Can Zena Malek Give Arab Cities An Identity?

Recognized as one of the world's most influential female Arabs, architect Zena Malek has emerged as the most outspoken critic of how cities are being built in the Arab world.
September 7, 2006, 7am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Architect Zena Malek's "loudly-expressed conviction that developers need to think about 'concepts' in cities is starting to pay dividends."

"...Considering this region has some of the world’s fastest growing economies, now is the time to make the most of new opportunities. But nobody, absolutely nobody, is doing that, she argues."

"...'People all around the Arab world just assume that it is very expensive to do a concept. But then many people just have lazy minds. Some of them try to pretend they are leaders when they are not. When I go and sit in a building in Dubai Marina it feels exactly the same as sitting in a building in Diera. There is no new experience for me. Let us not pretend these are new concepts. All of our Arabic cities just have no identity,' she sighs."

...Another of Malek's projects is the creation of a piece of software, which looks set to revolutionise the mass-production and design of buildings as well as the way architects interact with their clients.

The programme, known as Sakani software, enables different configurations of houses, buildings, restaurants and facilities to be built through mass production methods. This means an entire housing development can be designed with each unit receiving an individual configuration."

Thanks to Arch News Now

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Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 in Arabian Business
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