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Nadim Karam

April 12, 2017
ARCHIDES Lecture Series: “Creative Processes”
After undergraduate architecture studies at AUB, Nadim Karam went on to complete masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Tokyo, where he chose to focus on the philosophy of space. The combination of his architectural studies and parallel prolific output of paintings and sculptures led him to think about art in the urban context, and how art could be an agent to enrich public spaces, regenerate tired urban areas and help bring communities together through activating memories of the place.
Karam returned to Beirut in 1993, established his pluri-disciplinary office, Atelier Hapsitus, and began creating large-scale public art installations, first in Beirut, then Prague, Kwang-ju, London, Melbourne, Nara, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore and Suzhou. 
Karam uses the methodology of an architect in his approach towards urban art projects; researching about the historical, social and cultural context in the city during the conception phase, and then working with engineering, lighting, landscape and sustainability consultants for the realization of his projects.
Karam was selected as curator for Lebanon for the 2003 Rotterdam Biennale, sat on the UN board for the reconstruction of Kabul in 2002, and received three Australian awards for his Melbourne project “The Travellers”.
In recent years, he has received international attention for his different ideas fusing art with urbanism; “The Cloud of Dubai”, “The Wheels of Chicago”, “Dialogue of the Hills” for Amman and “The Elephant City” for Lagos.
He regularly gives lectures on his work at universities worldwide, and has four monographs published by Booth-Clibborn Editions, London.

Urban Stories



Abstract:

As the world tends towards the invisible, the digital, the screen, the infinity decimal, the philosopher Virilio asks: “Just what will become of our cities, these concentrations of real-estate inertia?” Weighed down by transportation and communication networks and the ever-pressing need to accommodate more people, standardization, saturation and stagnation affect all our cities at one time or another. Despite this, cities need to dream. Nadim Karam and Atelier Hapsitus’ approach focuses on the conviction that cities are living organisms, and art can rouse these dreams by injecting energy into urban areas through cultural catalysts with the power to dig up community memories, tell stories, introduce absurdity or provoke questions. At AZM University, Nadim Karam will be introducing the thinking process behind his urban art interventions in different cities of the world.

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