Fall 2009 Abstracts & Bios

Lectures, Conferences & Events» Past Lectures & Events


KAUST - King Abdullah University for Science and Technology - A Step into the Future
William Odell
Mr. Odell is a Design Principal with HOK Architects. He has spoken and written widely about design and environmental issues including the HOK Guide to Sustainable Design. Mr. Odell directed the design for the KAUST project.
Ammar Al-Nahwi

Ammar Al-Nahwi is the Associate Director of the Global Collaborative Research at KAUST. As a one of the very first members of the KAUST team, his responsibilities include managing the group that initiates and oversees a vast and rich portfolio of academic and research partnerships of KAUST -- a distinguishing feature and unique development strategy of KAUST. Ammar obtained a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2000, specializing in Gas Turbine technology. Prior to his involvement with KAUST, he has worked for several years in various technical and management capacities at Saudi Aramco.

Kevin Underwood
Education for All - Education City, Doha, Qatar 
To create a global centre of learning, the Qatar Foundation is developing a vast international campus called Education City. On the northwest edge of Qatar’s capital city Doha, the site of more than 1000 hectares is home to worldclass institutions including North American universities Cornell and Texas A&M and a range of campus buildings by leading architects including Arata Isozaki, OMA and Ricardo Legoretta. The site will become home to more than 12,000 Qatari and international students and will provide the opportunity to complete a full education from pre-school to post-graduate. The masterplan is rooted in creating a beautiful place where distinctiveness and authenticity are drawn from the landscape of Qatar. Among the greatest challenges has been to transform the site from a dispersed campus with high car dependency to a place where it is possible to walk or cycle between buildings and enjoy being outdoors, even in the harsh summer heat. Once the campus has been reached by car, the experience is then pedestrian focused. This is being achieved by increasing the density of buildings to make it easier to walk between them, by a tram system which runs through the heart of the site and by creating a flourishing landscape with plenty of shaded areas to encourage walking and cycling. These external spaces are also designed for social interaction and the exchange of knowledge and ideas between students from different colleges. These areas include a social hub including a shade plaza, library and souk together with an events bowl for open-air concerts. A major feature is Oxygen Park, a large and multifunctional public space incorporating the latest in environmental sustainability to create a year-round green place. At the heart of the vision is the concept of ‘educology’. It draws together education and ecology, making an inspiring place to study which is also in harmony with the landscape and climate and creates a place that encourages interest in the environment, good health and wellbeing for the future.
Based in London, Kevin’s expertise is in the areas of hotel/resorts, urban regeneration, golf and leisure, commercial and retail. He leads EDAW's international masterplanning, urban design and landscape design work and has projects in the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. 
In urban masterplanning and regeneration, current projects include the Heart of Doha in Qatar, creating a unique modern Islamic city rooted in the past. As global leader of EDAW’s resorts, leisure and tourism projects Kevin works with the world’s major hotel operators and his focus is on combining the finest hospitality with economic, environmental and social sustainability. His landscape design projects range from the settings for corporate HQs to campus design – among the largest schemes underway is Education City in Qatar, where academic institutions, including US universities Cornell, Georgetown and Carnegie Mellon, will enjoy a beautiful and sustainable landscaped setting of more than 1000 hectares.

David Dixon
Drawing on Islamic City-Building Traditions to Create a 21st Century Community of Learning 
The Aga Khan is building a new liberal arts campus on the outskirts of Karachi. The campus' mission emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking and seeks to encourage people of different backgrounds to learn from each other and bring a new generation of leadership in addressing global economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges. To support this new campus, the Aga Khan commissioned planning for a new "university village" for more than 20,000 people that would take its inspiration from Islamic city building values of human scale, environmental fit, and nuanced transitions between public and private spaces. This village represents a "community of learning" that through its planning both addresses the realities of 21st life in Pakistan and reinforces the campus' mission by fostering informal interaction, shared civic experience, and sense of connection to the surrounding environment.
The AIA honored David Dixon FAIA with its Thomas Jefferson Award for Òa lifetime of É significant achievement in [creating]É livable neighborhoods, vibrant civic spaces, and vital downtown. He is a co-author of Urban Design for an Urban Century (Wiley, 2008).