Spaces of Political Exchange
Zahra Ali Baba & Markus Miessen - The Winter School Middle East
Radisson Habiba Hall
The Winter School Middle East is a localised, small-scale hub, which regularly performs cultural and educational activities in collaboration with local NGOs, schools and individuals, and now, with its new long-term presence, it houses a critical platform for exchange. Originally launched as an idea in 2007, the Winter School Middle East was set up as a roaming, mobile institution that has undertaken a series of workshops, seminars, mini-schools and conferences since its inception in Dubai in January 2008. In 2010 the Winter School moved to Kuwait for a longer-term involvement and local engagement regarding the establishment of a platform for critical exchange, before it travels again to other cities in the region. Combining the workshop methodology with local initiatives, this programme was, and continues to be, run as a design- and discourse-led curriculum that combines conceptual and spatial research in the process of radical criticism and the rigorous production of ideas.
Markus Miessen (b. 1978, Bonn, Germany) is an architect, consultant, educator, and writer. In 2002 he set up Studio Miessen, a collaborative agency for spatial practice and cultural inquiry, and in 2007 he co-founded the London and Berlin based architectural practice nOffice. Miessen also works as a Harvard Fellow on a research project in Kuwait. He is a Professor for Architecture and Curatorial Practice at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (Karlsruhe), a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture (Goldsmiths, London), an editor of Archive Journal (Berlin/Turin), and was recently elected a member of the European Cultural Parliament.
Zahra Ali Baba (b. 1983, Kuwait) is an architect and researcher. She studied architecture at Kuwait University and in 2008 received her BArch and graduated with a thesis titled Veils: Mapping Ground Tendency. Ali Baba is working on various restoration, archaeology and renovation projects, including Diwan and Qasr Khaz’al, both located in Kuwait.