Riyad Joucka, Founder and Lead Ar­chi­tect, MEAN

Architectural Digest (UAE) - - The Scene -

We should all es­chew stereo­types – we know this – but the word ‘ar­chi­tect’ does seem to evoke an im­age of a mid­dle-aged man with grey hair and state­ment spec­ta­cles (see the likes of Le Cor­bus­ier and Philip John­son). So the hand­some swag­ger of Riyad Joucka is un­ex­pected. His jour­ney in ar­chi­tec­ture has taken him from the Ar­chi­tec­tural As­so­ci­a­tion in Lon­don where he stud­ied, to projects in New York and Hong Kong and work with in­ter­na­tional firms Woods Bagot and Fos­ter & Part­ners.

In 2015 Joucka ar­rived in Dubai and founded the Mid­dle East Ar­chi­tec­ture Net­work, or MEAN. De­scribed as “an in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary com­mu­nity of ar­chi­tects, de­sign­ers, pro­gram­mers, and artists”, MEAN is also an ar­chi­tec­ture prac­tice, fo­cus­ing on the in­no­va­tive tech­no­log­i­cal and eco­nomic trends that have in­ter­ested Joucka since school.

“Our niche in de­sign is new and un­usual, so it takes a very pro­gres­sive client to be­lieve in it,” he says. “But we had the op­por­tu­nity to work with Audi on its In­no­va­tion Hub that we pre­sented at Dubai De­sign Week. It was an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to put our ideas to the test.”

“Our niche in de­sign is new and un­usual, so it takes a very pro­gres­sive client to be­lieve in it”

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