AUD Holds International Architecture Workshop in Venice
Students attend 15th Venice Biennale 2016, participate in talks and workshops, and visit the city

Students and professors from the Department of Architecture at AUD attended the 15th Venice Biennale 2016 from September 29 to October 1, held at the Arsenale and Giardini along with other institutions and palaces such as Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora. The group participated in the international architecture workshop Escaping Venice, held at the University Iuav di Venezia, and organized by AUD’s Prof. Jose Carrillo.
Dr. Nabyl Chenaf – Dean of the School of Architecture, Art and Design, and Prof. Jose Carrillo accompanied the students on this 3-day trip.
Today, we cannot deny the global condition of architectural teaching and research. Changes in the international map of architectural practices have introduced new vectors in external languages to understand the new reality. This international workshop offered a great opportunity to implement the particularities of these changes,” explains Prof. Carrillo.
The University Iuav di Venezia hosted a classroom session where the workshop assignment was launched and where AUD’s Dr. Nabyl Chenaf and Iuav’s Dr. Mauro Marzo delivered their lectures about the cities Dubai and Venice. The Palazzo Rossini then hosted the workshop where the students presented their work.
The workshop, titled Escaping Venice, included discussion sessions on cultural interchange of knowledge, new opportunity areas, global environmental problems, virtual knowledge, speed of time and construction, sustainability, planning and urban design, physical and virtual complex structures that underlay the construction of new realities, and processes that redefine the shape of contemporary cities. The sessions also included group work in teaching strategies for learning, and open teacher discussions.
“This was an ideal scenario, as the venue was Venice, which is an open museum, the event was the 15th International Biennale of Architecture and the format was a workshop combining students and faculty from renowned universities. This was a fantastic learning opportunity for all, one could feel sizzling ideas fusing in one big intellectual pot transcending the cultural barriers to meet in a space where the universal truth prevails, while culture is just another scent,” comments Dr. Chenaf.
The AUD group visited Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and Palazzo Rossini where GAA Foundation - a Dutch non-profit organization that aims to heighten the awareness about the more philosophical themes in contemporary art, architecture and in culture in general, had hosted the exhibition Time-Space-Existence, in which Dr. Joaquin Alvado from the University of Alicante had exhibited his work Dynamic Cities.
AUD students then attended a special talk about Dynamic Cities where Dr. Alvado explained his exhibition and during which different professors and former architects from the University of Alicante wrote about the different dynamic cities we live in today. During the talk, AUD’s Prof. Carrillo presented his article titled: Dubai, a “can-do” attitude, in which he outlined concepts that travel together with the dynamism of a very particular context like Dubai where ‘nothing is impossible’. “Matching Dubai’s identity and its heritage with growth targets is a pending issue for the city, and one of the biggest challenges that architects and urban planners should provide with a sustainable response. That would show a necessary balance between the existing city and the ambitious city that is to come,” explained Prof. Carrillo.
The AUD group also had the chance to visit La Biennale Architettura di Venezia at the Giardini and Arsenale venues. The 15th International Architecture Exhibition, titled Reporting From The Front, is directed by Alejandro Aravena and organized by La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
The AUD group finally visited the National Pavilion of the UAE among others at the Venice Biennale.
The trip also acted as a point of connection for developing international programs for future strategic collaborations in terms of research and business. The universities involved and the students took part in the research in order to promote and exchange the skills for the contemporary global architectural condition and share experiences.
Referring to the changes in the international map of architectural practices, Dr. Chenaf concluded, “This is the right moment for establishing new links and relations between prestigious universities such as the American University in Dubai, the University Iuav of Venice, the University of Alicante and the European University in Madrid and other institutions around the world.”
AUD students majoring in Architecture participating in the workshop included, Lea Halabi, Houda Al Khatib, Sally Al Jaderi, Nicole Mansoor, Hebah Qatanani, Oana Amira Fayyad, Munira AlMulla and Dalia Hassam.
Commenting on how her university education and her vision of Architecture were enriched after this trip, Hebah Qatanani – fourth year Architecture student at AUD had this to say, "We learned about Architecture outside of the classroom. We were part of an architectural reality and not just bystanders as we were given the opportunity to see overwhelming amounts of projects, by both familiar and non-familiar architects. This trip has greatly added to my map of references, broadened my scope of architectural understanding and helped me understand the influence of Architecture in forming and shaping space and culture.”
Sally Aljaderi, Architecture student in her final year commented that the trip had influenced her thesis topic, and had this to say “during this trip I was exposed to real life inspirational art and architectural projects that I would usually only read about in magazines or online.”
From the University of Venice (Universita Iuav Di Venezia), the workshop included Dr. Mauro Marzo - Professor of Architecture, Claudia Pirina- Fellow Researcher, and Pietro Ferrara - Fellow Rese archer.
Participants from the University of Alicante (Universidad De Alicante) included Dr. Joaquin Alvado - Associate Professor of Architecture, Dr. Cesar Daniel Sirvent - Assistant Professor of Architecture, Dr. Clara Garcia-Mayor - Assistant Professor of Architecture, and Francisco Colom Jover - Visiting Professor of Architecture.
Dr. Miguel Luengo - Associate Professor of Architecture, participated from the European University in Madrid (Universidad Europea De Madrid).

Download the Workshop Schedule here.