Centennial Ideologies & Ecosystems: Potential Futures for Lebanon
Centennial Ideologies & Ecosystems: Potential Futures for Lebanon is the first event in the series Open Forum, a collective initiative running in parallel to the exhibitions of the Biennale.This series is organized by Co-Habitat Beirut exhibitors Sandra Frem and Carla Aramouny, Wael El Awar (Curator of the UAE Pavilion) and The GSAPP Collective for Beirut.
The Open Forum is organized around a series of gatherings to reflect, trigger and converse, the forums will look at stages of crisis as fertile grounds that advocate for togetherness and the rethinking of cities through the lens of Beirut. Three virtual events will anchor the continuous discussion, where participants will be invited to examine the central theme of the Biennale: How Do We Live Together?
This forum invites advocates of diverse and polarizing opinions on geographies, territories, governance, citizenship, infrastructure, distribution of land, cities and architecture, to discuss different ways of living together and exploring other “isms” as potential futures of the dreadlocked present since its inception in 1921.
Speakers include Dean Amale Andraos, Co-founder at workAC; Boulos Douaihy, Beirut Shifting Grounds / Platau; Carla Aramouny, Beirut Shifting Grounds / American University of Beirut; Charles Al Hayek, Historian, teacher, and consultant; Rania Masri, PhD, Environmental scientist & political activist / Lebanese American University; and Rony Lahoud, Public Corporation for Housing, moderated by Iyad Abou Gaida (‘19 MS.AAD).
“Beirut Shifting Grounds” is research and an installation presented in the Co-Habitats Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. It probes spatial practices of the ground level of the city that allow people to adapt through uncertainty and change. Through four parallel narratives, it focuses on manifestations of improvisation, appropriation, and self-organization that offer lessons of communal adaptation and solidarity for the uncertain future.” it is organized by Sandra Frem (Platau / AUB), Boulos Douaihy (Platau) with Carla Aramouny, Rana Haddad, Nicolas Fayad (American University of Beirut).
Wael Al Awar founded waiwai (formerly ibda design) in 2009 as the principal architect, after moving back to the Middle East from Tokyo. 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. His projects layer his individual design sensibilities into an architecture of natural light, time, structure, and landscape. By aligning with natural phenomena, Wael seeks to create an architecture that is more than man-made fabrication but instead remains open to adaptation and appropriation. The spaces that emerge from his approach are site-specific provocations that encourage unexpected experiences, activities and behaviors. Wael Al Awar is currently a co- Curator for the National Pavillion of the UAE for the 17th Architecture Biennale di Venezia 2021.
At the Biennale, Wael Al Awar, will present Wetland. The exhibit features a collaboration with New York University – Abu Dhabi, Tokyo University, and the American University of Sharjah. Inspired by the salt flats of the UAE, the research explores to find an environmentally friendly cement that is made from the recycling of the reject brine of industrial desalination. @wael.al.awar @waiwaidesign
The GSAPP Collective for Beirut is an interdisciplinary organization founded organically in 2020 in the aftermath of the Beirut blast, by a group of alumni and students who studied asynchronously at Columbia University. The Collective is fueled by matters, reflections and ideas related to current events in Lebanon, and the Middle East. The GSAPP Collective for Beirut seeks to weave a cross-disciplinary network of practitioners and researchers that can grow over the years.
Representatives of the Collective: Maureen Abi Ghanem (UP Ph.D), Iyad Abou Gaida (‘19 MS.AAD), Marylynn Pauline Antaki (‘19 MS.AAD), Charles Hajj (‘16 MS.AAD), Dina Mahmoud (‘14 MS.AAD), and Aya Abdallah (‘22 M.ARCH).
Free and open to the public. Virtual events hosted on Zoom Webinar do not require an account to attend, advanced registrations are encouraged.
GSAPP is committed to providing universal access to all of our virtual events. Please contact Lyla Catellier via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.