About the Dar Al Uloum Initiative

Dar Al Uloum initiative is a drive by AACC in collaboration with MIT, Dar Al Hekma University,Al Faisal University, Banafsajeel, RIBA Gulf, and Minhaaj. The initiative aims to support the engagement of young architects and develop local and regional architectural principals, techniques and functions. Launched in 2017, the intiative includes three components: partnership with local and international universities, an architecture conference, and an international architecture competition to redesign the Dar Al Uloum Library in Sakaka, Al Jouf.

Event Partners


Abdulrahman AlSudairy Cultural Center (AACC)

The Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Cultural Centre (AACC) aims to provide a platform for cultural and literary exchange within the local community as well as at the broader national and international level. Dar Al-Uloum Initiative is the latest addition under AACC, with a focus on architecture. That said, AACC has a lengthy history, especially in Al Jouf Northern region of Saudi Arabia. Over the past fifty years it has built libraries, schools, mosques, and complimentary programs such as preservation of heritage buildings and development of a hotel to facilitate for tourism.

In addition to management of physical spaces, the Centre has two publishing and research outlets that cover contemporary interests of the region, as well as historical findings in the Al Jouf and Al Ghat regions.


Alfaisal University

Founded in 2002, Alfaisal University is a fully accredited NCAAA institute of higher education located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Of the total enrolment of 3,000 students (representing over 40 nations) Alfaisal’s 2,500 undergraduates are officially enrolled in one of the University’s five colleges: business, engineering, medicine, science, and pharmacy. Graduate degrees include business, engineering, nanoscience, biomedical, and health sciences. A student-centered and research-focused University, Alfaisal students have singular opportunities for collaborative research and international study. Furthermore, student associations, clubs, and organizations provide opportunities for both personal and professional growth as the University seeks to graduate socially responsible global citizens that are committed to lifelong learning and personal development in service to others. The Alfaisal community is famed for its global outreach in collaborative research and publications. Most recently, Alfaisal was recognized by Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2017 as one of theWorld’s Top 200 Institutions Under 50 Years Old and one of the World’s Top 18 for Millennials.



Program Partner: Banafsajeel

Banafsajeel is a social enterprise and curating platform dedicated to fostering appreciation for art and design in the Gulf.  The organisation develops creative collaborations for select artists and designers, hence its name which translates from the Arabic phrase ‘be nafas jeel’, or ‘in the spirit of a generation’. Started in 2014, Banafsajeel researches, develops and runs programs and learning experiences that facilitate dialogue and build a creative movement with social value. Working around a different theme each year, Banafsajeel celebrates excellence in art and design by curating an annual group exhibition or developing programming in partnership with leading creative institutions and cultural organisations in the Gulf.



Exhibition Partner: The Royal Institute of British Architects – Gulf Chapter

The RIBA is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture, with over 42,000 members worldwide. They offer support for members based or wanting to work overseas, with four global regions – Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia & Australasia – and three established International Chapters serving local communities of architects across the world and hosting regular events and activities. The RIBA Gulf Chapter supports members across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states including the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Sultanate of Oman. The Chapter has been created to promote design excellence in the delivery of architecture in the Gulf and to add relevance to members working in the region.



Workshop Partner



Minhaj is an art and design educational consultancy and platform cofounded in 2017 by University of the Arts London graduates; Fahad N Al Saud, Jawaher A Alsaud and Noura A Alsaud. The company specializes in collaborative art and design workshops, seminars and community engagement projects. The Minhaj team decided to take what they had experienced in the UK back to Saudi Arabia and incorporate it locally, thusly contributing to the social, cultural and academic scene; where art and design is currently at its peak and is highly in demand. They also aim to elevate local talents and skills by developing and collaborating on intensive, focused and short-term workshops on a semimonthly basis, as well as creating annual events that showcase the students’ work.


The Bakerloos

The Bakerloos is an experimental design studio based in London. It was founded in 2017 by Christopher Delahunt, Johanna Just, Ness Lafoy and Agostino Nickl, graduates of the Bartlett School of Architecture. Their educational work focuses on collective drawing as an architectural generator and playful memory-based workshops on an urban scale. Their proposals aim to rethink academic conventions, typologies and working methods. The Bakerloos have curated and taught workshops and summer schools at the Bartlett, Colvestone Primary School and Clapton Girls Academy.