14 November 2022
Blurred Boundaries: Architecture, Art, and Design
Session IV of Majlis Talks with Dabbagh Architects
Nada Debs is a Lebanese designer living and working in Beirut. Her work spans scale and discipline: from product and furniture design to one-off commissions across craft, art, fashion and interiors. What ties her work together is her ability to distil culture and craftsmanship to create pieces of emotional resonance. Nada grew up in Japan, studied design at the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States and has spent significant periods of time living and travelling the world, finding connections between different cultures. There is something of each of her experiences in all of her work. In essence, she captures the power of the human hand to tell stories that touch the heart. She calls her approach: handmade and heartmade.
Sumaya Dabbagh is a Saudi architect educated in the UK. She founded Dabbagh Architects in 2008. The practice set out to create a timeless Architecture that enhances people’s lives. It addresses themes of identity, place and context through its contemporary and innovative approach to architecture.
Dabbagh Architects are renowned for their culturally sensitive, contextual designs. The Mleiha Archaeological Centre and the recently completed Gargash Mosque have been globally recognized with multiple awards. Al Ain Museum is currently in the making is a further addition to a new emerging Architecture in the region being carved out by Dabbagh.
In addition to cultural projects, Dabbagh’s portfolio covers diverse sectors including commercial, residential as well as educational. The practice are also known for their quality-driven design. In 2017 they became one of the first RIBA Chartered Practices in the Gulf region.
Juan Roldan is a Spanish architect and educator with studies in Madrid (ETSAM MArch 2004) and London (Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, London 1999). He is an Associate Professor of Interior Design at the American University of Sharjah. Roldan was appointed curator of the first edition of the d3 Architectural Festival 2020 (in partnership with RIBA Gulf). In 2019, he was awarded the International Charles Correa Chair by the Charles Correa Foundation at Goa College of Architecture. His latest written research, "Outdoor Rooms and Domesticated Landscapes in the UAE, was published in Interior Provocations (Routledge, 2020).
Juan Roldan’s research agenda on Urban Interiors offers a commentary on re-appropriating city spaces. Roldan examines interior and exterior domestic spaces, which create new models of urban social relationships, subvert traditional customs, and establish exchange mechanisms between individuals and the city. He seeks to understand how cities are used and appropriated by unsolicited designers and unexpected residents, analyzing the codes, protocols, and liturgies that create a citizen’s inalienable sense of belonging on inhabited land.
Born in Damascus and raised in the U.A.E, Sawsan Al Bahar is an artist, architect and researcher based in Dubai. Sawsan seeks the discreet ways history influences personal narratives in the region, investigating her own and searching for the home myth within works of graphite on paper, digital scans, and text. An intense craftsmanship is the basis of her work, and she employs digital-scanning to access and depict an absent homeland.
Sawsan has participated in multiple national and international group exhibitions including Art Verona (2022), Art Dubai (2021), Art Abu Dhab (2016) and Dubai Design Week (2015). In 2022, Sawsan was awarded the Massimiliano Galliani Prize for Drawing under 35.
You can view her latest exhibition “Talaliya” at Firetti Contemporary Gallery, Unit 29 in Alserkal Avenue until 25 November 2022.
Photo courtesy of Dabbagh Architects.
For more information on the complete Majlis Talks program, click here.