About Us

Public Works Studio is a multidisciplinary research and design studio that engages critically and creatively with a number of urban and public issues in Lebanon.

Through collaborating with a network of professionals ranging from historians and journalists to artists and filmmakers, the studio initiates research projects that study, shape and implement counter strategies to urban planning and policy making in Lebanon. The studio also offers commissioned professional services in graphic design, architecture, consultancy, development planning and research within a communal work environment.

Public Works was founded in 2012 by architect / urbanist Abir Saksouk and designer / urbanist Nadine Bekdache, and is currently registered as a non-commercial Civil Company. It balances between commissioned work and self-initiated projects, an autonomous framework that allows for new possibilities of discussion, exchange and engagement to emerge.


We acknowledge the political and social dimensions of our respective professions. As architects and urban planners we revive, defend and produce socially-inclusive and sustainable spaces. As graphic designers we create and produce accessible and socially-relevant representations for public circulation.

Our previous involvement in research projects testifies to a major rift between the inclusiveness and equality we strive for and the harsh realities of urban politics.

In an effort to bridge this rift, the production and dissemination of knowledge in the Arabic language are central to our work, as tools that actively contribute to shaping public opinion around spatial and urban issues. Such knowledge is also critical for influencing policy-making and to engage dwellers as informed and active agents within their lived environments.

As such, our work and the research we initiate are rooted in the belief that all dwellers have the right to play an active role in creating the future of their desired city. Our projects aim to forge possibilities that make urban planning a democratic process where ordinary citizens can understand, judge and take decisions to make interesting, viable and just spaces.



Abir Saksouk

Co-Director and Head of Research Department

Abir graduated as an architect in 2005, and later did her masters in Urban Development Planning. She is the co-founder of Public Works Studio. Her primary focus includes urbanism and law, property and shared space, and the right to the city of marginalized communities. She is active in exploring how local organizing could be employed in actively shaping the future of cities. Abir is also a member of the Legal Agenda and a co-founder of Dictaphone Group. 


Nadine Bekdache

Co-director and Head of Communication and Design Unit

Nadine is a practicing designer and urbanist, and co-founder of Public Works Studio. She researches socio-spatial phenomena through multidisciplinary methods; including mapping, imagery and film as both processes of investigation and representation. As part of her research on urban displacement, she authored “Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon’s Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles”, and co-directed “Beyhum Street: Mapping Place Narratives”. Nadine is also a graphic design instructor at the Lebanese University.


Tala Alaeddine

Research Unit Coordinator and Researcher

Tala graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Lebanese University, Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts Branch II (2017), and received Academic excellence certificates and Scholarships from The Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development and the Lebanese American University. Her work focuses on land and housing issues in Lebanon, and includes studying and analyzing Lebanese regional masterplans, monitoring planning institutions practices, and advocating for participatory approaches in planning and reconstruction.


Jana Haidar

Housing Monitor Coordinator and Casework Manager

Jana is an architect and urban researcher. She completed her MA in Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts of the Lebanese University and has been working on projects covering the topics of national urban planning practices, housing policies and displacement, urban transformation, and history. She is also the creator of Beirut Architecture Tours that explores the urban planning history of Beirut.


Lama El Hajjar

Office and Finance Manager

Lama is an Economics graduate from Saint Joseph University, with over nine years experience in the banking sector. She switched careers with the aim of engaging in the social and economic grievances partially caused by that sector itself, something that would also help her get am imcreased job satisfaction. Lama currently oversees all areas of finance and administration at Public Works. She also handles the Human Resources procedures.


Jana Mezher

Communication Unit Coordinator and Designer

Jana holds an MA in art direction from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts – (ALBA). She enjoys focusing her energy on exploring the city in its diverse and sometimes irreconcilable layers and excavating the forgotten stories within. Talk to her for hours about Anthropology, Politics, or History and she will not get bored.


Jana Nakhal

Magazine Editor-In-Chief

Jana is an urban planner and researcher. She published in several Lebanese and regional newspapers and magazines on urban and feminist issues.
Her research focuses on housing, public spaces, heritage and culture from an intersectional feminist perspective. She is specifically interested in the concepts of ecofeminism, reproductive work and the domestic space and organizes trainings on intersectional feminism, agroecology and ecofeminism. Jana is also on the editorial board of Watch, FIAN’s journal. She is a PhD student at Ljubljana University, and wishes to become a witch one day.


Rayan Alaeddine


Rayan is a civil engineer holding a Master’s degree in public works and road planning from the Lebanese University (2019), and a dual Master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Lille-France and the Lebanese University (2021). Using a variety of research and fieldwork tools, she is interested in discovering the dynamics of the urban environment, while adapting it to the fair and just use of people and all living creatures. Her work also includes monitoring and observing the changes of various urban elements and factors.


Christina Abou Rouphaël


Christina is an architect and urban researcher who graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture (2015) and Urban Planning (2017) from the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts of the Lebanese University. She is currently working on various research projects related to urban issues, public property and the right to the city.


Remy Atallah

Content Creator and Social Media Officer

Remy holds a diploma in Interior Architecture from the Lebanese University of Fine Arts in 2009. She has been designing and making jewelry since 2001. She enjoys exploring abandoned buildings in Lebanon.Remy manages Public Works’s social media pages, in addition to Content Creation.


Maya Saba Ayon

Legal Researcher and Casework Manager

Maya is a law graduate from the Filière Francophone de Droit. She is a legal researcher with a focus on Housing laws, the local housing legal framework and its compliance with international human rights standards. A Casework Manager, Maya is the link between the Housing Monitor and The Right to Housing Legal Task Force, where she is tasked with legal referrals, following up on legal interventions and documenting their results.


Yara Abdelkhalek

Land Policy Observatory Coordinator and Coordinator of Advocacy and Community Work

Yara is an architect and urban researcher who graduated with an MA in Architecture from the Lebanese University in 2017, and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Urban Planning. She is interested in urban activism and the way in which local organizing shapes the city. Her work focuses on urbanism in relation to law and the state, using a lens on the right to the city violation, as well as networking to raise advocacy on urban-related issues.