This week in Dhahran, Tanween, Ithraa’s flagship creative festival,
concluded with a series of talks from experts in the field of architecture.
And who talked about making use of the sand, making spaces pleasant again,
paying attention to embracing nature, including indigenous communities, and building new structures.
Marcus Farr, Professor of the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah,
highlighted the uses of a particular raw material that is abundant in Saudi Arabia – sand.
The use of sand in construction
And also on how to use about 5% of sand in the manufacture of glass and building materials.
Because of the factors of density and weight, the majority of sand in the Kingdom is not currently usable in construction.
So he presented an alternative experimental project that turns sand dune particles into usable materials by creating a special binder.
Huda Shaka, better known as the Green Urbanista, a sustainability specialist and urban planner,
urged listeners not to insist on planting trees randomly.
In environments that may prevent them from thriving.
Trees require water, space and many other expenses – financial and otherwise, she said.
There are other ways to incorporate the natural environment without adding burden to Mother Nature, such as embracing mangroves.
Which may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a lush garden, but is there a reason.
Other speakers include Waleed Shaalan, Co-Founder and Design Director of Sifr Studio,
Alia Al-Mazora from Al-Ula, and Alan Parkinson, Founder of Architects of Air.
Tanween Festival and the local community
This year, Tanween did a lot for the local community, but with a global focus.
The Saudi student, Rayana Mansour Abenabha, visited Tanween between study breaks.
Growing up in the area, she wanted to explore shows in Ithra and be part of the cultural community.
She is currently studying Aeronautical Engineering in Manchester,
UK and could not believe her luck that she was visiting her hometown, while pursuing her studies abroad.
It coincided with Tanween again this season.
She attended Tanween last year and she was able to see a big change this time, as they added new ideas.
And she could see that they did their best to make it a huge celebration, like, everyone in Sharqia knows that – it was all over social media too.
I also attended a workshop on robotics this time and it was something that had never happened in Saudi Arabia.
And I attended “Big Moment”, it was a really nice celebration.
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