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Slanted in Dubai: Martin Giesen

Author: Alex Staudt

In Spring 2018 the Slanted editors took a close-up look at the contemporary design scene of Dubai. A city—when described by many people—that is all sickening shine and has no soul. But Dubai and the whole region, originally a piece of desert sparsely populated by Bedouins, is now transforming itself rapidly into a center, if not the world’s greatest center, of trade, finance, and tourism—and moreover, something important happened in the last few years: Culture! Today, a new Arab world is being plotted and planned. The entire Gulf is teeming with initiatives—from the most public to the most private—to change and reinvent seemingly immutable rules, regimes, edicts, and assumptions, culminating, perhaps, in the stated intention to work more closely together. The Gulf states have a past, and they will have a future. The contours of that future are legible in this Slanted issue!

Born and schooled in Germany, Martin Giesen studied Art History at Heidelberg University. After interning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and completing a PhD, Giesen entered into a career of university teaching. He has taught in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and most recently in the UAE where he was founding dean of the School of Architecture & Design at the American University of Sharjah.

Take a look at the Slanted #32—Dubai to get an idea of Dubai’s creative environment. Additionally you can find several video interviews on our video platform to get a deeper insight in the designer’s thoughts.

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