Graphic London: Of Doorways and Frames

ARCHITECTEM microNarrative Graphic London captured and curated by Mariam Hussain. Design vignettes, bold compositions, and graphic imagery that celebrate urban London are the focus of this visual series. An inventory of dynamic snapshots preserving an archive of everyday moments; streetscape as microcosm of the vibrant metropolis.

“Behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal or a window opening on something other than iteself. “

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)

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ARCHITECTEM met with Iñaqui Carnicero earlier this year at the Venice Biennale to discuss the Spanish Pavilion for which he received the Golden Lion along with Carlos Quintáns. We now explore RICA Studio’s representation of an innovative teaching method, a place to booster creativity, imagination, and to stimulate the senses.

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The following paper explores ideas of utilizing Architectural Diagrams to create Geometric Forms that anticipate user responses. Penned by Michael Wacht, ARCHITECTEM Los Angeles based contributor, it was  featured as a “Poster Presentation” at Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA). The ANFA Conferenece took place at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies from 22nd to 24th September 2016. 

Michael is the President of IntuArch, an architecture firm that focuses on developing innovative geometries in response to research in programmatic, environmental, circulatory, and contextual analysis. Previously, as Director of the Los Angeles Studio of MADA s.p.a.m. , while working with the Dean of the USC School of Architecture, Qingyun Ma, he acquired a focus on creating effective design strategies. Michael is now a jury critic at USC.

The paper is followed by a downladable pdf of the presented poster.

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Graphic London: Visual Cornucopia

Second installment of Graphic London captured and curated by Mariam Hussain. Design vignettes, bold compositions, and graphic imagery that celebrate urban London are the focus of this visual series . An inventory of dynamic snapshots preserving a narrative of everyday moments; streetscape as microcosm of the vibrant metropolis.


Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.

― BanksyWall and Piece

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Any form of augmentation of the individual intellect would immediately result in the augmentation of the collective one

The Dialogue between ARCHITECTEM and Yasser Elshestawy [Curator UAE National Pavilion for the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale and ARCHITECTEM Advisor] was an organic extension of our aim to activate Academic Architectural discourse within the UAE. The Dialogue took place on 8th October 2016, as part of the Nadi Al Quoz Speaker Series at Alserkal Avenue.

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Dialogue : : Cynthia Davidson, Co-Curator United States Pavilion La Biennale di Venezia

For the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, the United States Pavilion presents ‘The Architectural Imagination’, a curatorial project led by Cynthia Davidson and Mónica Ponce de León featuring speculative architectural proposals for four sites in Detroit, Michigan. ARCHITECTEM met with Cynthia Davidson over gelato at the vernissage to discuss the curatorial vision, selection of Detroit as the focus, and her journey to curating; below is an excerpt from the conversation. 

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Experience Music Project: Gehry’s homage to Rock ‘n’ Roll

Situated at the base of the world-renowned Space Needle, EMP Museum wraps around the historic Monorail of Seattle. The museum used to be known as Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM). A nonprofit museum, dedicated to contemporary popular culture, EMP Museum was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000. Built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, the Monorail soars right through the center of Frank O. Gehry’s unique building, transporting visitors to and from Seattle Center and the city’s vibrant urban core. ARCHITECTEM San Francisco based Contributor Niveen Sayeed explores the exterior curvilinear metal cladding of this Seattle landmark through her lens. 

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Kuwait microNarrative : Souk Sharq

Not to find one’s way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling. Street names must speak to the urban wanderer like the snapping of dry twigs, and little streets in the heart of the city must reflect the times of day, for him, as clearly as a mountain valley. This art I acquired rather late in life; it fulfilled a dream, of which the first traces were labyrinths on the blotting papers in my school notebooks.

Walter Benjamin

Rafael Portilo, our Kuwait based contributor, on an ambulant exploration of Souk al Sharq corniche records his stroll in sepia toned images.

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2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the winning projects

The winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture were announced today in a ceremony in Abu Dhabi. The venue for the winners’ ceremony, the Al Jahili fort in Al-Ain, was also announced by His Excellency Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport and a member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi.

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Research, Content and Catalogue; Exhibition Report National Pavilion UAE 

This is the third in our series of essays covering the National Pavilion UAE la biennale di Venezia. The first presented an overview of Aravena’s theme for the biennale [Reporting from the Front] and the concept selected by curator Yasser Elshestawy for this year’s UAE exhibit [’Transformations: The Emirati National House’ – the Sha’bīyaa ]. The second took the form of a dialogue with Professor Elshestawy. In this essay, we navigate through the sequential layout of the exhibit paired with visuals of the spaces and look deeper into the Exhibition Catalogue as a document of exhaustive research and a valuable academic resource.

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