Tarabot Talks 2.0 Jaddaf
Tarabot Talks 2.0 in the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park
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On 24 February 2024, one is invited to join the second edition of the Tarabot Talks series organised by Art Jameel in collaboration with theOtherDada (tOD), a Lebanese architecture practice. Dedicated to the theme Regenerating with Nature: Hyperlocal and Restorative Design, the series of panel discussions will focus on UAE-born strategies for designing with nature in light of Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum, an immersive architectural pavilion commissioned by Art Jameel and designed by tOD. Taking place in the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park, the discussion sessions, which are free to attend, will start at 5:00 PM and end at 6:30 PM.

As an introduction, architect and environmental activist Adib Dada, tOD’s founder, will talk about his work, focusing on Tarabot. The pavilion built using cutting-edge sustainable materials designed and made in the Emirates weaves together the diversity of local life and ecosystems. Participants will join a walkthrough of Tarabot guided by Adib Dada.

Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum, 2023-2024. Courtesy of Art Jameel. Photo: Ismail Noor for Seeing Things.

The first panel, Rooted Connections: The Hyperlocal Material Revolution, will feature Dima Al Srouri (Biospheric City Lab), Nikhilesh Mohan (ARDH Collective), and Kamal Farah (Desert Board) in conversation with architect Dalia Hamati. The panel will invite us to rethink waste as a resource and potential for material innovation at scale.

The second discussion session, Biotic Edges: Timely Approaches to Ecosystem Restoration, will include Aline Witte De La Torre (Conservation Officer at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve), Ceylan Uren (The Waste Lab), and Nadine El Khoury (Curator at Art Jameel). The participants will explore the local landscape through the lens of regeneration and bring attention to current challenges and possibilities of desert and coastal environments in the UAE and the wider Gulf.

The series of talks will wrap up with Conductive Music: Creating an Immersive Soundscape, a performance by sound artist and DJ PHO. He will invite the audience to collectively generate sound with touch, plants, water, and metals. The performance will last from 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

About the participants

Adib Dada earned his BA in Architecture from the American University of Beirut in 2006. In 2011, he graduated from New York University (USA) with a Master’s Degree in the Interactive Telecommunications Program. Dada also completed the Biomimicry graduate certificate from the Biomimicry Institute and Arizona State University (USA). Apart from theOtherDada, his projects include theOtherForest, a tool for ecological and social regeneration through which 12,000+ indigenous trees and plants were planted across Lebanon. Dada is also an Aspen MELI Fellow and Bio-Leadership Fellow.

LANDFORM house: An Inhabited Landscape by theOtherDada. Private Residence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Dima Al Srouri is a city strategist and a creative thought leader who builds bridges through urban planning, design, sustainability, and urban agriculture. She is currently the Director of Biospheric City Lab (a Dubai-based consultancy for sustainable development) and an adjunct lecturer in Urban Planning & Development at the Sorbonne University (Abu Dhabi).

Nikhilesh Mohan is a co-founder and Solutions Director of ARDH Collective. It is an Emirati startup that repurposes waste and natural resources native to the UAE and MENA region to create sustainable material solutions. Currently, ARDH Collective offers two main solutions: DATEFORM (a solid surface material based on date seeds that utilises a significant amount of the discarded date seeds in the Emirates) and RAMEL (a concrete composite that uses locally sourced desert sand and reduces cement content by up to 50%).

Dalia Hamati, an architect and educator residing in the UAE, works on projects exploring contextually rooted, equitable and collaborative modes of practice. She worked with two award-winning firms: Ennead Architects in NYC (where her projects spanned across typologies within civic, public, and cultural sectors) and waiwai in Dubai.

Aline Witte De La Torre obtained her BSc in Biology from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León (Mexico). She worked at ARCAS Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Guatemala, where she worked on the rehabilitation and release of birds, mammals, and reptiles. After having returned to Mexico, she worked at Chipinque Ecological Park. Since 2022, she has been working at the Desert Conservation Reserve. Her tasks include managing and updating GIS data, conducting new research, and implementing long-term wildlife monitoring programmes.

Ceylan Uren, an architect and lighting designer, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Istanbul Kultur University (Turkey); she also graduated from Politecnico di Milano University (Italy) with a Master’s degree in LED Technologies and Lighting Design. She is a co-founder of The Waste Lab. Aiming to build healthier soil and the future, this Dubai-based startup turns food scraps into a valuable resource.

Kamal Farah received an MSc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Bristol (UK) in 2003 and also completed an on-site project engineering role with Mowlem before returning to the UAE. He is the Director of the Desert Board company located in KIZAD (Abu Dhabi); he develops its mission to be the world’s first Palm Fronds Oriented Strand Board (PSB).

Nadine El Khoury is a curator and researcher working at the intersection of art and ecology, focusing on the botanical realm. She is part of the curatorial team at Art Jameel, researching, developing and producing exhibitions, commissions, and publications.

PHO is a DJ and vinylist keen on harmony-making, turntablism, and scratching. A two-time Red Bull Thre3style world finalist and global top 40 turntablist, he is currently developing his Conductive Music project working with metals. PHO works on sound-based commissions in contemporary art and has remixed sound by various international artists and collaborated with Maloka Interactive Museum (Colombia), Playlist Retreat (USA), and In Place of War (UK), to name a few.

To learn more about Tarabot Talks 2.0, please visit the event’s official web page.

You may also be interested in attending Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023.