Masdar professor Dr. Khaled Alawadi to curate the UAE’s architecture exhibition at the 2018 Venice Biennale
9th October 2017, United Arab Emirates – Dr. Khaled Alawadi, an Emirati scholar, architect and educator, has been appointed by the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates – la Biennale di Venezia to curate the UAE’s exhibition at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale).
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 Khalifah 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.
“Dr. Alawadi is one of the region’s pre-eminent thinkers on urban landscapes and architecture, and we are delighted that he will bring this deep knowledge to bear as curator of the UAE’s 2018 exhibition,” said Khulood Al Atiyat, Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, commissioner of the National Pavilion UAE. “Dr. Alawadi contributed to the publication and research accompanying our 2016 exhibition, which explored the UAE’s early sha’abi housing typologies. The UAE’s ongoing participation in the Venice Biennale is an opportunity to join a global cultural conversation, and Dr. Alawadi is very well-qualified to represent the UAE.”
“Throughout my research, my aim is to develop the UAE’s reputation as a knowledge hub and engine for the transformation of cities and sustainable urbanization. The UAE has a unique architectural heritage which sits in dialogue with rapid urbanization and development, and offers a rich environment for thinking about the future of architecture and urban planning,” said Dr. Khaled Alawadi. “The Venice Biennale’s architecture exhibition is one of the world’s foremost platforms in the field, and I am honored to have been selected as the curator for 2018.”
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale will take place from May 26th to November 25th, 2018, under the theme of Freespace. The Biennale’s curatorial direction has been set by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, and each National Pavilion will respond to their overall aim to reveal the capacity of architecture to connect with history, time, place, and people.
The UAE’s exhibition for the 57th International Art Exhibition, Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play, is on display until November 26th, 2017. Curated by Hammad Nasar, it explores the concept of ‘playfulness’ as a connecting thread across multiple generations of artistic practice in the UAE, through the work of five UAE-based artists: Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif.
Applications for the 2018 Venice Internship, which offers Emiratis and long-term residents the opportunity to spend one month in Venice staffing the UAE’s exhibition, are now open. Applicants can visit http://www.nationalpavilionuae.org for more information.