16-21 March 2009
The team responsible for Al Manakh 2 is expanding its network in the Gulf with researchers, correspondents and photographers. Yesterday, March 16, Rem Koolhaas one of the editors of Al Manakh gave a lecture at the Sharjah Biennial 9, sharing his experiences in the Gulf region over the last five years. Koolhaas touched upon his respect for the region and how his insights to the Gulf have developed through professional experience. He approached the Gulf as a mirror for the Western mind set, as the ultimate extravaganza that architecture worldwide suffered from. Largely developed with Western stakeholders, Dubai heard its first dismissal from those same sources. Now when the credit crisis -generated by the West- is hitting the Gulf region, that same Western world that hugely profited from the wealth is now the first to proclaim its decline.
Koolhaas pointed out that the real dynamics in the region are a lot more complex and subtle than generally perceived. To monitor and analyze those developments, the Al Manakh team launched its website “almanakh.org” in preparation for the publication Al Manakh 2, Export Gulf/.
The first Al Manakh (2006) is available at the bookstore at Dubai Art Fair, featuring detailed analyses of cities like Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai and Kuwait City. Contributions from international and regional architects and planners plus contributions from the Gulf’s most active participants in making these cities create an informative window into the region. The 496-page volume is filled with interviews, essays, charts and exclusive photographs.
Al Manakh 2 will be released in February 2010 and is exclusively supported by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.