Oil and Ink

Located on the shores of the Arabian/Persian Gulf, a city was founded in the late 1700s with its people completely reliant on the sea for their livelihood. Composed of a dense urban fabric of mud brick homes which follow the typology of the courtyard houses seen across North Africa and the Middle East, this environment would drastically change within an incredibly short period of time with the discovery a single resource: Oil.

With this newly found wealth, the city was propelled into an era of fast-paced modernization. An era of demolition and construction ensued and an era of complete socio/political/economic/infrastructural overhaul had commenced. The society had been thrust into an age of unprecedented development that saw the eviction of the citizens from what is now considered the former old city into a suburban environment planned out by Western and foreign architects. The houses that lay within the old city walls had been razed in favor of “international-styled” office and apartment buildings.

Few of the buildings of the former old city remain in what has now developed into the CBD (Commercial Business District) of the country.

Given that most of the past architecture had been completely demolished, the short story looks towards a specific portion of the city that is representative of its entire history: past, present, and future. The site contains a series of projects that are in construction, one of which seeks to create a re-interpretation of the past with the project title of “The Heritage Village: Revival of Past Memories”.

The site is the stage set for the creation of a fiction amongst architectural characters and symbols of past and present as they interact amongst one another in order to communicate their situation. A fiction and a critique unfold throughout their interactions, complaints, soliloquies and monologues.

Series of illustrations had been exhibited in Dublin, Ireland as part of the Describing Architecture on Memory and Place exhibition and in Venice, Italy as part of the Imagined Shared Territories - Monditalia, 14th International Archiecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia.