When most people think of the Arabian peninsula, they think of the opulent man-made islands of Dubai and that city’s sparking, futuristic towers... But with his series Crossings, Arko Datto shifts the attention to the millions of migrant workers from throughout Asia who are building these structures.
Datto used Google Maps and Google Earth to capture the vast highways, sprawling landscapes, and grand projects that laborers have built under conditions that border on slavery. — Wired
“The work deals with the issue in a fairly abstract/tangential way,” Datto told Wired Magazine. “The total lack of human presence in the images is symbolic of the anonymity, facelessness, and lack of representation that the migrant workers suffer.”
We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers in early May - but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs.
Our arrest was dramatic. — bbc.com
Richard Serra’s new sculpture, 'East-West/West-East,' is a set of four standing steel plates rolled in Germany, shipped via Antwerp, and offloaded, trucked, and craned into place in the middle of the western Qatari desert...the steel is the same that he’s used in his other pieces, and it will oxidize in the same way, albeit more quickly in the hot, salty conditions of the Brouq Nature Reserve. The plates will [ultimately] turn a dark amber—approximately the same color...as the Seagram Building. — The New Yorker
Related:Richard Serra is the first artist to receive the President's Medal from the Architectural League of New York“Serra Gate” salutes to Taksim Square protests in Istanbul, will tour city next year
Does it make sense for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup? German architect Albert Speer, whose office is in charge of the project, says yes -- and is doing all he can to ensure sustainability. In a SPIEGEL interview, he says how. — spiegel.de
The Qatar World Cup Memorial project is a scalable building that raises awareness about the number of workers who died during the construction of the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It is in the form of a tower made of concrete modules, each one representing a deceased worker. The higher the number, the higher the tower...If the death rate is not reduced, the Qatar World Cup Memorial could reach a height of 1.5 kilometers (nearly a mile). — 1week1project.org
1W1P – 1Week1Project – is a collaborative effort by French architects Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux, graduates of l'Ecole d'Architecture in Paris-Belleville. They challenged themselves to produce a "spontaneous architecture" per week for a year, or fifty-two projects. At this point, they...
The Qatari royal family is planning to convert three of London’s most prestigious addresses into a single mega-mansion valued at over £200 million. The family, which already owns famous London landmarks including the Shard, Harrods and the Olympic Park, has submitted plans to convert three properties in Regent’s Park [...] The Qatari royal family now owns more of London than the Crown Estate. — RT
After Qatar Rail appointed UNStudio as principal architect, the Dutch firm revealed their designs for the new Doha Metro Network, a major component of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP). In an effort to motivate more Doha locals to use public transit, UNStudio's design of the Metro Network consists of traditional Qatari-inspired elements and four transportation lines — with an estimate of 35 stations for Phase 1, followed by around 60 stations for Phase 2. — bustler.net
Friday, September 12:Vincent Scully Prize 2014 awarded to journalist and TV host Charlie Rose: The prize was established by the National Building Museum in 1999, and is named after the famed Yale art history and architecture professor who helped establish Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi. Rose was...
Qatari authorities have confirmed they are holding two British researchers who are investigating the 2022 World Cup facilities, which is linked with a scandal over poor working conditions and dozens of deaths of foreign workers.
"All of the actions that have been taken against the two Britons are consistent with principles of human rights enshrined in the constitution," read the statement released by the Qatari QNA news agency on Sunday. — RT
Migrant workers building the first stadium for Qatar's 2022 World Cup have been earning as little as 45p [≈75¢] an hour, the Guardian can reveal [...] More than 100 workers from some of the world's poorest countries are labouring in ferocious desert heat on the 40,000-seat al-Wakrah stadium, which has been designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid [..] — The Guardian
This is just the most recent in a slew of bad PR for the British-Iraqi architect. Earlier, she was rebuked for asserting that architects have neither power over nor responsibility for the conditions of workers on their buildings. She won the 2014 Design Museum award for a building in Azerbaijan...
If liberal cultural and educational institutions are to operate with any integrity in that environment, they must insist on a change of the rules: abolish the recruitment debt system, pay a living wage, allow workers to change employers at will and legalize the right to collective bargaining. Otherwise, their gulf paymasters will go on cherry-picking from the globalization menu [...] while spurning the social contract that protects basic human rights. — nytimes.com
"Ai Weiwei, who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, stayed away from the opening ceremonies because he said he wanted his building to represent freedom, not be a trophy for an autocratic regime uninterested in change." — hyperallergic.com
Are we even delineating the role of the Architect in the construction process? Especially in the case where the clients are a monarchy and the problem cited is endemic to the entire region and not limited to the construction industry?Quoting Ai Weiwei and not Herzog and de Meuron seems almost...
"I have nothing to do with the workers," said Hadid. "I think that's an issue the government – if there's a problem – should pick up. Hopefully, these things will be resolved."
Asked if she was concerned, Hadid added: "Yes, but I'm more concerned about the deaths in Iraq as well, so what do I do about that? I'm not taking it lightly but I think it's for the government to look to take care of. It's not my duty as an architect to look at it. — theguardian.com
The organising committee for the Qatar 2022 World Cup has promised that contractors who build its stadiums will be held to high standards on the welfare of migrant workers, in the wake of trenchant and sustained criticism.
But the promises, made after demands for a progress update from football's governing body Fifa, do not deal with wider concerns about workers engaged in the £137bn construction boom underpinning World Cup infrastructure. — Guardian
After the accidental death of over 185 Nepali workers' death, Qatar has obliged to introduce new standards to avoid further pressure from the international community.However, it only deals with the construction of the stadiums, which is due to begin in earnest this year.
"are the skyscrapers that tower over the Corniche, Doha's Waterside Drive, and it's an amazing skyline...There's a building that looks like a great blue cylinder whose top...It looks like Darth Vader helmet at the top of it...a building that looks like a big pickle with a toothpick stuck out of the top and another that's kind of like a vase on a potter's wheel...it looks as if it was a huge architectural competition and everybody won and everybody got to design a building." - Robert Siegel — All Things Considered - NPR
In a piece about Qatar's National Food Security Program, Robert Siegel examines the challenges and opportunities of food and water security in the Gulf nation. While visiting Doha to speak with Fatah al-Attiya, director of the program, Mr. Siegel reflects on the wealth/success/growth for...
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