Majlis Talks | The Changing Role of the Architect?

Curated by FOLIO, Alserkal's digital publication, Majlis Talks feature speakers from across the art, design, and architecture disciplines. Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia states: "In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together..." Moderated by Nazneen Shafi, regional coordinator GULF for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Director of d.Academy, The Young Architect and Design Programme, and panelists DIDI’s Hani Asfour, and ibda Design and National Pavilion UAE La Biennale de Venezia 2020 Curators Wael Alawar and Kenichi Teramoto will discuss how we can imagine these spaces.

Free and open to all however RSVP is required via the following link.

Location | Majlis (Warehouse 58)

Wael Al Awar

Wael Al Awar founded ibda design in 2009 after moving back to the Middle East from Tokyo. He has extensive experience in designing projects of various scales and programs, including art centres and parks, school and university campuses, mixed-use developments, private villas and mosques. With interests in natural phenomena, landscape and formless diagrams of relations, Wael has a multi-disciplinary approach to design and is always looking to challenge conventional processes to push the boundaries of design.

Kenichi Teramoto

Kenichi Teramoto joined ibda design as a principal architect and partner to Wael Al Awar in 2012. Previously, Teramoto worked with renowned architects in Tokyo and Rotterdam, on local and international projects, building an extensive design experience in both Asia and Europe. His architectural design proficiency includes a diverse range of projects including art centres and parks, school and university campuses, mixed-use developments, private villas and mosques. Teramoto's working experiences have trained him to develop an understanding of culture, geography and materiality. His approach to design is multi-disciplinary, and he has a deep interest in natural phenomena and structure. He is always re-questioning the design approach with the aim of delivering a distinctive design.

Hani Asfour

Hani Asfour is the Dean of Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI). He is an MIT and Harvard-trained architect with over 20 years of experience as a practicing designer. Prior to joining DIDI, he was an Adjunct Faculty at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Asfour was named one of the 45 most influential architects in MENA by Middle East Architect magazine, where he also won the 2017 award for best cultural building. Founding President of the Beirut Creative Cluster, advisor to Beirut Design Week, and Founding Partner of Polypod, an award-winning multidisciplinary collaborative design studio in Beirut, Lebanon, Asfour is also a public speaker in many events, including his talk, Design Matters at TEDX Beirut.

Nazneen R Shafi

Nazneen R Shafi is the Executive Director of Engage ME, an education and culture consultancy and project management entity based in Dubai. With a background in Cultural Studies, Art History & Design, and International Relations, she spearheads projects related to strategic planning and execution of Master Plans including the development of new artistic directions, partnerships, and collaborations in the government and non-governmental sector including culture, cultural diplomacy, and education with institutions. As a consultant, she is responsible for several pioneering projects and initiatives related to education in the realm of culture, museums, stewardship, and management of art collections both private and corporate in the region. She is the Founder Director of the Young Architect and Design Programme, under the mentorship of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, at the d. Academy space at Alserkal Avenue. She is also the Regional Co-Ordinator GULF for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and a nominator for the 2017-2019 Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. She is a Committee Member for the Aga Khan Museum Toronto’s Global Patrons Program - Gulf and South Asia Chapter.