Reiterating Architecture in the Gulf

a publication exploring repurposed architectural developments in the Middle East

In the face of rapid urbanization, increasing global populations, and depleting natural resources, how we design and develop our cities and their structures is becoming an increasingly important part of contemporary architecture and urbanism.

Curated for Venice Biennale 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Reiterating Architecture in the Gulf is an expansive publication that explores the connections and dichotomies between traditional architecture and contemporary development over six Gulf countries.

Oscar Niemeyer

a truly unique book, co-published by Brownbook and Fundação Oscar Niemeyer, that shines a light on the little-known designs that the late Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer sketched for Lulu Island, Abu Dhabi, in 1981

Known for his free-flowing designs, Oscar Niemeyer was a master of modernism and a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The archives of the late Brazilian architect count 600 projects spanning over his 70-year career.

Amongst his long list of projects, which include the UN Headquarters in New York City and several public buildings that define the built environment of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, lies one particularly interesting and unrealised project: a ‘leisure island’ conceived for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 1981. This publication unearths this unbuilt, seemingly forgotten, project.

Presenting Niemeyer’s original sketches and annotations, as well as interviews and analyses, this publication asks how, four decades into his career, Oscar Niemeyer ended up on the shores of a then-small Abu Dhabi, designing an all-out Arabian leisure land for a small island off its coast.

This book is co-published by Brownbook and the Fundação Oscar Niemeyer.




a high-impact book by Bombay-based artists CAMP, co-published in collaboration with Brownbook and the Serpentine Galleries, on Edgware Road and its infrastructures of commerce and pleasure

Over the years, Edgware Road has become a hub for London’s Arab community, and an important contributor to the city’s diverse urban landscape.

Co-published in collaboration with Brownbook and Serpentine Galleries, Pleasure: A Block Study is a high-impact book by Bombay-based artists, CAMP, that analyses the infrastructures of commerce and pleasure of Edgware Road through a study of various building, their ownership, and histories.

This bilingual publication (English and Arabic) presents research by CAMP after their multi-year residency as part of the Edgware Road Project.


Brownbook Magazine

a bi-monthly magazine exploring the Middle East’s evolving urban identity and character

Brownbook is an urban guide to the Middle East, an observation of the region’s evolving urban identity and character.

Published six times a year, Brownbook is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to art, design, culture and travel from the Middle East and North Africa. From Tangiers to Tehran, the publication’s focused coverage reports and uncovers the most inspiring stories from the region.

Through a decade of observing, reporting, and understanding, Brownbook has successfully remained independent and is one of the most widely read magazines in Dubai and the Middle East.


a collaborative project that showcases the determination of refugees from around the world

A collaborative effort by Cultural Engineering and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this book demonstrates a number of humanitarian stories that express the determination of refugees around the world as they seek to rebuild their lives and the futures of their families.

Through words and a collection of photo essays, this book also showcases the important role played by UNHCR in providing urgent protection and humanitarian assistance to tens of millions of people, forcibly displaced by war, conflict, and persecution.

Venice Biennale

collateral booklet produced by Brownbook for the UAE Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale is one of the world’s most prestigious art shows, attracting more than 400,000 visitors annually.

The 55th Venice Biennale, held in 2013, saw the establishment of the UAE’s new permanent national pavilion (making it the first country in the Arab world to have a permanent pavilion), an excellent platform that has allowed Emirati artists to showcase their works to the international art community.

This booklet was produced as collateral for the UAE Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, and contains interviews with Massimiliano Gioni, Director of the 55th Venice Biennale, Dr. Lamees Hamdan, Commissioner for the National Pavilion of the UAE at the Biennale, Salem Al Qassimi, founder and principal of Fikra Design Studio, and artist Mohammed Kazem. It also includes images of urban life in Dubai, taken by Manabu Ozawa and Mohammed bin Shabib, as well as photos of artworks by Mohammed Kazem.


“Stories from the United Arab Emirates”, a publication by Brownbook focusing on architecture, culture, and inspirational figures from around the country

Commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Stories from the United Arab Emirates” is a publication produced by Brownbook that features profiles of inspirational figures from the UAE, a focus on traditional and modern Emirati architecture, and cultural places to travel and visit throughout the seven emirates.