about us

Dr. Sandra Piesik is an architect, researcher, innovator, designer, artist, curator and a writer specialising in technology development and transfer of natural materials and the implementation of global sustainable legislation. Sandra is currently working towards the programmes of UNFCCC, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and The New Urban Agenda on implementation and adaptation of indigenous and endogenous technologies.

Sustainable development projects initiated, developed and delivered include cities, buildings and product design, at various scales, all of which address socio-economics, resilience, prosperity, improvement of livelihoods and authentic cultural continuity.

Traditionally trained at the University of Arts, Poznan, Poland with a German Bauhaus influence, and later at the Architectural Association, London and The Bartlett, UCL, London, Sandra initially worked in commercial architectural practices in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia on educational, commercial, hospitality and transportation projects.

Her baseline research on date palm leaf architecture in the United Arab Emirates across 80,000 km² of the Rub Al Khali desert, led to the publication of Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture a pioneering work on date palm leaf technology transfer. Her experience of working with indigenous communities has given Sandra a deep understanding of other cultures and their social aspirations in the local and global context.

Based on this work, in 2012 Sandra was commissioned by Thames & Hudson to be the general editor of a ground-breaking, encyclopaedic publication, HABITAT: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet: a global review of vernacular architecture which focuses on the world’s climate zones, natural resources and indigenous technologies

Dr. Piesik is the founder of 3 ideas Ltd, the initiator of several RD&D groups and consortia including: R&D Group Ecosystems; the Urban and Rural Resilience Consortium and the HABITAT Coalition.

In recent years her active involvement with the climate change agenda enabled her participation in several conferences organised by the United Nations:

UNCCD Cancun, Mexico 2015
UNFCCC COP22 Marrakech, Morocco 2016
UNFCCC Technical Examination Process, Bonn Germany 2017
UNFCCC COP23 Bonn, Germany 2017


The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
Architects Registration Board, London
RIBA Chartered Membership, London
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London
Former fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, London
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
UNESCO UK Expert Network Skills Member
Nominator for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Working with

UNFCCC entities
International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Khalifa International Date Palm Award for Agricultural Innovation
The School of Sound
Spring Films Ltd
Flat Cap Films


Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation
The British Museum
Domaine de Boisbuchet
The National Geographic
Thames & Hudson
Tourism and Culture Authority Abu Dhabi
Venice Biennale UAE National Pavilion

Lectures and talks

Asia House London
The British Museum and The Royal Anthropological Institute Conference: Anthropology, Weather and Climate Change, 2016 – Convener of the Panel: The Generation of Climate Knowledge
BuroHappold Engineering
Climate-KIC Climate Innovation Summit, Milan
Climate Week, New York City
Engineering Forum of Nigerians (UK)
Global Science Technology and Innovation Conference, Brussels G-STIC 2017
Khalifa International Date Palm Award and Agricultural Innovation and the Sixth International Date Palm Conference, Abu Dhabi
London South Bank University
International Red Cross
Oxford Brookes Universities
Paris-Sorbonne University
The Pratt University Brooklyn, New York
The Royal Geographical Society with IBG
The University of Portsmouth
The University of Westminster
UNCCD Cancun, Mexico
UNFCCC COP22 Marrakech, Morocco


First Prize Winner at “J’aime le livre d’art” Awards for “HABITER La Planète” by Flammarion, Paris, November 2017
The Sabla: Palm-Leaf Shelter: Winner of Community & Cultural Project of the Year and the second in the Sustainable Project of the Year during the Middle East Architect Awards in 2015
Nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2015
Selected by The National as the Cultural Innovation project of 2014
Arish House, Liwa Oasis, Rub Al Khali Desert
The Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Awards 2010