Prior to architecture, Mariam was a software developer for several years after obtaining a masters and bachelors degrees in computer science, respectively from New York University and Purdue University. She studied architecture at the University of Washington.
Her masters thesis, Mobile Loitering, focused on issues of gender and public space in Niger. It was awarded Thesis Prize and a special mention in the 2014 Young Architects in Africa Competition. The project was also exhibited in the 2014 Milan Triennale’s Africa Big Chance Big Change exhibit. It has since been part of a worldwide traveling exhibition to various European countries, South Africa, China and more.
In 2013, Mariam became a founding member of united4design, a global collective of architects working on projects in the U.S., Afghanistan and Niger. They have collaborated to produce projects like Niamey2000 in Niger, which was awarded an American institute of Architects Seattle Award and Architect Magazine’s 2017 R+D Award for innovation.
In 2014, she founded atelier masōmī, an architecture and research firm through which she tackles a wide variety of public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. A notable example is the Religious-Secular Complex of Dandaji in Niger, a collaborative cultural project that has won the 2017 Gold LafargeHolcim Award for Africa and Middle East, and the 2018 Silver Global LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Architecture.
Her work is guided by the belief that architects have an important role to play in thinking spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide a better quality of life. Through her practice, Mariam aims to discover innovative ways of doing so, while maintaining an intimate dialog between architecture, people, and context.
Mariam is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Brown University and a recurring Architecture Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design (R.I.S.D.).