Inside Doha: A City as Empty Canvas

doha1In a seminal work published in 1970, writer Alvin Toffler managed to capture the sense of a world of such immense change at the physical, economic, political and social level that all were afflicted in one way or another by what he termed “future shock“. In his book of the same name Toffler identified a key phenomenon of the times, the stress and alienation of modern Western living; realizing the omnipotent and ominous role of media in the psycho drama of “super-industrial” societies, he also coined the phrase “information overload”. Continue reading Inside Doha: A City as Empty Canvas

Saving Jeddah’s old city

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is hoping that the United Nations will step in to help save the historic old city of Jeddah, whose unique Red Sea architecture is in danger of disappearing.

The ancient city in Saudi Arabia is in line to be included this year on the U.N.’s World Heritage List, which so far includes 830 sites including eight in Yemen and Oman, says Sami Nawwar, who is leading the effort to preserve Jeddah’s past. Continue reading Saving Jeddah’s old city

Dubai as architects’ paradise

DUBAI – Wealthy Gulf Arab investors have only to snap their fingers and someone in Dubai’s burgeoning community of Western-trained architects will design the impossible – or the unthinkable.

The emirate is fast becoming an architect’s playground as more and more outlandish structures take it closer to its dream of being the world’s most visually striking metropolis. Continue reading Dubai as architects’ paradise