A renowned architect, his work has been extensively published by the professional press.

Bernard Khoury studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and received a Masters in Architectural Studies from Harvard University. He is the co-founder of the Arab Center for Architecture. He was the architect and co-curator of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national pavilion at the Venice Biennale’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014. Khoury started an independent practice in 1993. His work has been extensively published. Over the past twenty years, his office has developed an international reputation and a significant diverse portfolio of projects


Founder of the architecture and research firm atelier masōmī.

Mariam Kamara is a Nigerien architect. She studied architecture at the University of Washington. In 2014, Kamara founded atelier masōmī, an architecture and research firm through which she tackles a wide variety of public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. A notable example is the Religious-Secular Complex of Dandaji in Niger, a collaborative cultural project that has won the 2017 Gold LafargeHolcim Award for Africa and Middle East, and the 2018 Silver Global LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Architecture. Kamara’s work is guided by the belief that architects have an important role to play in thinking spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide a better quality of life. Through her practice, she aims to discover innovative ways of doing so, while maintaining an intimate dialog between architecture, people, and context.


Mixed media artist Doug Beube reflects on how conceptual considerations dictate the medium for his artwork. He works in artists’ books, collage, installation, performance, and photography. He explores how each medium carries both his visual and narrative points of view and the advantages of working with each form of expression. He describes his methodology in researching contemporary topics, such as climate change or social justice, for example, and the process of realizing his vision through making connections between his subject matter and his developing skills. Doug will discuss and encourage students to realize their unique perspective, their artistic voice, and how they might communicate their passions and concerns into a visual form. Today through various digital platforms and one’s life circumstances, issues surrounding race, gender, and a global pandemic, it’s the job of the artist to engage our communities and to start a dialog on these difficult discussions. The narrative is important but the artwork is paramount for visually conveying what you want to say: more about that during his presentation.


Dr. Theodore Spyropoulos is an artist, architect and educator. He is the Director of the Architectural Association’s world-renowned Design Research Lab (AADRL) in London and resident artist at Somerset House. He co-founded the experimental art, architecture and design practice Minimaforms. The work of Minimaforms has been acquired by international art and architecture collections that include the FRAC Centre, the Signum Foundation and the Archigram Archive, and has been exhibited at MOMA (NYC), Barbican Centre, Onassis Cultural Centre, Somerset House, Detroit Institute of Arts, Leonardo DaVinci Museum of Science and Technology and the ICA. Theodore has previously chaired the AA Graduate School was Professor of Architecture at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt and has been a visiting Research Fellow at M.I.T.’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies. Theodore has previously worked for the offices of Peter Eisenman and Zaha Hadid. In 2013 the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture awarded him the ACADIA award of excellence for his educational work directing the AADRL. He has been published internationally including authoring Adaptive Ecologies: Correlated Systems of Living (2013), Enabling (2010) and forthcoming Behaviors (2021).


Dr. Shabout’s research and teaching address modern and contemporary visual practices and problems of representation from a global perspective, with emphasis on questions of methodology and in relation to the cultural politics of the Middle East. She teaches courses on Modern Arab art, global modern art, contemporary Middle Eastern art and Islamic art.

Nada Shabout is a professor of art history and coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, U.S. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. Shabout is the Project Advisor for the Saudi National Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019. She is the author of Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, University of Florida Press, 2007; co-editor with Salwa Mikdadi of New Vision: Arab Art in the 21st Century, Thames & Hudson, 2009; and co-editor with Anneka Lenssen and Sarah Rogers of Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018. She is the curator of Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art, Interventions: A dialogue between the Modern and the Contemporary, 2010; co-curator of Modernism and Iraq, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2009, and curator of the traveling exhibition, Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, 2005-2009. Her awards include Writers Grant, Andy Warhol Foundation 2018; The Presidential Excellency Award, UNT 2018; The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq fellow 2006, 2007; MIT visiting Assistant Professor, spring 2008, and Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, 2008 Lecture/Research fellowship to Jordan.


Nujoom is an Emirati poet, scriptwriter, and film director. She was born in Dubai, UAE, 1962 and has published eight poetry collections in the Arabic language. Her work has been translated to several languages including English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi and more. Nujoom is also a renowned screenwriter and filmmaker. She has produced around twenty films including seven feature documentaries and short fiction, documentary, and art films. Her films have won numerous regional and international prizes. Her achievements in the arts have been recognized both nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of the Pride of the UAE Medal through the Mohammed bin Rashid Government Excellence Award and the Rashid Award for Scientific Outstanding.

In 2019, she was the solo artist of the UAE National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious arts events in the globe. Alghanem started her professional career as a journalist in the early 1980s. She then became head of training and human resources development at the Emirates Media Incorporated in Abu Dhabi and finally the director of the new media division at the same organization. She was one of the founding members of the Emirates Writers’ Union in 1984 and used to be a board member of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.

In 2010, Nujoom co-founded Nahar Productions, a film production company based in Dubai. Since then, alongside her artistic endeavors, she has worked as a professional trainer in filmmaking and creative writing and as a cultural consultant. She is the holder of a Master’s degree in Media Production from Griffith University in Australia and a Bachelor’s degree in video production from Ohio University in the United States.


Farah El-Rafei obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Design Management at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in Spring 2015. She has been actively exploring the regional creative scene by working in various cultural organizations including Art Dubai and Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Center (DUCTAC), in the field of exhibition management. She currently works as the Senior Exhibitions Coordinator at the National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia that manages the United Arab Emirates’ participation at the Venice Biennale. Following her experience and passion for the field, she co-founded the Cairo-based film festival, Film My Design (FMD), to promote and celebrate the region’s design scene through film.