ADU’s Architecture Students Showcase Their Talent in a Global Architecture Exhibition in Italy
Abu Dhabi University (ADU) is participating in the Fifth Biennial Architecture Exhibition hosted by the European Cultural Centre. Titled ‘Time Space Existence 2021’, the exhibition is taking place in Venice, Italy from May 22nd to November 21st this year, parallel to the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Held every two years, this year’s edition of the architecture exhibition features projects from around the world that focus on water urbanism, green and resilient cities, development of new and natural materials, construction systems and methods.
A team of students and faculty from the Department of Architecture and Design at ADU’s College of Engineering will be showcasing their project called “Abu Dhabi’s Vertical Studio”, a curated exhibition that aims to re-think Abu Dhabi’s emerging economic and environmental resilience. ADU’s team will be among 212 international architects, artists, universities, urban planners and creative professionals from over 51 countries.
Led by Nadia Mounajjed and Apostolos Kyriazis, Assistant Professors from the Department of Architecture and Design, the ADU team consists of two research assistants, Aya Dibajeh and Ahmed Alawawda, and 21 students from ADU. “Abu Dhabi’s Vertical Studio” is a call for cities to reflect on areas of improvement in terms of urban and architecture morphologies and identify and address opportunities regarding social inclusion, sustainability and the cultural context.
It is an architectural inquiry, a critique of the individuality of the skyscraper – as currently perceived in the region. It explores the interaction of the tower with the street and with the horizontally sprawling cityscape. It explores modular architectural elements and forms that adhere to the local context without attaching to vernacular stereotypes. The project funded by the Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence (AARE) 2019 is now showcased in the historic Palazzo Bembo in Venice, Italy.
Commenting on the participation, Nadia Mounajjed, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Design at ADU, said, “This exhibition is an incredible opportunity for the Department of Architecture and Design at ADU and for our students. It provides a creative venue to present our reflections and design ideas on the city of Abu Dhabi and its architecture. It also offers a great moment to exchange knowledge and experiences. We come to this exhibition with the intention to learn and to engage because we see it as a unique platform for the crossings of ideas that emerge from different design disciplines and practices. Despite the many challenges that we have faced during the pandemic, we are very happy that the event is finally taking place and that we are part of it."
Apostolos Kyriazis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Design at ADU, said, “What makes our participation at the ECC’s “Time-Space-Existence” Architecture Exhibition in Venice special is the fact that our voice will have a global reach. Although the Department of Architecture and Design is young and small-sized, its achievements in terms of awarded students’ work, international research and high-esteemed accreditation are relatively remarkable. Our students, the University and the city of Abu Dhabi must take full pride on this exceptional moment."
The participants at the Fifth Biennial Architecture Exhibition are encouraged to infuse their own culture, mindset, and personal and professional perspectives into a project that contributes to the wellbeing of communities while re-defining the contemporary world and imagining a different future for living environments. The projects are now showcased in some of the most ancient and historic venues in Venice, including Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo, and Giardini della Marinaressa.
Launched in 2010, the Bachelor of Architecture program at ADU introduces its students to the world of architecture and design and helps them tap into their creativity and develop their skills in art and design as well as acquiring the necessary technical and environmental knowledge. The program has earned the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) accreditation, the highest accolade for architecture programs.
Founded in 2002, the European Cultural Centre has organized and hosted over 50 contemporary art, design, and architecture exhibitions worldwide, as well as hundreds of meetings, workshops, symposiums, and other cultural events. Since 1895, The Venice Biennale has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Today, the Biennale has an attendance of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. In the 1930s new festivals were born that focused on music, cinema and theater (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place.
Abu Dhabi University
The dream began with the Charter of Abu Dhabi University in the year 2000, After three years of planning, the university opened its doors in September 2003, to an entering class of 1,000 students on its two campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Unlike other colleges and universities in the UAE, ADU undertook the measures necessary to ensure that all of the degree programs it would offer had secured accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in advance of any students enrolling in them.
ADU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees based upon the American model of higher education.