Conference Introduction

The Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Cultural Center (AACC) in collaboration with AlFaisal University presents the conference Architecture for the Future: Education, Research and Practice  taking place in Alfaisal University (Rafiq Hariri Building) on February 9-10The conference program was developed by Banafsajeel and includes two days of panel discussions by leading practitioners and academics, encouraging constructive dialogue and critical debate on issues of concern in relation to architecture in Saudi Arabia. It also features the launch of an international competition by AACC to redesign the Dar Al Uloum library, an architecture exhibition by RIBA Gulf, a documentation workshop led by Minhaaj + Bakerloos, and a visit to the historic district of Diriya with Phonart Saudi, providing ample opportunity for networking, inspiration and knowledge dissemination amongst the design community.
* Please note we are no longer accepting requests to attend the invite-only opening reception as we have reached full capacity. The conference on Friday and Saturday is open to the public and free to attend.

Program Overview

 

 


Feb 8


Competition launch


Private Event (By Invitation)

Feb 9

Panel Discussions + RIBA Exhibition

Open to the Public

Feb 10

Panel Discussions + Workshops

Open to the Public

Feb 11 – 22

Exhibition continues on display

Open to the Public

PROGRAM DETAILS

Thu, Feb 8: Opening Reception & Launch of Dar Al Uloum Competition

   

 

19:00

 

Introductory remarks

 

Dr. Mohammed Al Hayaza, President of Al Faisal University

 

19:15

 

Competition Launch

 

Dr. Ziad Al Sudairy, Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Cultural Center

 

19:30

 

Short Film Screening

 

By Khalid Alsudairy

 

19:45

 

Panel Discussion:

Future of the Library

 

 

Dr. Mishary Al Naim, SCTH

Fatimah Al Hussain, King Abdulaziz Public Library

Dr. Abdulhamid Al Sulaiman, Saudi Digital Library

Moderated by Jawaher Al Sudairy

 

20:30

 

Reception

 

Optional tour of RIBA Presidents Medal Awards exhibit

DAY 1

Fri, Feb 9: Future of Architecture: Education & Practice

 

15:00

 

Opening Remarks

 

Dr. Maha bint Mishari, Vice-President for External Relations, Al Faisal University

 

15:15

 

RIBA Exhibition Overview

 

Shahad Al Azzaz, Azzaz Architects (Riyadh RIBA Rep)

Dr. Tarek Mokhtar, Alfaisal University (Organizer of RIBA Exhibit)

 

15:30

 

Panel Discussion

Sustainability in Design: New Trends

 

Azzah Aldeghather, Mimaria Architecture Consultants

Abdullatif Al Mishari, AAP

16:15

17:10

 

17:30

 

18:15

Panel Discussion

Architectural Education: Future Prospects

 

Break

 

Panel Discussion

Architectural Practice: Future Prospects

Highlight feature

Dar Al Uloum Library

Moderated by Dr. Aliaa Elabd, Al Faisal University

 

Dr. Sherin Sameh, Dar Al-Hekmah University
Dr. Sumaya Al Sulaiman, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Dr. Ziad Aazam, Effat University

Moderated by Atef Alshehri, Cultural Innovations

 

Sumaya Dabbagh, Dabbagh Architects & RIBA Gulf Chapter president
Louay Quota, LEED AP, Architectural Projections, (Regional director AIA ME, Treasurer AIA International)

Abdulfattah Al-Momen, A.F.M. Consultants

Moderated by Yahya Al Najjar, KFUPM


Jawaher Al Sudairy in conversation with Prof. Joel Lamere, MIT. Including short film screening by Khalid Al Sudairy, Aflam JAK

   

DAY 2

Sat, Feb 10: Past vs. Future: Research & Practice

10:00

Opening Remarks

Dr. Fawaz bin Sarra 
Alsarra
, Alfaisal University

 

10:15

 

Panel Discussion

Cities and Economies Shaping Architecture

 

HRH Prince Saud Al Saud, Arriyadh Development Authority

Abdulelah Al Sheikh, Urban Management & Economic Policy Expert

Dr. Anas Al Faris, KACST

Moderated by Jawaher Al Sudairy, DAU Initiative / Al Nahda Research

11:15

Panel Discussion

The Role of Mapping & Documentation

Hisham Mortada, King Abdulaziz University

Basmah Kaaki, Studiobound

Ahmed Mater, Misk Art Insitute

George Richard, Art Jameel

Moderated by Abdulrahman Gazzaz, Bricklab

12:00

Coffee Break

 

 

12:20

 

Panel Discussion

Material Culture for Future Design

 

Majed Al Ghamdi, King Saud University
Nawaf Al Nassar, Tasmeem

Abdulrahman Gazzaz, BrickLab

Moderated by Alaa Tarabzouni, Prince Sultan University

13:20

Panel Discussion

Architecture: Between Process & End Product

Dr. Rana Alkadi, Alkimya Consultants

HRH Prince Sultan bin Fahad, SCTH

Prince Fahad bin Naif, Minhaj

Moderated by Noor Aldabbagh, Banafsajeel / The General Culture Authority

14:30


15:00

 


15:15

Lunch


Documentation Workshop
Flash-back City: Riyadh

 

Visit to Diriyah



Documentation workshop, Minhaj x The Bakerloos (preregistration required)

 


Walk around Bejairi by Phonart Saudi (preregistration required)

RIBA Competition Overview

Shahad Alazzaz, founder of -Azazarchitects- an Architectural firm with offices in Riyadh and Madrid. Shahad
graduated from MSA(Manchester school of Architecture) in 2011 and moved to Spain for an internship with
Rafael de La-Hoz arquitectos and that internship got extended to 7 years where she was appointed as the
Middle East representative of the firm handling Saudi’s largest judicial project with Arriyadh Development
Authority. She had also been involved in different types of projects with the private sector. During her time in
Madrid, Sshahad also obtained her MA in Architectural management and Design from IE Business School.
She finally decided this year to start her own firm and moved back to practice Architecture in Saudi.

Dr. Tarek Mokhtar is an Arch-roboticist, Designer, and Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering in the
College of Engineering at Alfaisal University. He is the founder and coordinator of the intelligent Design and
Art (iDNA) Research Group at the CoE of Alfaisal University. He is a member of the Institute for Intelligent
Materials, Systems and Environments (iMSE), Clemson University, USA, and an Executive Editor at the
Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology (JAET). Dr. Mokhtar has sixteen years of teaching
experience in KSA (DAU and AU), USA (Clemson U), and Egypt (Ain Shams U). Mokhtar earned an
interdisciplinary PhD in Planning, Design and the Built Environment [PDBE] from Clemson University, USA,
and an MS and BS in Architectural Engineering from the College of Engineering at Ain Shams University,
Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Mokhtar’s research explores embedding robotics and information technologies in the built
environment, and designing, prototyping and evaluating intelligent and interactive systems.

Abdullatif Al Mishari is a practicing architect and principal at the Associated Architects Partnership (AAP), a practice that is based in Kuwait and Portugal and operates in several other countries. Abdulatif is a member of the Kuwait 2035 Vision Committee at the Supreme Council of Planning and Development of the State of Kuwait and a member of the High Committee of the Master Plan and Mega Projects. He serves as an advisor at the Council of Ministers and has recently been part of several national initiatives including The Five Islands Proposal, Hareer and Boubyan Island Development Project and Kuwait’s 4th Master Plan. He is the co-founder of the Arabana Project, a member of the board at Alshaheed Park and the vice-chairman of the Kuwait Architecture League. Abdulatif earned his Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Southern California and his Masters in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard.

Azzah AlDeghather graduated from Syracuse University Architecture Department (rated number three in the
United States), New York. Her interest in Traditional Building and Urban Planning has resulted in a special
commitment to Modern Earth Block Technology and Sustainability resulting in certification in the training on
Compressed Earth Block Machines, Rammed Earth and Ferrocement Construction. Azzah’s special interest in
Islamic Principles and their application in Urbanism, Architecture, Landscape and Interior Design has gained a
citation in the Aga Khan Islamic Architecture Awards. Her work placed third in the National Competition for
King Abdulaziz Centre for the Gifted. It won third place in an International Competition for a Cultural Hub with
Live/Work Housing in Busan, South Korea and was selected for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Catalyst
Programme for Prototypical Study of an Islamic Community Economic Development Centre, based on the
Medina Charter as a means of the holistic sustainability for Villages in India. Azzah is the first licensed female
Architect and Consultant in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Aliaa Elabd is an assistant professor of architectural engineering in the college of Engineerign at Alfaisal
University. She is a licensed architect in Egypt, where seh received her bachelor degree in architecture. Dr.
Aliaa earned a master’s degree in urban design from the University of Texas at Austin, and her Ph.D. in
Design from North Carolina State University with a focus on the intergration between physical and social
aspects of place in creating healthy neighborhoods. She taught a variety of courses including: introduction to
architecture, and architectural design studios in North Carolina state University. Currently, she teaches
various courses at Alfaisal University including: the built inenvironment, architectural design studios,
environment, economics and policy, and architecture and buildings. Dr. Aliaa presented in international
conferences in both the US and Europe, and published in peer-reviewed journals and conference
proceedings.

Abdullatif Al Mishari is a practicing architect and principal at the Associated Architects Partnership (AAP), a
practice that is based in Kuwait and Portugal and operates in several other countries. Abdulatif is a member of
the Kuwait 2035 Vision Committee at the Supreme Council of Planning and Development of the State of
Kuwait and a member of the High Committee of the Master Plan and Mega Projects. He serves as an advisor
at the Council of Ministers and has recently been part of several national initiatives including The Five Islands

Proposal, Hareer and Boubyan Island Development Project and Kuwait’s 4th Master Plan. He is the co-
founder of the Arabana Project, a member of the board at Alshaheed Park and the vice-chairman of the

Kuwait Architecture League. Abdulatif earned his Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Southern
California and his Masters in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard.

Architectural Education: Future Prospects

Dr. Sherin Sameh is an assistant Professor at Dar Al Hekma University, where she has joined the architectural department five years ago. Her academic career has spanned over the past 12 years, where she has collaborated and worked with different universities in Egypt, UK, US, and KSA. Her teaching usually integrates live-projects, in order to cross the gap between theory and practice. Sherin has also been practicing architecture and interior design for more than 10 years and have been involved in different projects worldwide. Her work and research usually advocates utilizing passive technologies, and alternating building’s attitude in order to deliver context appropriate sustainable designs. Sherin Holds a PhD in sustainable architecture, from Cairo University, an MPhil in sustainable development from the University of Cambridge, and an MSc in technology of construction from Cairo University.

Dr. Sumayah AlSolaiman was appointment at the University of Dammam College of Design in 2017, the first woman to hold such a position there. She has a Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Newcastle (UK), a master’s in architecture from King Faisal University, and executive certificates in management, leadership, strategy and innovation from the MIT. Before becoming dean of the University of Dammam’s design college, she was the Vice Dean for Quality, Development and Academic Accreditation and Chair of the Graphic Design and Multimedia program. Al Sulaiman was the recipient of the Ibn Khaldun Fellowship at MIT in 2013-14. Her research interests include areas of intersection between architecture and politics such as the mediation of power in space and place; ideologies and nation-building in architectural practice; and regionalism within modernism.

Dr. Ziad Aazam is currently an Assistant Professor at Effat College of Architecture & Design. His professional practice spanned a range of private consultancies in KSA and the US and government and academic posts. He was an Assistant Deputy Minister for Regional Development at the Ministry of Economy and Planning leading socio-economic assessment of 13 regions in KSA. Prior to that he was a Regional Director for Design, Planning and Economics leading business line development and operation while engaged in the delivery of Jeddah 2033 Strategic, Sub-Regional, Structure and Local Plans with Jeddah Municipality. He lectured and taught architecture and urbanism at various universities since 2001, and was an advisor to KAUST. Dr. Aazam has Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Cornell University in the USA, his MBA from the European University in Paris, and his Doctorate’s degree in Architecture, based on Space Syntax theory and method, from Cardiff University in the UK.

Atef Alshehri is an architect and a university lecturer with strong commitment toresponsible practice, academic research and public service. His practice and research agenda is focused on the cultural and urban history of cities in the MENA region. His current research addresses the confluence of urban history and development of holy cities in the Arabian Peninsula. He is the recipient of several research awards, such as the Fulbright fellowship at the University of California-Berkeley and the award of the International Islamic Manuscripts Association (TIMA), of Cambridge, UK. Atef studied architecture at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and holds a Master of Architecture degree with Honors from Washington University in St. Louis. Country experience, besides Saudi Arabia, includes the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Architectural Practice: Future Prospects

Sumaya Dabbagh is the founder of Dabbagh Architects, a privately held architectural design firm, recognized for its contemporary design and quality-driven service. Sumaya is a UK educated Saudi architect with morethan 25 years of experience. In 2015 she was listed as no. 26 of the top 40 Architects in the Middle East Architects’ Power List. Sumaya began her career in London and Paris working for internationally renowned companies such as ArupAssociates and Polshek et Solomon Architects. She established Dabbagh Architects in 2008 in Dubai. She isa Chartered member of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), and has served in the RIBA Gulf chapter since its inception in 2009. She was recently elected as the Honorary Chair of the Steering Committee for the RIBA Gulf Chapter for 2016.

Loay Quota holds a Master in Architecture degree from USC, and is a founding member of the Saudi Green Building Council and The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Middle East Chapter. He is also a part-time Instructor at Effat University, and a frequent critic at King Abdul-Aziz University. As a founding member and 2014 past president of the AIA, Middle East chapter, Loay has held several positions at the Institute, last of which is Regional Director. His experience of 20 years ranges through an array of building types both international and local in Saudi Arabia and the US; ranging from residential, educational, commercial buildings to institutional facilities. In 2007, Loay founded his own architectural practice “Architectural Projections” in Jeddah, KSA, shortlisted in 2012 for both “The best Boutique firm in the Middle East” and “Best Residential Design in the Middle East” award by Middle East Architects. The firm’s work has been published on several international and local magazines.

Abdulfattah Almumen is the founder and managing director of AFM Consultants. He was the executive manager of Suhaimi Design for 15 years, and currently acts as their associate design consultant. He established and managed different organizations including AFM Engineering Partnership, Conclinic Arabia Ltd., BE AT SYSTEMS, BE AT Real Estate Development, and Prismore International Corporation in the Philippines & Saudi Arabia. Abdulfattah was a jury member in evaluating different international architectural competitions of major projects such as Al-Majdouie Group Complex, Al-Fozan Company Office Tower, and Dar Al-Yaum H.Q. Building. He has acted as an external jury member for evaluating architectural students’ works at KFUPM, Dammam University, PMU, and Bahrain University. Principal highlights of Abdulfattah’s projects include the completion of urban study for Dammam downtown, Jeddah streetscape of major streets and corridors, Sofitel Al-Khobar Hotel, Rotana Centro Al-Khobar, Nama Headquarter Office building, Tasnee Research Center along with many major housing and mixed use development projects, luxurious hospitality, resorts and recreational development.

In 1985, Mr. Yahya Al-Najjar finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. After completing his Master’s Degree in Architecture & Urban Design from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1989, he came back to work as a lecturer in the Department of Architecture at KFUPM, which he continues to do up to now. At the same time, he started practicing his profession as a freelance senior designer on a number of private and government architectural and urban design projects with local consultants. Since the year 2000, he founded a number of businesses working as a design consultant in: DesignPlus Advertising Agency, Al-Raed Architectural Consultants, Anmatt Construction Co. in Al-Khobar. In addition to Gulf Pro-Consulting Company in Bahrain. In 2003, he pioneered and continuously conducts a yearly on-the- job training for young female and male Saudi Designers to help them prepare for different career challenges.

Highlight Feature: Dar Al Uloum library

Joel has been teaching core courses in architectural geometry, design and representation at MIT since 2007. He received his MArch from Harvard GSD, and has previously taught design and research studios at Northeastern University. He has been active in architectural practice in the Boston area, and continues independent research in developable surfaces and the fabrication of complex geometries.

Jawaher is the Director for Research at Al Nahda Society, and the Senior Program Manager at Evidence for Policy Design, Harvard Kennedy School. Al Sudairy is also on the steering committee of the AACC Rahmania Annual Seminar, and leading the renovation of the Dar Al Uloum Library in Al Jouf. Previously, Al Sudairy was a Researcher at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Housing Policy. She also worked as a Strategy Consultant at Monitor Group, as well as held the position of Investment Promotion Manager at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Al Sudairy is a recipient of a Master’s degree in Urban Policy and Planning at Columbia University in the city of New York, and a B.A. in Economics and East Asia Studies from Smith College. She also attended the Beijing Capital University in China studying Economics and Mandarin.

Cities & Economies Shaping Architecture

HRH Prince Saud bin Nahar is the Director of the Transit Oriented Development Department of the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA). Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is part of ADA’s comprehensive strategy to develop Riyadh as a smart and mobile city. The goal of TOD is to achieve a Vision 2030 post carbon society by developing affordable pedestrian-oriented communities around Metro stations where people can live, work and play without use of a car. HRH Prince Saud bin Nahar has been with the ADA since 2010 as an urban planner, participating in a wide range of planning and Riyadh Metro projects including developments around King Khaled International Airport (Princess Noura University and KAPSARC), and a real estate study of Riyadh. Since 2017, he has been the Director of the new TOD Department. He earned his BSc and MSc degrees from the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.

Dr. Anas Al Faris is an Assistant Professor at KACST and visiting Assistant Professor at MIT. He is the co- director of the Center for Complex Engineering Systems (CCES) at KACST and MIT, and the Co-director of the Decision Support Center (DSC) of KACST and Boeing. He serves as a senior advisor to the Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning. Previously, he worked for several years as a Research Scientist in the Engineering Systems Division (ESD) at MIT and taught several courses there. He has been part of the Design Lab, the Smart Cities Group at the Media Lab, and the Strategic Engineering Group at the ESD. His research experience spans several fields including Strategic Engineering and Decision Support Systems. His current work focuses on the development of Integrated Simulations for the planning of large scale complex urban and Infrastructure systems. His professional experience spans civil architecture, strategic planning and product design and development. Dr. Alfaris has a BA in Architecture and Building Engineering from King Saud University, a Master of Building Technology and Master of Science in design studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Design Computation from MIT.

Abdulelah AlSheikh is the senior vice president for Real-estate and Infrastructure Division – Public Investment Fund (PIF) since Jan 2018. He earned his Bachelors degree in Business administration from King Saud University, and his masters in urban management from the university of Canberra, Australia. He worked in the Arriyadh Development Authority between 1994 – 2002, and led a combined career with the UN system between 2002-2006 and 2014-2017 as UNDP National Officer and Regional Advisor to UN-Habitat, respectively. In 2004, he joined NP-Designs consulting practice with engagement on specific government projects in Riyadh such as the Northern New Town structure plan. In 2006, he was Executive Director of the Riyadh Provincial Tourism Organisation, then went on to establish “Maskan Arabia” in 2008. In 2012, he participated as a peer review advisor on the Riyadh City Centre development plans for ADA. He has advised on the delivery of several MOMRA projects as senior policy advisor since 2015.

Role of Mapping and Documentation

Basmah Kaki an architect based in Jeddah. Basmah received her Diploma in Architecture from the Architectural Association in London and is a recipient of the RIBA Presidents Medal, the SOM Foundation Travelling Fellowship and the Design Council award. During her time at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and while working for Sir Peter Cook, Basmah worked on a series of high profile projects in Europe and the Middle East. Basmah is the co-founder of Studio Bound, a research and design lab based in Jeddah, London and Kuwait. She is one of the directors of the AA Jeddah Visiting School titled Makkah vs Makkah, a research platform studying and archiving Makkah launched in partnership between Studio Bound and the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Hisham Mortada is a Professor of Architecture at King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah. He is also an adjunct professor at Freie Universitate, Berlin, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. inArchitecture from University of Edinburgh; UK, and Masters of Architecture from Pennsylvania State University; USA. He has widely published in the areas of traditional architecture, old Muslim city, and sustainability. Prof. Mortada has conducted several international research projects in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Americas. He has also lectured in more than 30 countries.

George Richards is head of heritage programmes at Art Jameel, including the Jameel Houses of Traditional Arts, three major teaching institutions in Cairo, Jeddah and Scotland that preserve the heritage of traditional arts and crafts, and a collaboration with the Factum Foundation to use digital technology in the preservation of heritage in the old town of Jeddah and in the southern highlands of Asir in Saudi Arabia. George is an ethnographer who has undertaken expeditions in the Middle East to record cultural heritage, including in conflict zones, for major institutions such as the British Library (2011) and the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (since 2015). George is special rapporteur for cultural heritage to the Kurdstan Regional Government (since 2016); a specialist assessor to the British government’s Cultural Protection Fund (since 2016); and a senior fellow at the Iraqi government’s cultural heritage commission, Iraq Heritage (since 2014).

Abdulrahman Gazzaz is dedicated to examine certain design disciplines as they intersect with social, political, economic, and cultural networks that implicitly form our surroundings. By constantly shifting focus onto particular users’ experience, those significant intersections between design and space begin to diminish. Once ‘place’, ‘object’, and ‘user’ are understood as dynamic elements shaping our physical world, they begin filling the gap between “illustrated on paper” [graphic], and “experienced in three dimensional space” [architecture]; therefore becoming integrated into one holistic entity.Born and raised in Jeddah, Abdulrahman graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture & planning from The University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. He founded BRICKLAB in 2015, a concept development studio in Jeddah, KSA along with his brother Turki. Their diverse background in architecture, planning, and history/theory frames their attitude towards practice. As such, their focus on developing a particular research question with every project allows them to make meaningful contributions for given socio-economic and political contexts.

 

Abdulrahman Gazzaz is dedicated to examine certain design disciplines as they intersect with social, political, economic, and cultural networks that implicitly form our surroundings. By constantly shifting focus onto particular users’ experience, those significant intersections between design and space begin to diminish. Once ‘place’, ‘object’, and ‘user’ are understood as dynamic elements shaping our physical world, they begin filling the gap between “illustrated on paper” [graphic], and “experienced in three dimensional space” [architecture]; therefore becoming integrated into one holistic entity. Born and raised in Jeddah, Abdulrahman graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture & planning from The University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. He founded BRICKLAB in 2015, a concept development studio in Jeddah, KSA along with his brother Turki. Their diverse background in architecture, planning, and history/theory frames their attitude towards practice. As such, their focus on developing a particular research question with every project allows them to make meaningful contributions for given socio-economic and political contexts.

Material Culture and Future Design

Nawaf Nahar Al Nassar is interior architect and founder of 3njeddah. Nawaf’s main interest lies in developing the concept of interior design according to each individual’s environment. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from the American University of London in interior design, and has worked in the field since then. Nawaf AlNassar is a member of “Barakat Friends”, “The Saudi Art Council,” , educational committee 21:39, and the head coordinator of “Tasmeem fair”.

Majed AlGhamdi is a multidisciplinary architect and an investigative designer. He is a faculty member at King Saud University since 2012, and works with Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich, Principals of P-A-T-T-E-R- N-S to expand their work in the region. P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S an award-winning innovation-driven architectural practice based in LA with a worldwide presence. Alghamdi is also former architect at FA Consultants. He graduated from SCI Arc, the Southern California institute of architecture, in 2015. His interests focuses on proposing sensual views on architecture as well as artistic applications on the experience, use, and imagination of place. Through his work, Mr. AlGhaemdi wanted to formulate a different way of thinking about architecture and architectural discourses by analyzing this theme in relation to both education and practice. This interest stems from concerns that architecture today is, for the most part, focused on what is on the surface, visually and formally, rather than on what lays behind it.

Alaa Tarabzouni is an architect by trade, having received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from The University of Newcastle and Pratt Institute respectively. Passionate about education, Alaa has devoted her career to academia and is currently a lecturer of architecture at Prince Sultan University in Alriyadh. In her free time, she is a huge proponent of the arts and animal welfare.

Dr. Rana AlKadi a key educator in preserving Islamic architecture knowledge. She dedicated her career path

to focus on researching, documenting and photographing the Islamic art and architecture to preserve its

knowledge. AlKadi worked on a range of heritage projects in Spain until she was assigned to be part of a

Spanish consultant company in Madrid, Alkimya, which preserves historic buildings. She gave several

workshops in Spain to educate students on Islamic building methods.She gave international talks,

conferences and workshops in Islamic Architecture at the Near East Section of the African, the Middle

Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, and the Women ́s National Democratic Center in Washington DC,

Women Diplomatic Center in Madrid and several regional and international universities. Her background

includes Islamic Architecture history, and heritage, and theoretical philosophies in architectural buildings.

HRH Prince Sultan is advisor to HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commision for Tourism and National Heritage. He oversee the cultural tourism aspect of SCTH including the museums. He is also an abstract painter inspired by prayer and ritual. He uses mixed media and natural materials, working with canvases of varying shapes and sizes. He was born in Riyadh in 1971 and loved painting as a child, then studied engineering and switched to a degree in Management at King Saud University. Sultan obtained his masters degree from the University of San Francisco and grew his interest in art while there, starting his art collection and frequenting museums and fairs.

Fahad AlSaud is an architect and urban designer, and co-Founder of Minhaj, an art and design educational consultancy and platform that specializes in collaborative workshops, seminars and community engagement projects. He obtained his Bachelors’ degree from Central Saint Martins and his Masters’ in Urban Design from The Bartlett School of Architecture. His project ‘Exodux’ won the Bartlett’s Gold Prize, and “The Islamic Cultural Center of Peckham” was nominated for a RIBA Regional Award. Fahad is the Creative Operations Manager for Modecraft / Collaboration, and a member of the creative direction team at Art Vue Worldwide, a New York based art & design consultancy. He has curated workshops and guest critiqued at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Central Saint Martin and other notable universities in London, Riyadh and Jeddah. Fahad is also a photographer, an architectural visualizer and is currently working on creating a local network and a platform for the built environment that highlights regional architecture and urban design.

Noor Aldabbagh is the founder of Banafsajeel, an award-winning curatorial platform focused on artists and designers in the Gulf since 2014. She graduated from Harvard with an honours degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. She worked for over three years at Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, managing programmes to support creative initiatives, particularly those promoting understanding between cultures. This included sponsoring the construction of the Islamic Arts Hall at the Louvre Museum in Paris in 2012. In 2013, Noor completed her Masters Degree in Art Business at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, receiving a distinction on her dissertation on Abu Dhabi’s cultural strategy of developing new global museums. Noor’s background spans curating, documentary filmmaking, non-for-profit management and collecting art; the common thread being using art to improve understanding between cultures. She has just been appointed Director of the Saudi Council for Visual Arts at the General Culture Authority.

Conference Registration

If you would like to register for the competition launch or any of the workshops please email: info@daui.org