The thesis locates shelter and hospitality at architecture’s core. A series of carpets along Dubai’s main highway welcomes the “other” by offering respite from the inhospitable desert-city. In the city of foreigners, expatriates are warmly received while laborers toil under harsh conditions. The thesis reinterprets the majlis, the traditional space of Arabian hospitality, in its most elemental form: the carpet. New carpets at the scale of the city serve to suspend host-guest hierarchies. They tactically reclaim the common ground of the highway using shade, surface, and ecology. These carpets, even in their polluted, tentative thinness, attempt to grant the “other” place and visibility, perhaps even dignity and power.
This project was a B.Arch. thesis advised by Professor Andrea Simitch and Associate Professor Lily Chi. The full-length thesis can be accessed at the Mui Ho Fine Arts Library