"Architecture can make you happier. Urban planning can make us equal"


My name is Paloma Leé, I studied architecture in my hometown, Arequipa, Perú. I graduated with a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Universidad Nacional de San Agustin (UNSA) in 2008. While in Peru I worked for a construction company where I gain experience in construction management; and two architecture studios which focused on high-end residential and commercial projects.

In 2008, after getting my professional degree I moved to South Africa where I worked for LYT Architecture, an international company with a portfolio that includes industrial, retail, educational, residential, and leisure projects. There I took part on different stages of multiple projects gaining experience with project management and coordination, while dealing with multiple consultants for each project.

In 2013, I travelled for nearly a year through India and South East Asia, I explored through cities and small towns, during this time I observed the way people interact in radical different ways, in similar spaces; influenced by their culture, their history and the very different environmental contexts. This experience grew my interest for urban planning and mobility issues.

On my return to South Africa, I started Paloma Lee Architect, a practice where I focused mainly on residential projects. I enjoyed these years greatly, the conversations with clients and learning from their lifestyles. I have always been fascinated by how architecture influences people’s lives, while working and while relaxing; how it affects people interactions and even their health.

Through these years, my interest for urban planning became stronger and I decided on a new adventure, therefore, in 2018  I enrolled in the Masters of Urban Planning and Policy Design at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI). A year later I joined the Research Master on Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) through the ERASMUS program. While doing my masters at the University of Amsterdam I became familiar with the research process and developed an interest for public policy, I also came to understand the importance of discursive spaces and how the intervention of multiple actors, private as well as public, is of vital importance to find solutions that are fair, inclusive and sustainable.

09 – 2021

Sudan Arts and Design Library - International Competition

Neighbourhood Scale Category - 1st place

In collaboration with Urban Diorama

Under Review

Bicycle commuting as a tool for equity advancement in Diepsloot Johannesburg

Co-author: Paola Pucci - Politecnico di Milano

Journal of Transport Policy, ScienceDirect - Elsevier

03 – 2021

ICI: A Manifesto for Urban Justice

“A Manifesto for the Just City” published by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft – Open)

In collaboration with Urban Diorama

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