Architectural Digest (UAE)

Riyad Joucka, Founder and Lead Architect, MEAN

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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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