P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Leen Katrib, 2016

Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Kentucky

Leen Katrib is an immigrant from United Arab Emirates

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MArch in Architecture at Princeton University

Leen was born in Dubai and raised in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates to Arab immigrants—a Syrian father and a Palestinian-Lebanese mother whose family was expelled from Haifa during the 1948 Nakba. Her memory of the architectural, economic, and social inequalities that plagued immigrant communities in a rapidly urbanizing UAE—against the backdrop of her mother’s history of forced displacement from Lebanon and Palestine—shaped her focus in architecture and urbanism. After numerous threats of deportation to Syria, she relocated with her family to West Virginia when she was 14 years old to pursue permanent legal presence for the first time.

Leen’s work investigates architecture’s materiality and historiography and designs new frameworks for marginalized communities, histories, and material culture. Her research has been supported by an upcoming Art Omi Architecture Residency (2024), MacDowell / National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (2022), Harry der Boghosian Fellowship (2021-22), Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship (2016-18), Howard Crosby Butler Travel Grant (2017), William and Neoma Timme Travel Grant (2014), and George H. Mayr Travel Grant (2013). Her work has been published in Future Anterior, Pidgin, Room One Thousand, and Bracket, and has been exhibited at Lexington Art League’s Loudoun House, Syracuse University, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Van Der Plas Gallery, and the A+D Museum. Leen has presented her work at venues throughout North America and Europe and served as a guest critic for graduate and undergraduate reviews at several institutions including Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kent State University, Princeton University, the Ohio State University, UC Berkeley, and University of Arkansas. Prior to academia, Leen lived in New York City and practiced at Marvel, LTL Architects, Peter Marino, and OMA—with built work in New York, Pittsburgh, Paris, and Hong Kong. She holds a M.Arch from Princeton University, where she was editor of Pidgin and an Assistant Instructor, and a B.Arch from the University of Southern California, where she was designated a Global and Discovery Scholar and during which she interned for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gensler, and MADA s.p.a.m.

Outside of teaching and practice, Leen regularly volunteers for community service—most recently as an ESL and academic mentor for immigrants and refugees through the Jusoor Academic Mentorship Program and Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County West Virginia, and previously through New York Cares and Habitat for Humanity NYC. 

  • MArch Architecture | Princeton University 2018
  • BA Architecture | University of Southern California 2014
  • Howard Crosby Butler Traveling Fellowship in Architecture.
  • International Development in Action Competition, Honorable Mention
  • Hult Prize Regional Finalist
  • William and Neoma Timme Travel Grant
  • George H. Mayr Travel Grant
  • A. Quincy Jones Memorial Scholarship for Exceptional Promise in Architecture
  • Robert Allen Rogaff Memorial Award for Excellence in Delineation
  • Discovery Scholar Prize, Finalist
  • Global Scholar Designation
  • DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française)
Select Publications
  • "Made in China: the Rise of the Mimetic Suburb," Pidgin Magazine, Issue 19 Magic, Princeton University, 2015
Work History
  • University of Kentucky, Assistant Professor of Architecture
  • Architectural Designer
  • Peter Marino Architect,
  • OMA*AMO,
  • MADA s.p.a.m,
  • Pidgin Magazine, Editor
  • Princeton University, Assistant Instructor
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