• Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum
  • Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum

An interspecies habitat by theOtherDada
With commissioned artwork by Solimar Miller
Commissioned by Art Jameel

As part of its commitment to engaging communities in understanding how our climate is changing and showcasing innovations in design, architecture and material research, Art Jameel has commissioned Adib Dada, founder of regenerative consultancy and architecture practice theOtherDada, to create a pavilion that brings together cutting edge sustainable materials designed and made in the U.A.E – weaving together the diversity of local life and ecosystems. The pavilion includes specially commissioned artwork by Dubai-based artist Solimar Miller, representing indigenous flora and endangered species in the U.A.E.

Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum acts as an interspecies ecotone – an area where two biological communities meet and integrate – hosting a shared space between human and non-human entities, and creating synergies between the natural world and manmade environments. Made of modular and nested cone components crafted from locally sourced, sustainable materials including clay, mycelium, date palm waste and upcycled fabric, the pavilion is a call for the revival of urban spaces, through a focus on the hyperlocal and the creation of circular ecological support systems within new and existing material structures. Its design incorporates four pillars that speak to its concept, construction and de-installation: Soil, Water, Plants, and Energy. After deinstallation, the modular constituents of Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum will be repurposed for domestic planting on land with the structure taking on new life as underwater habitat for coral and fish, linking life on land to life underwater.

The effects of our climate changing, including rising temperatures and biodiversity loss, are some of the most urgent issues of our time. Architecture and the construction industry account for almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions due to extensive use of concrete and other carbon-heavy building materials. Over the last several years, a growing movement championing sustainable and regenerative ways of building has grown. These architects, designers and engineers believe that humans can have a positive and transformative impact on their surroundings by reversing ecological damage, restoring degraded lands and creating a net-positive impact on their environment – with nature-based solutions and material innovation central to these changes.

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

Lead Designer: Adib Dada / Lead Architect: Dalia Hamati / Project Architect: Nader Akoum

The pavilion was made possible with additional support from:

Unilux lighting – bespoke lighting design agency based in Beirut, Lebanon and serving the wider Middle East.

Desert Board –  PSB, a sustainable construction material innovated and produced by Desert Board in the U.A.E, using biomass waste from date farms and diverting this from landfill.

theOtherDada is a Beirut-based regenerative consultancy and architecture practice founded by Adib Dada, working with nature to build shared habitats for humans and other organisms to thrive. They are Lebanon’s first BCorp certified company built on the firm belief that businesses have the responsibility and opportunity to action meaningful, positive impact. tOD takes an alternative approach to sustainability, through the deep consideration of context and medium of their work- fostering new relationships between climate, landscape, and inhabitants.  Their research in biomimicry enables a conscious connection to the natural ecosystems of sites to build interspecies habitats. 

Solimar Miller is a multidisciplinary artist. Her focus on the environment and the preservation of trees and flora has led to works influenced by ecological elements that are changing in the current landscape. Documenting the infinite beauty of indigenous and naturally thriving tree species by photographing, drawing and painting each one with their own unique characteristics has become an integral part of her practice. Her work explores a variety of aspects in producing hand silkscreened artworks and paintings based on her observational drawings in the environment of the United Arab Emirates, where she has been living for over twenty years. 

Sustainability at Art Jameel 

Sustainability and addressing the climate crisis is a pillar within Art Jameel’s mandate, addressed through taking actions to decarbonise our buildings and ways of working; engaging the public through exhibitions and public programmes; and pioneering original research grounded in the Global South. Efforts to reduce our emissions and waste footprints range from monitoring, understanding and reducing resources used through operating and maintaining our buildings and parks to how exhibitions are curated and put together and how we care for artworks.

Art Jameel embraces the role of the arts in brokering a conversation with the public, through exhibitions and commissions (such as ‘Staple: What’s on your plate?’, December 2021- April 2022, Hayy Arts, Hayy Jameel, and ‘An Ocean in Every Drop’, September 2022 – April 2023, Jameel Arts Centre), public and community programmes (Down to Earth, the UAE’s annual Green Gathering in Dubai, and the Farmers Market at Hayy Jameel, Jeddah), conferences and symposia (Shifting Earth and Material Matters) and Artist’s Garden, a biennial commissions programme for artists to create, cultivate and experiment. Art Jameel also runs pioneering, collaborative initiatives aimed at producing original research out of the Gulf and across the Global South through residencies and fellowships, including Art Jameel Commissions: Arts Writing and Research awarded to Nadia Christidi on the future of water, and the Collection Care Fellowship, addressing the particular challenges and opportunities associated with managing, conserving and caring for institutional art collections across West Asia, South Asia and Africa. 

Jameel Arts Centre will serve as a hub for multidisciplinary practitioners working across culture and climate change during COP28.

Tarabot is commissioned by Art Jameel and is supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Company Ltd. – Saudi Arabia.



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