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Guest Speakers

Head of Design
Khawla Al-Hashimi

As a passionate Architect, Khawla started her journey at the American University of Sharjah where she pursued a Bachelors degree in Architecture. Being passionate about shaping the face of Sharjah's urban fabric, Khawla then started her career in Shurooq where she grew from an Architect to a Design Development Manager. In the span of seven short years, she has forged the path towards creating the backbone of Shurooq's design team. Further to her work in Shurooq, Khawla also delves into other creative outlets such as a personal business, Architecture + Other Things, which is a collaborative and interdisciplinary platform exploring alternative models of architectural practice and design.

Asseel Al-Ragam
Assistant Professor of Architecture College of Architecture
Kuwait University
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Asseel Al-Ragam is an architect and an assistant professor at the College of Architecture at Kuwait University, Her 2008 PhD dissertation from the University of Pennsylvania, entitled “Towards a Critique of an Architectural  Nahdha: A Kuwaiti Example” focuses on mid-twentieth century Kuwaiti urban and architectural destruction and development and draws links between societal transformation, modernity, and space. Her published papers, lectures, and teaching expand on these themes in relation to housing production urban development, modern heritage and preservation. She is the author of "Negotiating the Politics of Exclusion: Georges Candilis, Housing and the Kuwaiti Welfare State” published in the International Journal of Urban and

Regional Research. She is the winner of the Jeffrey Cook Award for best paper written by a scholar at the 2016 IASTE conference “Legitimating Tradition.” She was a visiting researcher and guest lecturer at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris-Malaquais and at Sciences Po Paris, France. She was a consultant for the Kuwait Master Plan Review at the Supreme Council for Planning and Development. She is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning at the Private University Council in Kuwait.

Noura Al-Sayeh
Head of Architectural Affairs
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Noura is Head of Architectural Affairs at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, where she oversees the planning, commissioning and implementation of cultural institutions and museums as well as the creation of an active agenda of exhibitions and academic exchange initiatives. Previously, she worked as an architect in New York, Jerusalem and Amsterdam. She has curated three editions of the Bahrain pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale including Reclaim, which was awarded the Golden Lion for best national participation and was the commissioner of Fundmentalists and Other Arab Modernisms, as well as the deputy commissioner of the Bahrain Pavilion at the Expo Milan 2015 that was awarded 2nd prize for Best Architecture and Landscape.  She is currently the  director of  the Pearling,  Testimony of an  Island Economy,  a UNESCO  World

Heritage registered site in Muharraq that is undergoing an extensive urban rehabilitation effort and that is set to be completed in 2020.

George  Arbid

Founding Member | Director

Aca and Docomomo Lebanon

Dr. George Arbid, architect, is a founding member and director of the Arab Center for Architecture in Beirut. He holds a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures en Architecture from ALBA and a Doctor of Design degree from Harvard University. He taught design studios and courses in the history and theory of architecture at ALBA and the American University of Beirut. Dr. Arbid has lectured widely about modern architecture in Lebanon and the Arab world. Among his publications is the award-winning book Architecture from the Arab World, 1914-2014, a Selection, published at the occasion of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 where he co-curated the Pavilion of Bahrain.

Cultural Heritage Expert
Dubai Municipality
Eman Al-Assi
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Dr. Eman Assi is currently working at Architectural Heritage Department and Antiquities of Dubai Municipality as a cultural heritage expert. She had taught both at the University of a Sharjah, UAE and An-Najah National University in Palestine. She earned her Phd. in 1998 from Edinburgh College of Art, Msc. in Urban Design from Pratt Institute, NY, 1990. Dr. Assi has been working as consultant in projects related to documentation, conservation, and management of cultural heritage. At Dubai Municipality, she has been managing development of Dubai Historic Area project. She is responsible for conducting many workshops and was chairing the scientific committee of the third and fourth international architectural conservation conference 2012 and 2015. She is currently managing Khor Dubai nomination file to World Heritage and the initiative of modern heritage of Dubai with the aim of identifying and classifying and later setting conservation polices.  Dr. Assi has several publications. In 2014, her book on traditional houses of Dubai in both English and Arabic has been awarded the Sultan bin Salman Award of Cultural Heritage. At present, Dr. Assi is a member of ICOMOS International scientific committee on Historic Towns CIVIH and expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Routes CIIC.

Architectural Heritage Society
Rashad  Bukhash
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Rashad Bukhash has the experience of 30 years in the fields of planning, directing, managing, supervising of modern architectural projects, conservation of historic buildings, museum designing and management, and landscaping projects. With his background in both architecture and conservation of historic buildings, he supervised the conservation of more than 215 historic buildings in Dubai and the Emirates. He supervised the design and execution of more than 200 modern buildings including universities, colleges, public buildings, parks and community facilities and of 14 museums in Dubai, amongst them: Dubai museum, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum house, the heritage house, Al Ahmadiya School, the Falcon museum, and Sarooq Al-Hadid Archaeology museum. Rashad won many prizes for his professional achievements, and wrote and supervised more than 36 books on architecture, history and traditional architecture of Dubai and the UAE.

Andrea Canziani
Docomomo International

Andrea Canziani graduated in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano with a dissertation on the XX Century architectural heritage conservation. He’s got a postgraduate Specialization Degree in Monument Restoration from the University of Genoa. He’s Ph.D. in Programming Maintenance Rehabilitation of the building and urban systems from Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the Cultural Districts model. He studied at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura in Sevilla and at the Technische Universiteit in Delft, where he has been researcher at the Stichting Analyse van Gebouwen-Foundation for Analysis of Buildings. Research Fellow at the Politecnico di Milano from 2007 to 2010, studying planned conservation of cultural heritage. Secretary General of Docomomo Italia from 2007 to 2014. Adjunct Professor of Architectural Preservation at the Politecnico di Milano from 2008. Architect at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities in the Superintendency for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Liguria from 2010.

Amel Chabbi
Head of Building Conservation 
Department of Culture and Tourism
Abu Dhabi 
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Amel holds a B.A in Archeology and Chemistry from the University of Virginia and a M.Sc in Historic Preservation form the University of Pennsylvania. As head of Building Conservation at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, she is responsible for planning and implementing conservation measures for Abu Dhabi’s built heritage. Her responsibilities include conservation initiatives for historic buildings and archaeological sites of Abu Dhabi Emirate, managing Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative for the safeguarding of post-oil built environment, and developing and controlling the quality of documentation and information management.

Prior to joining DCT and its predecessors (TCA Abu Dhabi and ADACH), she was a Research Associate at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles and an Architectural Conservator at Superstructures Engineers-Architects in New York. Amel is an elected board member of ICOMOS International Board and ICOMOS-UAE, and a member of the International Scientific Committee on 20th century heritage.

Mario Cucinella

Italian architect Mario Cucinella is amongst the most important architects practicing in Europe today with multiple award-winning international design projects. Not only is Cucinella’s work lauded for design excellence but he is an undisputed global leader in sustainable practices ranging from individual residences to urban master plans. The impact and significance of his work – both social and environmental – achieved in his role as an architect, educator and in service have been recognized world-wide and most recently (2016) by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) who bestowed upon him the prestigious International Fellowship. In 2017 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded him the prestigious Honorary Fellowship. For the 2018 Venice Biennale, Mario Cucinella will be the curator of the Italian Pavilion. Spanning 30 years of practice, Cucinella’s extraordinary work sits in the foreground of a very formative education and internship period. Graduating with a degree in architecture from the University of Genoa in 1986 he was mentored by Professor and Architect Giancarlo De Carlo (RIBA Royal Gold Medal 1993). From 1987 to 1992 he worked with world-reknowned Renzo Piano (Pritzker Award 1998) in the Renzo Piano Building Workshop first in Genoa and then Paris. He founded Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA) in Paris in 1992 and later in Bologna in 1999 where he continues to operate today with a staff of 55 architects, engineers and sustainability experts.

Idrees Rasouli
Course Leader
IDEA Ravensbourne (UK)
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Idrees is the course leader for BA (Hons) IDEA/Interior Design Environment Architectures course at Ravensbourne, with responsibility for directing the design strand, delivering outstanding architectural and design education, and leading authority on the creative, technological and technical aspects of the courses in the Department of Architecture. Trained at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London — Idrees is an award-winning innovation design engineer, conceptual architect, urban innovator, business design lead, and creative researcher, with a focus on disruptive market innovation. He cultivated his design leadership skills through extensive practice and collaboration with a number of world-famous architecture, design, engineering and branding firms before founding Foreign Works and X-Crop; with direct involvement in projects across a wide range of industries, including technology, automotive, healthcare, transport, fashion, aviation, consumer goods, manufacturing and construction throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Adina Hempel
Assistant Professor
Zayed University
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Adina Hempel is an architect, urban researcher and Assistant Professor at Zayed University Dubai, where she is leading the research cluster entitled ‘Pattern in the MENA region’. Her research investigates the relationship of interior spaces, city planning and cross-cultural influences on urban development. Hempel has conducted extensive research on the modern architectural history of the UAE and was appointed Head of Research for the National Pavilion of the UAE at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in La Biennale di Venezia. She recently served as Head of Research for the Shindagha Historic District Wave 1 pavilions with GSM Project.

George Katodrytis
Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture
American University of Sharjah

George Katodrytis is an architect involved in practice, teaching and research. He studied and taught at the Architectural Association in London. He published widely on contemporary architecture, urbanism, cultural theory and digital media. The work addresses the ‘city’, especially as it is evolving in the 21st century. He employs digital technology and scripting as tools for establishing new formal and performative language. He is the co-editor of the 2015 Architectural Design issue ‘UAE and the Gulf: Architecture and Urbanism Now’ and co-curator of the Dubai exhibition at the ‘2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism’.

Maryam Mudhaffar
Expert, Modern Architecture Historian

Maryam Mudhaffar is an Emirati architect and architectural historian. She has completed her Bachelors of Architecture from AUS, and was awarded her Masters in Architectural History from the Bartlett at UCL in London where she focused on issues of representation, material culture, gender studies and place-based memories. Across her research and design projects, she engages with the socio-cultural, political, and economic factors that shape the contextual frameworks in which conceptual and tangible manifestations are materialized in the Gulf. Maryam is currently part of the Architectural Heritage Department, working as one of the museum project managers for the Dubai Historic District while conducting research based studies focused on preserving architectural typologies of the past – both traditional and modernist. She is also a contributor to Dubai-based ‘WTD’ magazine.

Monica Mazzolani & Antonio Troisi
Managing Partners MTA
Giancarlo De Carlo Associati

Monica Mazzolani and Antonio Troisi trained as architects under the guidance of Giancarlo De Carlo, founding member of the TeamX, President of the ILAU&UD, Director of the Magazine Spazio and Society, Riba Gold Medal in 1993; first as students and then as partners of his architectural firm. In 2006 they founded MTA, while carrying on in parallel “De Carlo & associated” the firm committed to the completion of works unfinished at the time of De Carlo’s death. Their research and architectural practice encompass the intervention on buildings subject to conservation constraints and their adaptation to new uses; the Conservation programs for buildings and complexes of the Modern Movement; Master Planning, Landscape Design, and buildings for education, commerce and residential. 

Andrea Pane
Associate Professor of Architecture Conservation
University of Naples "Federico II"
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Andrea Pane (Naples, 1971), architect (1998), Ph.D. in Conservation of Architectural Heritage (2003), Master in Architecture of Gardens and Landscape (2006), is Associate Professor in Architectural Conservation at the University of Naples Federico II, Department of Architecture, since October 2015, where he teaches both in the undergraduate and postgraduate program. Since 2016 is the scientific director of «Compasses. The architectural & interior design international magazine – middle east». His research concerns both the theoretical and historical aspects of conservation. He has been involved in the study of conservation practical aspects as well, such as the design issues concerning the accessibility to protected heritage sites. He has lectured in 77 national and international conferences. He is the author of 117 publications (books, articles, essays and reports).

Marco Sosa
Associate Professor
Zayed University
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Marco Sosa is an Architect and Associate Professor, Teaching Interior Design CACE, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, since 2009. In 2012, Sosa published a book about the oldest functional mosque in the UAE, the Al Bidiya Mosque. In 2014, Marco was appointed part of the curatorial team as Head of Design, for the National Pavilion UAE at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition titled “Lest We Forget; Structures of Memory in the UAE”, chartered the impact of modernist architecture in the UAE and an insight of the history of architecture in the UAE for the past 100 years. Marco is currently researching the application of maker culture to the concept of Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources for providing efficiently designed and constructed structures in emergency areas and responding to social needs.

Massimo Imparato
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Massimo has got over twenty years of professional practice in the field of the Creative Industries, and more than fifteen years of academic experience in Design Education, of which the last five spent as a full time faculty teaching across undergraduate Programs of Architecture and Interior Design. Founding partner at StudioBau, he has designed both in the Public and the Private domains. The projects for the Public include the waterfronts designed in partnership with Arup and MTAA that have been awarded in international competitions, Master Plans for the reconstruction after the earthquake in the Region Marche, urban development guidelines for Trento and Poggibonsi, the design of squares and other public spaces in Milan. The projects for the Private include corporate buildings and the interior renovation of commercial and residential environments. Massimo taught design studios at the Politecnico di Milano, the University of Trento, master level courses at the Florence Institute of Design, and lectured at the Architecture Academy of Mendrisio; in 2012 he was appointed visiting professor at the American University of Sharjah and he lately joined the Canadian University Dubai as a full time faculty.