Visuals

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience

March Meeting 2013
Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience
Sara Kanoo, Mohamad Hafeda and Haig Papazian

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Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience

March Meeting 2013
Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience
Sara Kanoo, Mohamad Hafeda and Haig Papazian

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience Image

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience

March Meeting 2013
Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience
Sara Kanoo

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience Image

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience

March Meeting 2013
Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience
Sara Kanoo

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience Image

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience

March Meeting 2013
Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience
Mohamad Hafeda

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience Image

Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience

March Meeting 2013
Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience
Haig Papazian

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Spaces of transformation: city as public and private experience Image

The Park – A Domestic Public Space Sara Kanoo (Architect, Al-Riwaq Art Space, Bahrain)

In this presentation, Sara Kanoo will share her fascination with the idea of ‘ephemeral architecture’ by introducing The Park, a project that addresses the disintegration of public culture in Bahrain by serving as a platform for encouraging a social engagement with outdoor space. The Park is located in one of Bahrain’s liveliest, most dynamic and simultaneously intimate dining districts, which is characterised by a disconnect between restaurant-goers and residents. The project attempts to bring private life into the public domain in a delicate contemporary manner. The concept of ‘home’ is transported into the public domain, creating a ‘domestic public space’ functionally similar to the traditional courtyard. Conventionally domestic elements such as a ‘study room’, ‘kitchen,’ or ‘living room’ are translated into spaces suitable for public interactions, allowing for an informal intimacy to develop within these surroundings and, consequentially, the cultivation of a wider ‘family’ atmosphere.


Sara Kanoo earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture with a concentration in Theoretical Design from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, USA in 2009. After graduating, Kanoo moved back to Bahrain, where she grew up, to work in the architecture department of COWI Gulf A/S, a consultancy agency based in Denmark. During this time, she designed the interior of Al Riwaq Café, as well as an outdoor library and seating area made entirely from recycled material for Al Riwaq’s event Market338. Leading a team as part of Al Riwaq’s Alwan338, an outdoors arts festival, she worked on transforming an abandoned building into a space for hosting local art exhibitions, redesigning its façade using bicycles from a scrap yard, and designing a corresponding public space. Kanoo is currently developing an urban think tank and research centre based in Bahrain.

Negotiating Spaces of Conflict in Contemporary Beirut Mohamed Hafeda (PhD Candidate/Febrik Founding Partner, Bartlett school of architecture, University College London, UK)

In this presentation, Mohamad Hafeda will introduce his ongoing series of art-research installations, Negotiating Spaces of Conflict, which he is carrying out as part of his practice-based doctoral studies at the Bartlett school of architecture, University College London, UK. The project investigates the negotiation of spaces of political-sectarian conflict, and the interplay between material and immaterial borders in contemporary Beirut since the resurfacing of political unrest in 2005. Within the state of ‘about to divide’ as opposed to physical borderlines, the installations identify ephemeral bordering practices of sonic resistance, negotiating surveillance, swapping houses and interpreting administration. The series examines how residents negotiate a conflict’s mechanisms through either passive or active modes of resistance and by producing invisible borderlines. Hafeda conducted his research by working with residents within their personal spaces, such as balconies, houses, shops and cars - secure private platforms through which to read the contested urban space from their perspective. Based on the research process and the politics behind it, he proposes the production of art installations through the transformation of his findings into strategic artistic representations that expand the notion of spatial boundaries and bordering practices to include the ephemeral, the hidden, the temporary, the psychic and the narrative.


Mohamad Hafeda is a doctoral candidate in Architectural Design at the Bartlett school of architecture, University College of London, UK. He has an MA in Public Art and Spatial Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (2004), and a BA in Interior Architecture from the Institute of Fine Arts, The Lebanese University, Beirut (2001). He previously taught design at the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut (2005-2009). Hafeda is a Founding Partner of Febrik, a collaborative platform for participatory art and design research active in Palestinian refugee camps and London housing estates. Febrik’s work has been exhibited at South London Gallery, Mosaic Rooms, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London (2012). The project Negotiating Spaces of Conflict has been shown in exhibitions including Cities Methodologies, UCL (2010-2012) and Exposure 2012, Beirut Art Center (2012-13). In 2012 the project received the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Grant for Visual Arts. Hafeda co-edited Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines (Heinrich Böll Foundation, Beirut, 2011) and co-authored Creative Refuge, a forthcoming publication from Febrik.

Bourj Hammoud: Lessons from a Fabricated World in a Fragmented Landscape Haig Papazian (Architect/Artist, Lebanon)

Haig Papazian’s research project centres on the Armenian neighbourhood of Bourj Hammoud in Lebanon. Since its initial construction in the late 1920s, the area has been gradually isolated from its surroundings, both physically and culturally, allowing for the neighbourhood to grow into a unique dense urban network; a spatial patchwork of narratives and memories to form a collective Armenian experience in a new place. Papazian’s research explores the possibilities of building different versions of existing places from reality, memories and narratives, in order to retain the continuity of a culture and an identity. He investigates the way language and social practices shape a city, how events recreate spaces, and whether a place is made significant by the events that occur within it. He focuses on the Armenian experience in Bourj Hammoud, exploring it as a fabricated world with a geographic and historic reference point located in a place that no longer exists. He considers Bourj Hammoud as a cinematic experience composed of memories, images, signs, references, noise, colours, symbols, names, and language, and strives to draw parallels with the way space is created in cinema (through the editing and juxtaposition of different scenes), in order to understand how a world is created, and how it functions and is experienced by various actors.


Haig Papazian is an artist and architect with an interdisciplinary practice, utilising video, installations, illustrations and other media to explore the intersections between city-making, cultural productions and undocumented historical narratives. He received a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon in 2009. In 2008, he assisted with the preliminary design of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project (UAE) while interning with Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris, France), and later collaborated with Bernard Khoury DW5 architects, the Beirut-based design studio, from 2009 until 2012. Papazian is Co-Founder of Lebanon-based band Mashrou’ Leila and participated in the inaugural 2011-12 edition of the Home Workspace Program, Ashkal Alwan: Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut.

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