The exhibition’s curator, Dr. Khaled Alawadi, is an Emirati architect and urban planner, and Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology. He and his research team have used various spatial mapping and observation techniques to document and analyze the physical characteristics, morphology and social rhythm of the four typologies. Case studies and detailed personal stories offer insight into the anthropology of each research site.
Dr. Khaled Alawadi says: “Lifescapes Beyond Bigness is an effort to look beyond the monumental scale of the UAE’s most iconic architecture, and instead invite visitors to experience its humane and under-celebrated landscapes. These human-scale ‘quotidian landscapes’ are socially oriented, rather than being confined by bigness in architecture and urban planning. The exhibition explores how human scale landscapes are flexible, generous, and adaptable in the promotion of community engagement, social encounters, and pedestrian urbanism, from impromptu playgrounds to street-corner gardens.”