Sustainable Urban Development SYMPOSIUM

Panel 4 

> Culture & Representation < 

3 November 2021
> 13.00-15.15 <
Saudi Arabia Pavilion + ONLINE

> Culture and Representation <

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The built environment is the embodiment of cultures, ideologies, technological advancements, socioeconomic and political developments, and a response to the natural context. Hence, our cities are as much a representation of the current communities inhabiting them as they are of previous generations. The growing global trade connections have impacted architecture and cities and created a somewhat global aesthetic over the last centuries, relating the familiar and unfamiliar in cultures and places. Through online networks, access to information, knowledge and experiences at any given time and place have also ignited a desire and renaissance for representation that includes contextual local wisdom, ingenuity and innovation as important elements of cultural narrative and differentiation. In an ever more connected and digitally accessible world, material culture and spatial experiences play a renewed importance in those narratives. Historically trade connections, ports, world exhibitions, and civic festivals have always celebrated cultures around the world and contributed to bringing faraway places, cultures and countries closer together. While buildings, streets or infrastructures shape one’s understanding of identity of space, shared experiences, lived memories and inherited practices create a sense of belonging within those spaces. What role do buildings, urban festivals, exhibitions, and art installations play in an increasingly digitally-connected environment towards creating a sense of place? What are approaches in planning, governance, cultural developments, and creative industries used to create an inclusive built environment and experience that represents local identities and shares global cultural connections? What role does place have in an age of global digital connection and disconnection?

This panel brings together leading experts from architecture, planning and governance, art, museum and cultural institutions, and academia, to explore how the built environment and created experiences within, impact our sense of belonging, guide the understanding of culture, and enhance the representation of communities and place today.

The panel will be introduced through an opening dialogue on current approaches in urban governance of culture and representation in the UAE by Prof. Adina Hempel with Shatha Al Mulla, Director Arts Department, UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth

The Panel/

Adina Hempel

Architect and Associate Professor at Zayed University, UAE

Panel Host/

Adina Hempel is a registered architect, urban researcher and Associate Professor at Zayed University in Dubai, UAE. She has conducted extensive research on the architecture and urban history of the UAE and led various research projects. Previously, she served as Head of Research for the first three Shindagha Museum pavilions; the Perfume House, the Birthplace of the City and Sheikh Saeed House; and is currently a member of the Technical Committee for UAE Modern Heritage.

Dr. Alamira Reem Al Hashimi 

Urbanist, Architect and Historian / UAE

Dr Alamira Reem Al Hashimi is an urbanist, architect and historian, and is considered one of the leading researchers on the urban development of the UAE. She is the author of several publications, including Planning Abu Dhabi: An Urban History, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Emirates Planning Association, as well as the Technical Committee for UAE Modern Heritage.

Antonia Carver

Director of Art Jameel, UAE and Saudi Arabia

Antonia leads the Art Jameel teams in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and oversees programmes across learning and the arts. She joined in 2016 with a mandate to develop the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, which opened in 2018 as Dubai’s contemporary art museum, and Hayy Jameel, Jeddah, opening winter 2021-22, and institute a new period of radical growth for the organisation. Based in the UAE since 2001, Antonia was previously Director of Art Dubai (2010-2016); Projects Director at Bidoun; and has written extensively on Middle Eastern art and film.

Shatha Al Mulla

Director Arts Department, UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth

Shatha, the director of Arts at MCY is responsible for preparing and implementing strategic initiatives that enable and empower the arts sector in the UAE. Prior to that, she was engaged in policy and research initiatives on the historic district of Dubai along with managing key cultural projects in Dubai including the Shindagha Museum and the Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museu

Sumantro Ghose 

Artistic Programming Director  Royal Commission for AlUla / KSA

Sumantro Ghose is Artistic Programming Director for the Royal Commission for AlUla, responsible for the direction of arts and creative industries programmes. Previously he was Artistic Director, Noor Riyadh; Cultural Programming Director, DCT Abu Dhabi and Director of the London Design Biennale. He is a trustee of Shubbak Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture in London.