Dubai is set to host its first month long Architectural Biennale in 2018! The bold architectural vision of Dubai is talked about globally. Fascinating, bewildering and contrasting are just a few terms people associate with the fast-rising city. What is behind the architectural conceptions and visions? Who is the city designed for? What do architects feel about design processes in their profession? How does Dubai contribute to the global dialogues in architecture today? The bi-annual, month long Biennale will provide a platform to explore the built environment from different perspectives in the city.
It would be interesting to know Dubai’s stand about current global issues in the field. With 70% of cities worldwide are facing the impact of climate change and nearly all cities are at risk (C40 Cities), adaptive planning and design has come to the forefront in recent years. Environmental sustainability is becoming prevalent in almost all spheres of design. Do professionals and designers in Dubai recognize this as a priority? Designing for a fast-changing city set among many deep environmental and economic uncertainties and being a part of the larger transient population of the city, most architects find themselves in a unique and challenging position.
Locally, other questions can arise. Dubai has emerged as a global city and this has reflected in architecture as well. It has become the home to the creation of many starchitects and glass skyscrapers. The Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa are becoming a ‘signature’ of the city. Architectural icons play a big role in providing a visual recognition for the city. But what if Dubai did not grow to be the global city it is today. What are the alternative scenarios of development? And what would be the architectural icons we would associate with that?
We are just as excited for the prequel to next year’s event, which will take place between Nov 11 – 26 at AlSerkal Avenue this month. The theme for this year’s event is ‘What should an Architectural Biennale for Dubai look like?’. An architectural Biennale should be a representation of the city and the vision it is headed toward. The intention behind the theme is to arrive at a collective realization of what people feel so that it can be aptly represented in next year’s Biennale. What is the opinion of architects, students, designers and academics about this in Dubai?
This year’s events include an Architectural Majlis to bring forward opinions and discussions, workshops exploring interior architectural construction, building tours around the city, a design competition for students and an ‘instameet’ for photography enthusiasts. This month’s Biennale should be able to inform next year’s theme and we look forward to the outcome! The Architecture Biennale will be hosting the first Architectural Majlis on Nov 11th in collaboration with The Tryptic Note and with the support of Alserkal Avenue. Make your voice count as a professional and resident of Dubai and come join us at the first Architectural Biennale in the Middle East!