Award-winning US-based architects Cade Hayes and Jesús Robles shared their expertise in thoughtful design for desert contexts with students and alumni of the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) on Tuesday, March 22 .
Presenting on campus at AUS as part of the Riwaq Al Fikrtalk series in partnership with Abu Dhabi Festival, the duo spoke about their multidisciplinary design studio DUST, which they founded in 2007 in Tucson, Arizona as an alliance of architects, craftspeople, artists, designers and builders.
Winner of awards such as Architectural Review’s AR House Award and the Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture in the Southwest, DUST Studio is known for its elegant and environmentally sensitive designs, as well as their use of sustainable, handcrafted materials such as rammed earth. Their work has garnered attention from professional journals and popular media across the globe.
With architects and their clients being increasingly sensitive to the local environment and cultural context, Hayes and Robles’ shared expertise is of particular relevance.
Dr. VarkkiPallathucheril, Dean of CAAD, said DUST’s body of work in a desert setting provides valuable exemplars for architects practicing in the UAE and the GCC, especially CAAD students and alumni.
“Having Cade Hayes and Jesús Robles in Sharjah to share their commitment to local craft and to embedding traditional building practices aligns very well with CAAD’s widely respected culture of making,” said Dr. Pallathucheril.
In his role as Chairperson of the Lectures Committee for the Department of Architecture at AUS, Associate Professor Jason Carlow said the designers’ slow, reverent and patient approach is one that UAE-based designers could learn from.
“The concept of slowing down one’s creative process and paying attention to detail is especially important in a region where the scale of building is enormous and development moves at a breakneck pace. This was an important opportunity for students to be exposed to an alternative way of approaching design practice,” said Carlow.
Over the years, AUS has been a regular contributor to the Riwaq Al Fikrtalk series program.
“Since its launch in 2010, Abu Dhabi Festival’s annual discussion series Riwaq Al Fikr has fostered insightful dialogue between leading intellectuals, experts, practitioners and the community,” said ADMAF Founder, Her Excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo.
“We are pleased to partner with American University of Sharjah to provide students with an in-depth understanding from the most inspiring leaders in their field, highlighting ADMAF’s commitment to serving as a gateway to knowledge by investing in the youth of the nation and empowering them to realize their dreams and ambitions,” said Her Excellency.
For more information about the College of Architecture, Art and Design at American University of Sharjah, visit www.aus.edu/caad. To view the full program of Riwaq al Fikr Events, please visit www.abudhabifestival.ae.