Winterschool Middle East

Aurel was invited to speak about the urban development of Muscat Capital Area at the Winterschool Middle East by Zahra Ali Baba and Markus Miessen in Kuwait City. GUtech's Department of Urban Planning and Architecture participated with two students attending in January 2011.

The students explored the typologies of the 'majlis' and other traditional forms of semi-public spaces within Arab culture. The 'majlis' is the place where the family members but also the neighbours gather and put forward their political views. As such it can be seen as a proto-democratic architectural typology with large social repercussions. The research conducted during the seminar was of particular interest in the wake of the 'Arab Spring'.The studio, workshop and lecture style events of the Winterschool Middle East brings together students and researchers interested in architecture and politics from Europe and the Middle-East. The project gained attention in magazines such as Domus and Bidoun. UPAD students also studied the particular urban situation of Kuwait City. Kuwait has demolished its historic center and relocated most of the residential spaces on the outskirts of town. The financial and commercial center is still recovering from the damage of the Iraqi attack. The partially rebuilt souk sits adjacent to the recent high-rise office towers. Amongst the Modern buildings of the 60ies and 70ies feature a remarkable parliament, a national museum and social housing projects. The students developed their proposals against the backdrop of this particular Kuwaiti context.  Find our more at: 

Aperçus de Kuwait

LAU Conference

Aurel speaks on the topic of rapid urbanization in Oman and its political implications. During the last 40 years the politics of urbanism have induced dramatic, irreversible environmental and cultural changes in Oman. These lead to the creation of a new urban form, a departure from tradition and a denial of the climatic conditions. Moreover, the mechanisms of urbanization spread, isolate and captivate the population in a suburban reality, rejecting the notion of public and political space.

OITE - Oman 2011

Aurel presented the 'Qurm' redevelopment project during the Urban Oman conference in Muscat. The lecture demonstrated how to develop and use parametric tools to incorporate environmental data into urban design. The software prototype optimizes the climatic performance of the building envelope, distribution of programme, accessibility within the plot and land-use.

Sustainable Patterns of Urbanization in Oman

Since 2011 Aurel von Richthofen is Co-Investigator on the research project entitled "Towards Sustainable Patterns of Urbanization in Oman" funded by The Research Council Oman (TRC). He is a main contributor responsible for writing the report, editing the material, leading research assistants, coordinating symposia, conferences and exhibitions.

Wave Breaker

The “Wave-breaker” project challenges conventional architectural drafting methods as it is a land-art and landscape installation. The project narrates the story of seemingly abandoned industrial artifacts (the concrete precast wave-breakers) in a desert landscape.

Exeter Gulf Conference 2012

EXETER, Jul. 2012, Venue: Exeter Gulf Conference, Organizer: Center for Gulf Studies – university of Exeter. Title of the paper presented: “Integrated Tourism Projects and the impact of urbanization in Oman.”

Gulf Research Meeting 2012

This urban form is at the same time the “result” of demographic and economic constraints and the cultural “product” of careful negotiation and aesthetic politics. e urban form, manifested in an expansive urban sprawl, radically and irreversibly changes the environment in which the majority of the Omanis live. ese circumstances condition the production of visual culture. e emergence of visual culture through the deployment of urbanism is far from coincidental, and yet distinctively Omani, as the process sets itself apart from the ashy development in other GCC countries.