OMA lands in Dubai with Concrete


Earlier this week, OMA designed Concrete, opened its doors at Alserkal Avenue, in Dubai. A beautifully balanced symphony of monochrome textures, deep colors and translucent screens. Featuring circular ceiling tracks and movable panels – all elements to choreograph a dynamic space for performance and display. The inaugural exhibition, “Syria: Into the Light” showcased a collection based on the theme of ‘Portraits and Figures’.

ARCHITECTEM was at the opening reception, capturing details and embedded events within Concrete, its conversation with the art, the visitors and its context. 

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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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Dialogue : : Iñaqui Carnicero, Co-Curator Spanish Pavilion La Biennale di Venezia

The Spanish Pavilion was awarded a Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale, featuring a new type of architecture that emerged in the country after the financial crisis.

Under the title “Unfinished”, the exhibition curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns consists of nearly 67 proposals and 7 photographic series presenting answers to the problems arising in Spain after the housing boom post-crisis. The inherited situation has led to many architectural studies to reflect on the passage of time in architecture and to respond against the excesses of the past.

Exhibition curator Iñaqui Carnicero is an Architect and has served as a visiting Professor at Cornell University. He has been recognised with numerous international awards such as the Design Vanguard Award, AIANY Housing Award, Emerging Architects Award, FAD and COAM Award.

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Dialogue:  Yasser Elshestawy Curator the National Pavilion UAE Biennale di Venezia 

The 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia opened last month and saw the world converge on the floating city. The Biennale continues till November hosting pavilions responding to Alejandro Aravena’s curatorial proposal “Reporting from the front”. Aravena in his brief called for projects that are “looking for new fields of action, facing issues like segregation, inequalities, peripheries, access to sanitation, natural disasters, housing shortage, migration, informality, crime, traffic, waste, pollution and the participation of communities.” While most pavilion’s featured recent or proposed projects in response to this call for architectures that are responsible and responsive, the National Pavilion of UAE chose to look at the past.

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Salone del Mobile.Milano 2016

Salone del Mobile.Milano is a week long Design Event taking place between 12th April to 17th April in Milan. It will host three collateral events dedicated to the concepts of living, classic furnishing and architectural finishings. Attended by more than 300,000 operators from 160 countries and over 30,000 visitors and showcasing a range of extremely high quality products and services, the Salone del Mobile.Milano sets to reaffirm Milan’s role as the capital of design. According to President Roberto Snaidero

The 55th edition will be a huge international draw, with 70% of the operators coming from over 160 countries and a wide range of top commercial offerings from the very best companies on the Italian and foreign markets, combined with culture and product culture through our collateral events. Internationalisation and innovation are the key drivers of this important edition.

The city event linked directly to the Salone del Mobile.Milano will be “space&interiors”.  Organised by the international architecture, design and construction biennial MADE expo, at The Mall Porta Nuova, Brera Design District: with a fascinating display of surfaces, flooring, doors and interior finishings curated Migliore+Servetto Architects.

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Art Dubai

Image from Art Dubai website

Art Dubai is the leading inter­national art fair in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The tenth edition of the fair takes place March 16-19, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Taking place each year in March, Art Dubai presents a select yet diverse line-up of around 90 galleries from the UAE and around the world, across three programmes: Contemporary; Modern, devoted to masters from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia; and Marker, a curated section of artspaces that focuses each year on a particular theme or geography.

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Design Days Dubai


Design Days Dubai presents limited edition modern and contemporary design pieces from the world’s established and emerging galleries and design talent, alongside a public programme of special projects, talks, workshops and guided tours allowing visitors to discover, engage with and acquire the works on display.

Now in its fifth edition, Design Days Dubai is the first design fair of its kind in the Middle East, bringing the most exclusive selection of purchasable, limited-edition design to the region. A showcase of desirable, rare and unique design creations, Design Days Dubai will be held from March 14-18, 2016, to coincide with Art Week, the city’s premier art event.

Retaining its position as the world’s most diverse design fair, Design Days Dubai brings together world-leading design galleries welcoming annual returning galleries Carpenters Workshop Gallery (UK/France/USA), Victor Hunt designArt Dealers (Belgium), Art Factum (Lebanon) and Gallery S. Bensimon (France) and newcomers J.C.T Haute Couture Interiors (France), Camp Design Gallery (Italy), Barcelona Design Gallery (Spain) and Dutch Creative Industry (The Netherlands). Exhibitors from a total of 19 countries.

For its fifth installment, the fair continues to promote the Middle Eastern design industry through exhibiting a record number of design galleries and studios based in the Emirates, GCC and wider MENASA region. These include the first participation of Monogram and M.A.D Gallery (both Dubai), Samovar and Loulwa Al-Radwan (both Kuwait), Vick Vanlian and Georges Amatoury Studio (both Lebanon), Kalo (UAE) and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar).

As a notable symbol of the growth and maturity of the design landscape in the UAE and beyond, additional strong regional representation can be seen through the number of returning exhibitors: 1971 Design Space, Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative, Fadi Sarriedine, Nakkash Gallery, Shamsa Alabbar and Tashkeel, all based in the Emirates, along with Coalesce (Pakistan), Naqsh Collective (Jordan) and Squad Design (Lebanon).

Other highlights of the 2016 programme will include an exhibition of design from the UAE, ‘WASL, celebrating Design Days Dubai’s 5-year legacy and commitment to supporting and nurturing local and regional design talent; whilst initiatives in partnership with Van Cleef & Arpels (the fourth edition of Van Cleef & Arpel’s Middle East Emergent Designer Prize), art and design organisaton Tashkeel (the third season of Tashkeel’s successful design programme), Dubai Culture and d3 (Urban Commissions competition) focus on a brand new generation of UAE- based designers.

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Salone del Mobile.Milano: a Design spring in Italy this April

The 55th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano will take place from 12th to 17th April at the Milan Fairgrounds, Rho (the venue that hosted last years EXPO 2015). The exhibition will present three collateral events dedicated to the Concepts of Living, Classic Furnishing and Architectural Finishings. Attended by more than 300,000 operators from 160 countries and over 30,000 visitors and showcasing a range of extremely high quality products and services, the Salone del Mobile.Milano sets to reaffirm Milan’s role as the capital of design.

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Insights from the Curator: The National Pavillion UAE at LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2016

National Pavilion United Arab Emirates la Biennale di Venezia to Highlight Transformations of the Emirati National House at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in 2016 – la Biennale di Venezia

Yasser Elsheshtawy, curator for the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) la Biennale di Venezia and Associate Professor of Architecture at the UAE University, Al Ain, will present Transformations: The Emirati National House, an exhibition highlighting the transformations of the Emirati National House, also known as Sha’abi (folk) house. His focus is on how a basic housing model was adapted by residents to individualised homes, thus reflecting their culture and life style.

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