Tarabot Talks 2.0 –  ‘Regenerating with Nature: Hyperlocal and Restorative Design’

Join us for an afternoon of design-focussed talks unpacking UAE-born strategies for designing with nature in light of Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum.

As an introduction, Beirut-based architect Adib Dada, founder of Regenerative Consultancy and Architecture Practice theOtherDada, will introduce his work with a focus on Tarabot as a pavilion bringing together cutting edge sustainable materials designed and made in the U.A.E – weaving together the diversity of local life and ecosystems. 

The first panel “Rooted Connections: The Hyperlocal Material Revolution will feature Dima Al Srouri of Biospheric City Lab, Nikhilesh Mohan of ARDH Collective, and Kamal Farah of 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. By diverting ‘waste’ from the date palm industry and transforming them into building materials, these makers are tackling the environmental impact of production while revamping the potential uses of a regional staple: the Nakhla. 

The intermission with refreshments will invite attendees to join a guided walkthrough of Tarabot with architect Adib Dada

The second panel “Biotic Edges: Timely Approaches to Ecosystem Restoration” will delve into the local landscape through the lens of regeneration, unpacking ongoing challenges and possibilities of desert and coastal environments in the UAE and wider Gulf. Joining in conversation will be Aline Witte De La Torre – Conservation Officer at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Ceylan Uren of The Waste Lab, and Adib Dada of theOtherDada.

The evening will end with a Conductive Music performance by Dubai-based sound artist and DJ ‘PHO,’ inviting the audience to collectively generate sound with touch, plants, water and metals.


  • 5:00-5:30 pm Adib Dada introduces theOtherDada’s regenerative practice


  • 5:30-6:30 pm Panel: Rooted Connections: The Hyperlocal Material RevolutionDima Al Srouri – Biospheric City Lab, Nikhilesh Mohan – ARDH Collective, and Kamal Farah – Desert Board, in conversation with architect Dalia Hamati. Audience Q&A moderated by Adib Dada.


  • 6:30-7:00 pm Outdoor walkthrough of Tarabot, refreshments available


  • 7:00-8:00 pm Panel: Biotic Edges: Timely Approaches to Ecosystem RestorationAline Witte de la TorreDDCR Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, and Ceylan Uren – The Waste Lab, in conversation with Adib Dada.


These talks are the second iteration of the Tarabot Talk series – a programme devised by Art Jameel with theOtherDada

Free to attend. Open to all. Refreshments provided. RSVP here.

Designed by theOtherDada, Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum is commissioned by Art Jameel and supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Saudi Arabia.  

Adib Dada is the founder of theOtherDada [tOD] Regenerative Consultancy & Architecture, whose mission is to activate projects across architecture, design, and art by creating unconventional links at the frontier of science. Going beyond traditional architecture, his work employs a holistic and biomimetic design approach with nature and people at its core. Adib served on the Supporting Committee of the Beirut Art Center, and sits on the Board of Tandem Works and Saja Foundation. He earned a BA in Architecture at the American University of Beirut, an MA in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and completed the Biomimicry graduate certificate from the Biomimicry Institute and Arizona State University.  Adib was listed as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100 for his project Beirut RiverLESS, which he initiated to implement positive urban interventions including the planting of urban native forests alongside Beirut River and in the city at large. He is a Fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a Bio-Leadership Fellow.

Dima Al Srouri is a city strategist and a creative thought leader, building bridges through urban planning, design, sustainability & urban agriculture. She has experience in multi-scalar, interdisciplinary and complex projects. She brings a wealth of knowledge from professional practice in the public & private sectors as well as academia on the science of cities, sustainability, circular development & sustainable business models. Dima has worked on the planning & implementation of spatial framework plans & 2030 visions at a city level as well as large mixed use Master Plans with multi-modal transport hubs, where she created tangible sustainability strategies. Dima served as a judge for Gulf Sustainability Awards, and an expert practitioner for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Youth program. She participated in several conferences and panels on sustainable development both locally & internationally. She is currently Director of Biospheric City Lab, a boutique consultancy for sustainable development, based in Dubai Design District, and an adjunct lecturer in Urban Planning & Development at the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi.

Nikhilesh Mohan is the Co-Founder + Solutions Director of ARDH Collective, an innovative UAE based startup that repurposes waste and natural resources native to the UAE and MENA region to create sustainable material solutions. Trained as a Product & Multimedia Designer, Nikhilesh aspires to create and realize products that allow for a range of opportunities for a diverse group of people to participate in experiences. Through his undergraduate program at the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, Nikhilesh has developed the skill of creating technically sound products and communicating them to the masses through a range of mediums. At the moment ARDH Collective has two flagship solutions on the market, with more underway. DATEFORM is the world’s first date-seed based solid surface material that utilises a significant amount of the discarded date seeds in the UAE. RAMEL is an environmentally friendly concrete composite that uses locally sourced desert sand and reduces cement content by up to 50%, resulting in a low carbon and cost-effective material.

Dalia Hamati is a practicing architect and educator based in the United Arab Emirates working on projects that explore contextually rooted, equitable and collaborative modes of practice. Previously, Dalia has worked at the award-winning firm waiwai design in Dubai, and before that in NYC as a registered architect with multi award-winning firm Ennead Architects where her projects spanned across typologies within civic, public, and cultural sectors. In parallel to practice, Dalia teaches architecture and has held teaching positions at GSAPP, Pratt Institute, and most recently at the American University of Sharjah. Oscillating between the two roles of practice and teaching guides her search for fruitful cross-pollinations to advance the way we design and build today and in the future.

Aline Witte De La Torre practices as Conservation Officer at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR). Aline studied her BSc in Biology at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon in Mexico. Her conservation career started at ARCAS Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Guatemala working on the rehabilitation and release of birds, mammals and reptiles. Upon returning to Mexico, she worked at Chipinque Ecological Park implementing conservation projects, managing GIS data and monitoring key species to assess ecosystem health. Aline joined the DDCR in September 2022. Currently, her role is to manage and update GIS data, conduct new research and implement long-term wildlife monitoring programmes.

Ceylan Uren, co-founder of The Waste Lab, is pioneering a revolution in food waste management. Along with Lara Hussein, they co-founded this impact-driven startup, in Dubai, to turn food scraps from a burden into a valuable resource, reshaping the way communities think about waste. The Waste Lab’s mission is to build healthier soil and future by empowering individuals, businesses, and communities. Ceylan is a worldly architect and lighting designer with five years of experience, bringing life to urban spaces by ensuring they blend in well functionally, psychologically, and aesthetically. Her studies include integrating net-zero energy technologies into buildings and harvesting daylight and automation systems to save energy and resources. She has conceptualized and brought ideas to life in different environmental and cultural nuisances. Holder of Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Istanbul Kultur University and a Master’s degree in LED Technologies and Lighting Design from Politecnico di Milano University.

Kamal Farah is the Director of Desert Board located in KIZAD, Abu Dhabi, and graduated in MSc Civil Engineering (2003) at the University of Bristol, UK. Kamal also completed an on-site project engineering role with Mowlem before returning to the UAE. Kamal then developed on-site civil and project engineering experience and worked with ECC in the contractual, tendering, and plant departments. Following this he moved Into Abanos (one of the largest Fit Out and Joinery Contractors in the region) and transformed the operations (especially in the Joinery factory). In his current role, Kamal is responsible for the company’s overall growth and performance, developing Desert Board’s company mission to be the world’s first Palm Fronds Oriented Strand Board (PSB) and be the preferred manufacturer of PSB boards and its derivatives that partners in sustainable nation building, engage with its community and cares for all stakeholders. With over 56,000 square meters of innovations, the Desert Board plant can produce 2.2 million boards per year using the abundantly available Date Palm Residual Biomass in the UAE which would otherwise be burnt or destined for landfills or composted, taking a long time to biodegrade.

Besides capitalising his name, PHO, has capitalised on endless musical encounters between his native Colombia, Japan and the Emirates. Keen on harmony-making, turntablism and scratching, he is an active selector, vinylist, and overall vibesetter. His DJ journey has led him to be an ambassador for Pioneer DJ, Ableton and Teenage Engineering, as well as begin expanding his practice towards sound-based commissions in contemporary art. PHO is currently developing his Conductive Music project working with metals.  A two-time Red Bull Thre3style world finalist and global top 40 turntablist, PHO has remixed sound by various international artists as well as collaborated with Maloka Interactive Museum (Colombia), Playlist Retreat (USA), In Place of War (UK), Sound and Fiction (Bahrain), ITHRA (Saudi Arabia), EXPO2020 and Art Jameel (UAE).  Fully unrelated to the soup, PHO’s melodic character goes by Leonardo Rojas during the day.




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