will focus on gender expectations in Ethiopia and Germany, engaging the panelists and the audience in a discussion about social, political and economic (in-)equalities in both countries.




The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary devotes almost two-thirds of a page to the word seat. A king sits, a disease sits, a company sits. The complexity of the word's meaning shows its importance. While today sitting resembles a casually trivial everyday circumstance, the activity used to be associated with wealth and power. Think, for example, of the throne, seat of the only powerful person.Technically, a backrest is not an essential part of a seat. Stools, footstools, and benches, on the surface, probably serve the purpose of sitting just as well as the more elaborate pieces in this exhibition. The absence of back and armrests, however, suggests a lower social status in the sitter and not, as one might pragmatically think, a stronger spine than in those who ostentatiously enjoy a backrest. On the contrary, power allows a sitter to surround himself with selectively designed wood, textile and leather, while the less well-heeled have to make do with multifunctional objects such as a stool.

The pieces presented in the exhibition testify to that very power. They originated from a long tradition in south-west Ethiopia around Jimma in the Oromia region, which today, with over 25 million inhabitants, makes up the largest population group in the country. Not only coffee found its origin in this civilization. Surrounded by red earth and centuries-old forests, the Ethiopians brought the art of woodcarving to those heights about 80 years ago, which can be admired in the exhibition Ethiopiques.
All exhibits are made from a single piece of wood. The very hard, though light, golden-brown wood (Olea europaea or Waddessa tree) grows in the region and provides shade for the coffee tree. The throne carvings made from it are complex works. Their tripartite feet and diagonal and horizontal patterns give the individual pieces dynamism and individuality, making them appear both light and dignified.

Team: Lukas Amacher, Valentin Diem, Julia Mauser



Clay cooling is a food preservation + waste reduction research for local markets in Addis Ababa.
The project consist of a study based on a USD 50k research grant (gulit project) and a student workshop (clay cooling) on designing and building sustainable system of food storage, in turn adding value to small scale vendors, while improving the quality and health of their produce.
It was conducted between 2015 - 2017 .The workshop was held in 2016 at the EiABC. It aims to provide an alternative stall constructed out of double-layered pots made out of clay. They will be geometrically placed as to define space at the same time creating a passive cold storage system throughout the gulit.


The double layered clay pot functions as an evaporative cooling system. Inspired from a zeer pot – an evaporative cooling refrigeration device, traditionally used in West Africa and the Middle East- it is made of two layers of clay with a sand and water filled cavity in the middle. The outer layer of the pot, exposed to hot dry air sweats water, which in turn evaporates and provokes a heat exchange, cooling down the inner layer. The inner chamber of the pot can be used as food storage reach lower temperatures than the ambient air.
During the course of the workshop, a 1:1 empirical test produced a drop in 10ºC. The outer temperature being 26 ºC and the one recorded inside the pot 16 ºC, which is ideal for vegetables.