In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Ali Karimi and Hamed Bukhamseen, curators of the Kuwait Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, discuss the architectural identity and potential of Kuwait and the Middle East region as a whole. The duo explain how they approached the pavilion design by asking themselves the question: “How do we imagine a conversation between the different countries of the Gulf?”
On the pavilion's stainless steel floor, the curators have placed models and images of the Middle East’s past, present and future, describing what the region’s architecture has been, and what it has the potential to become.
“Really I think for us it is saying, ‘Can this discussion go back to the middle east and can people begin to understand the kind of available toolsets for describing landscape and architecture – understanding the realities of the place you’re in, but also understanding the possibilities.’” explains Karimi.
Bukhamseen concludes, “What I hope people take away upon entering the space and looking at the projects that they see within the space is the realization that there is architectural talent from the region and the capabilities of the architects in the area to address issues that go beyond their fields of work.”