Week 1: Mohammed Al-Khabbaz

Double Mirror or unbelievable reality

A quick look at historical cities shows that cities are usually the center of the intellectual, economic and industrial (technological) activities of a region or a country. Architecture is very important aspect of a city because it reacts to all the three elements mentioned. Construction of buildings is associated with both economy and technology while the design of a building is associated with the intellectual element of the inhibitors of a city (place) at a point of history (time).

The preserved architectural monuments in a city reflect these three elements over the history. This, now, is another element to be considered. Architecture reacts to previous architecture within the city.

In Dubai, economy and technology are very well reflected in architecture. The design of building reflects the aspirations of the city. It might give a hint what the city wants to be and what it wants to achieve. At this time, It is very hard to put our hand at what it represents because it reflects 'now' and it is not a present record of 'past'. For a city that was built relatively 'sudden', it might need similar rate of construction for it not to be suddenly 'old. Looking at old photos of different cities, I keep wondering, how Dubai would age?

We might ask what color does a mirror has? What design, texture, and pattern does a mirror bear? Unlike the reflection of a certain time (a picture, or a historic monumental building) the reflection of mirror is continuously changing. A mirror can only be described by this property and by its edges (the frame).

My first impression of the image of Dubai is of a mirror. At the moment I can see what it reflects but not what it is.

Wikipedia excerpt
City > Global Cities

In 1995, Kanter argued that successful cities can be identified by three elements. To be successful, a city needs to have good thinkers (concepts), good makers (competence) or good traders (connections). The interplay of these three elements, Kanter argued, means that good cities are not planned but managed.