Lifescapes Beyond Bigness
Accompanying the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates’ 2018 exhibition at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, the publication aims to document and map the different typologies and quotidian qualities of everyday urbanism found in UAE’s different urban scales.
Edited by the exhibition curator Dr. Khaled Alawadi, the book tells an eloquent and inspiring narrative of the Emirates’ unique form of urbanism, revealing hidden sites and concealed stories across four typologies addressed in four core chapters, namely: “The Neighborhood”; “The Network: Street and Sikkak”; “The Urban Block”; and “Urban Space and the Natural Landscape”. The fifth, concluding chapter, “In Search of the Human Scale”, reflects on the importance of scale in urban design.
Each chapter starts with a theoretical introduction to the subject at hand and then delves into case studies. Along with the research materials designed and investigated by Dr. Alawadi and his research team at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the book includes articles from eight contributors who are respected scholars and professionals in the field: urban planner and architect Ahmed Almulla; architect Adina Hempel; researcher Brittany Trilford; Lukas Sokol, Urban Design Manager at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities; scholar and National Pavilion UAE 2016 curator Yasser Elsheshtawy; urban historian Matthew MacLean; architect Amna Ali; and architecture and urban design scholar Kevin Mitchell.
About the Curator
Dr. Khaled Alawadi is curator of the National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia’s exhibition at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennial. The first UAE national scholar to specialize in the design of sustainable cities, Dr. Alawadi is Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, where he founded the MSc. in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure program. He is a trained architect, planner and urban designer whose research is devoted to urban design, housing and urbanism, especially the relationships between the built environment and sustainable development.
Dr. Alawadi recently served as Visiting Assistant Professor at MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism, and previously worked as an architect for Dubai Municipality and as an Assistant Professor at UAE University.
He holds a PhD in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.