On Display: Architecture and Research Practices

In the context of the exhibition Off Centre / On Stage, Jameel Arts Centre invites practitioners and academics to look at the cross-section of research and architecture.

The roundtable gathers practices that engage with architecture through research, grounded in architectural practice itself, academic practices and visual arts. Architecture is often a tool of exhibition, used to display, commemorate or celebrate. In other words, it is also a tool of power. The panelists each develop criticality about and within architecture and will come together to rethink notions of public engagement and to incorporate complexity, conflict and diverse histories within architectural practice.

Guest speakers are: Paris-based architect and urban planner Meriem Chabani, founding partner of the architectural research platform New South; Karachi-based artist and writer Zahra Malkani, member of collectives Exhausted Geographies and Karachi LaJamia; and Sharjah-based architect and designer Faysal Tabbarah, faculty member at the American University of Sharjah and co-founder of Architecture + Other Things.  

In collaboration with the Institut français in the UAE. 


Meriem Chabani is an architect, urban planner and founding partner at New SouthThrough an international practice, she engages with territories in tension: designing, building, negotiating and representing post- and neo-colonial contexts. By questioning power dynamics and stakeholder relations, her projects offer evolutive intersections between the global South and the global North.

Zahra Malkani is a multidisciplinary artist based in Karachi. Her research-based art practice spans multiple media including text, video and web, and explores the politics of development,
infrastructure and militarism in Pakistan. She is a co-founder with Shahana Rajani of Karachi LaJamia, an experimental pedagogical project seeking to politicise art education and explore new radical pedagogies and art practices. Zahra is also currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Communication and Design department at Habib University.

Faysal Tabbara is an Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Architecture at the American University of Sharjah. He is also co-founder of Architecture + Other Things, an architecture and design studio based in Sharjah. Tabbarah’s teaching, research and practice activate historical material and environmental practices to think about how and what we build today.

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