AEC: Art, Ecology and the Commons is an interdisciplinary program bringing artistic and ecological practices together in the aim of building a community on a 2,000-square-meter forest site along the Beirut River, in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon.
These are unprecedented times.
We are all fragilized by economic, psychological and social collapses; summoned to continuously question our priorities. However, TAP and theOtherDada are no strangers to these challenges: it is because and in spite of this context of crisis that Art, Ecology and the Commons is more relevant than ever.
Can togetherness be harnessed as a practice? Can we use it to address the glaring needs of our communities, and in so doing, discuss and design alternate possibilities for our future going forward?
This project will bring six participants together for ten days of experimental learning and exchange from and on a young forest site in Sin el Fil, punctuated by a series of commissions, public and outreach activities we have been stitching with individuals, collectives and institutions who share our values and positioning vis a vis our communities durduringting these times of distress. Our program seeks to harness this young forest’s interdependence and resilience to inspire and bring a community together under circumstances of undeniable agony in a gesture of persistence.
In collaboration with theOtherDada, this program is supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), the French Institute, SUGi, the Municipality of Sin El Fil, Advanced Car Rental and Bossa Nova Hotel.
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As part of Eco-Consulting's new CircularHub, tOD will be delivering a guided visit of the “Urban Afforestation Lebanon’s first Miyawaki Forest”. The workshop will focus on the process of creating and maintaining a dense native forest using the Japanese Miyawaki Method of afforestation.
In collaboration with the scouts of Compagnie Franciscaines Badaro, tOD organized a hands-on maintence session with a group of 50 scouts where they learnt and helped maintain a Miyawaki Forest. The maintenance tasks included: compost-tea making, de-weeding, re-stacking support sticks and more.
As part of BeirutRiverLESS initiative, tOD partnered with Afforestt and SUGi, to gather 20+ participants and introduce them to the Japanese Miyawaki technique. Through an engaging hands-on workshop, they managed to plant the first native urban forest in Sin el Fil Lebanon.
Arab Architecture Week is a regional initiative organized by ArchiNet that aims to highlight some of the most distinguished architects in the Arab World by showcasing their outstanding achievements, award winning projects, and significant studies and research in the architectural fields from around the Arab countries. In the context of our vision and the spirit of cooperation, the goal of the program is to encourage highly creative people to share their experiences and knowledge gained from their projects and studies that will be presented throughout the program. In addition to creating a channel of communication between Arab architects in the region.
The program extends over a period of seven days, during which 51 lectures are presented by an outstanding group of architects from different Arab countries. Participants in this event varied between individuals, institutions and organizations, in addition to official bodies practicing their work in the architectural fields in the Arab countries.
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Join our Outline series with architect and founder of theOtherDada Adib Dada to discuss his latest project, Beirut RiverLESS Urban Forest. Beirut RiverLESS offers a set of replicable interventions to rehabilitate lost ecosystems and improve the living conditions and quality of life of people in the city who live along the river and to restore the area’s biodiversity.
Moderated by Adib Dada, the talk follows the screening of "Jezzine//Water" and "The Land - Al Marj". It will be a conversation with directors Zeina Aboul Hosn and Mohamed Moe Sabbah, along with Bisri activists Amani Beaini and Rolland Nassour.
Date & Time: Sunday September 4, starting at 9pm
Location: Beirut's RiverLESS Forest
RECORDED SESSION IS NOW ONLINE - click on the image above!
On August 28 at 10AM EST you are invited to join us to @theslowfactory Beirut Symposium “Calling Home” with:
The ritual of “Calling Home” is deeply part of our lived experience as Lebanese war refugees and expats: the idea of calling your homeland and expecting a crisis, a disaster, but whatever it may be nobody expected the shock of August 4’s explosion—and for over a year now we have been trying to understand it, heal it as it opened up all the other wounds we tried to heal for our lifetime, the intergenerational wounds of our parents’ lifetime, their stolen childhood by war and military occupation, and their parents’ survival under colonial occupation.
As part of the UN Decade of Action on Ecosystem Restoration, theOtherDada will participate in the Tabadul on river ecosystems and related successful projects in the MENA region.
We will talk about our pilot project Beirut’s RiverLESS forest as a nature-based solution for challenging urban sites.
Wednesday 24 March at 11:30am Beirut time
Learn about restoring degraded urban ecosystems in Lebanon.
Through the Other Forest Initiative, Adib is firmly committed to the UN Decade of Action; engaged in rewilding the city and empowering communities to reclaim public space by planting native Miyawaki forests in urban landfills.
Adib will go through the environmental challenges and the solutions offered by planting dense native forests in cities around the world, in alignment with the UN SDG goals.
Saturday 27 February 8am Beirut time
Adib gave a talk as part of the DieDAS Design Akademie Saaleck, Germany, in Farming Materials' Ecologies: From Uncomfortable Pasts to Responsible Futures alongside Aloce Rawsthorn, Glenn Adamson and Prof. Ákos Moravánszky.
We presented “Beirut RiverLESS” in Cleveland, Ohio during PechaKucha Night: Waterways, a groundbreaking event bringing presenters from around the world to share diverse perspectives on how communities can re-think their relationship with the world’s most important resource.
In collaboration with AUB, theOtherDada hosted Shubhendu Sharma, founder of Afforestt, who delivered a presentation about urban afforestation.
During the conference, organized by ESA Business School, we delivered a talk about Beirut RiverLESS as part of a round table discussion focusing on “Increasing Urban Resilience by Improving Urban Planning“.
tOD team participated in the Dar Onboz Ya Ahl El Dar Christmas Fair where they held an exhibition and a talk about Reclaiming Public Space by Planting Native Forests.
Our project Beirut RiverLESS was exhibited in the 5th edition of the Istanbul Design Biennale titled Empathy Revisited: Designs for More Than One, in the collection Library of Land and Sea, curated by Mariana Pestana, Billie Muraben and Sumitra Upham.
theOtherDada took part of the “Forum on Cities & Designers” that was co-created by Public Works Studio and Beirut Design Week, during which we presented a timeline of Beirut River highlighting the important events and updates it has gone through since 50 BC.
tOD delivered a presentation about Beirut River to a group of graduate Architecture & Urban Design Students from Kent State University at LAU, Beirut.