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Organizing Chaos: Dwelling Design in Desert Cities With Hend Almatrouk

About this event

Organizing Chaos: Dwelling Design in Desert Cities With Hend Almatrouk

As the MEA region experienced rapid growth, demographic pressure on urban areas has sometimes led to degradation of the urban fabrics. Cookie-cutter housing buildings and a car-driven, emptied public space present serious challenges to the resilience of urban communities and individual well-being in these cities. How can a dwelling create a protected environment while expanding to outdoor areas in the desert climate? How can design potentiate inner well-being while simultaneously contributing to inequalities mitigation and a qualified cityscape?

The design philosophy of Studio Toggle, A+Awards Jury Winner of "Best Firm in the Middle East and Africa" and Popular Choice Winner of "Best Young Firm", embodies these concerns. In this session, Studio Toggle's cofounder Hend Almatrouk will illustrate the firm's approach to these challenges by looking back at key projects such as Edges, Jade and Ternion. Through the iconic Twins Towers design and urban activation initiatives, Hend will show how design can sow the seeds for a more sustainable urban environment.

During this talk, you'll learn:

  • How Studio Toggle’s design methodology simultaneously responds to the domestic and urban scales, contributing to the regeneration of urban communities.
  • How an integrative design approach can result in projects that reach out to citizens, allow for appropriation and contribution to a sense of belonging and strong public space conscience.
  • Through the case study projects, understand the potential social impact of design solutions: Promotion of inclusion, community bonds and empowerment of the individual.

About Hend Almatrouk

Hend Almatrouk is from Kuwait and did her Bachelor of Architecture in the American University of Sharjah, graduating in 2008. She went on to do her master’s degree in Urban Strategies (Excessive, Hernan Diaz Alonso) from the Universität Für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna and graduated with distinction in 2011. In 2011, she established Studio Toggle with Gijo Paul George, a fellow Die Angewandte graduate. By 2016, she established Studio Toggle Porto branch in Portugal.

As the CEO and partner, she is in charge of client relations and marketing while being heavily been involved in the design, site supervision, and planning. Hend has overseen the growth of Studio Toggle from a 2 person team working out of a Cafe to a medium-sized firm of 12 employees operating from 2 global offices in Kuwait City and Porto.

Her work was exhibited in multiple prestigious venues like the Venice Biennale 2010, Essence 2011 at MAK, Vienna, and The Experimental Architecture Biennale Vol 01 in Prague. In recognition of her achievements, she was named the Young Architect of the Year in 2017 by the prestigious Middle East Architecture magazine for the “Undeniable strides she made in a short period of time, with projects that continue to positively contribute to the growing urban fabric of the GCC.”

About Hannah Feniak

Hannah Feniak is Architizer’s Architecture Editor. When she’s not leading our talented team of writers and interviewing the industry’s most innovative designers, Hannah is likely to be found exploring the latest exhibition openings. A trained art historian and educator with a focus on architecture and urbanism, Hannah holds degrees from McGill University in Montreal and NYU.

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
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    Hend Almatrouk

  • Team member
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    Hannah Feniak Architecture Editor @ Architizer

Architizer and Material Bank

The Design Your Impact Series is brought to you by Material Bank in Collaboration with Architizer.