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Eye of Riyadh
Culture & Education | Thursday 8 February, 2024 9:42 am |

AUS professor, NPUAE curator presents sustainable possibilities for architecture in arid environments

With the conclusion of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in November 2023, Faysal Tabbarah, Associate Dean of the College of Art, Architecture and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS), shared the research and methodology behind the exhibition Aridly Abundant which he curated for the National Pavilion UAE’s participation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.


Joined by members of his research team—all of whom graduated from AUS—Tabbarah outlined how the exhibition challenged perceptions of aridity by exploring the untapped potential of arid environments as spaces of abundance, showcasing cutting-edge architectural possibilities within the UAE's desert plateau, wadis, and coastal plains.


Tabbarah said: “The goal of “Aridly Abundant” was to look at the past for lessons that we can bring into the future of sustainable architecture and design, and to share them not only for regional application, but also to prepare other regions for the impact of climate change. The exhibition has been a catalyst for meaningful conversations with designers and policy makers from around the world, and I look forward to seeing how and where these ideas take root in the future.”


This was a second-time collaboration between the National Pavilion UAE and AUS that reflects their ongoing commitment to supporting artists, curators and scholars, and sustaining deep studies of the UAE’s cultural landscape and providing a platform to share curatorial concepts that address critical international conversations from a distinctive local perspective.


The exhibition, which has been interacted with by tens of thousands of visitors to the Venice Biennale since May last year, took traditional and contemporary methods of construction and applied them with materials sourced from the Veneto region of Italy.  With the closure of Aridly Abundant in  November 2023 in Venice, the exhibition was dismantled and the materials were returned to the quarries and repurposed.


For more information about research and creative work by faculty and students at the college of Architecture, Art and Design at American University of Sharjah, visit aus.edu/caad.


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