Todd Reisz is an architect, researcher, and writer currently focusing on the cities of the Gulf region, from both historical and contemporary perspectives. He is the editor of Al Manakh 2: Gulf Continued, which analyzes the recent developments of cities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE. He has recently been appointed the Daniel Rose Visiting Professor in Urbanism at Yale University School of Architecture. (Read Full Bio)
Many of these laborers – the preferred word when discussing the people occupying the various unskilled labor positions in the Gulf from construction workers to street cleaners to domestic help – call from South Asia. That single immensely populated region, according to some statistics, provides 60% of Dubai’s population. Of that population, 60%, according to other statistics, hail from the Indian province of Kerala. …
Is this exhibition about architecture? I don’t think so. Could the Bahrain pavilion have presented architecture this year? I don’t think so either. This exhibition is a discussion of political landscapes, not physical ones. It’s architectural in the sense that any meaning intended in constructing something (whether landscape or building) can quickly collapse into a vortex of something more ferocious.
Rory Hyde’s new book Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture includes a talk we had about Dubai, the Gulf, architects and management consultants. Here’s an excerpt.
Last March, I made a presentation called ‘Future City,’ which mostly took place in the past. It used to be we were doomed to die in cities; now they’re supposed to be our utopias.
Produced in December 2011, these films were made when Doha’s Olympic coordination committee was just beginning to put together its bid plan; therefore the films are more focused on examining the overall setting in which the Doha bid was coming together than on the bid itself.
There is no city that has generated such a complex and multi-faceted public campaign for itself. Real-time Doha, however, cannot compete with the city’s media frenzy.
Leaving my house earlier than normal this morning, I found the nearby shopping street eerily quiet. Amsterdam’s center wakes up late because it’s more about entertainment than general commerce. Opposite Rembrandt’s house were three Latin American men occupying sidewalk benches usually claimed by tourists. Each had an overpacked duffle bag and work boots. The men [...]
There must be some kind of infectious fantasy which makes us think: if we could just get to their DNA, we could understand and therefore change cities. (Review of Living in the Endless City)
Within an afternoon, a political place and symbol of the uprising were removed.
Presentation of the Al Manakh project.
During a trip to Oman I learned something about the consequences of Dubai’s development appetite, namely that it extends beyond the city’s own borders.
A recent interview which explores the reasons behind the Al Manakh project.
Deira was Dubai’s most modern quarter. In some ways, it still is.
The new cities built in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s investigated as predecessors to the current ‘Economic Cities’ in Saudi Arabia.
Dubai’s crisis is not about urbanism or architecture. No model of development, or as some would say the lack thereof, has been proven a failure. If there ever was a model, it is still being pursued…
My visit to the Cityscape real estate show inspired me, well, gave me the idea, to go out to the edges of Dubai’s development to see what was happening. Dubailand had been pretty quiet. Of course, many projects lie still, many more unstarted. But there was also some unexpected activity, and even recent inhabitation. A [...]
…If any country has learned from the last several decades what architecture can do, Bahrain, as most other Gulf countries, could tell the story of how just a few decades of development can transform a country’s shape and its people….
For the 2010 Venice Biennale, the architecture firm OMA gathered ideas for an exhibition on preservation. It included OMA’s tourism vision for the Libyan, including my photographs.
Excerpt of introduction written for 2010 publication.
The rankers aspire to be more than taste makers. They can formulate economic policies, foreign policies and the physical shapes of cities. …
Saudi Arabia’s city of the Red Sea, like no other city I’ve visited before, continuously makes it clear – perhaps deliberately – that it’s not about me nor for that matter anything that might be connected to me. …
A strange mixture of stillness and incessant activity…
Excerpt from article about Dubai’s modernization, published in Log 13/14, Fall 2008
Photos from Dubai
Originally published at almanakh.org. Last Wednesday, the Pakistan national team played its first matches since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan
For a few sweltering weeks of a Dubai summer, Ms. Chandramohan and her jury pare down the number of men who have a chance at breaking from the crowd…
The architect, perhaps more than other professionals, is a mythical figure. He projects a marriage of expertise with panache. Seductive imagery with poignant words.
In October 2009, Todd led a panel at the Yale Arab Alumni Association’s conference in Beirut to discover the ideas and companies that are determining the contemporary Arab city.
Last week’s Cityscape Abu Dhabi was the first significant real estate show in the UAE since crisis was considered a force to be reckoned with in the Gulf economic landscape. Abu Dhabi’s Cityscape has never been competition for Cityscape Dubai in terms of glitz and entertainment. Rather, one expects a soberer show from Abu Dhabi, [...]