Department of Architecture Public Lecture: Symbiotic Systems–Design with the Sustainable Imperative



Symbiotic Systems
Design with the Sustainable Imperative
Designing with environmental sensibility is evolving as a vital subject in architecture on both professional and academic level. We are at a critical moment wherein environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important in the design process. As the demand for green energy is increasing, buildings are expected to reduce their energy demand, as well as consumption. However, the current trend in education tends to separate architectural design courses from sustainable design. While the first treats architecture as a form of art that is devoid from any environmental responsibility, the second emphasizes the importance of the technical aspect as a separate specialized design layer. Blending the two layers, art and science, in a holistic integrated manner is a new challenge that is facing architecture on both educational as well as professional level.

The presentation will introduce the conceptual framework of some of the latest projects at AmorphouStudio that were designed in response to Dubai environmental data. Using a hybrid process of analogue tools and algorithmic codes, these projects aim to investigate the symbiotic relationship amid nature and technology to bridge the gap between aesthetic and performance.


Zayad Motlib
Zayad is an interdisciplinary architect, a designer, and a researcher on information- based digital design and material systems. He is currently an associate professor at the architectural department, XJTLU. Zayad studied architecture at Baghdad, Auckland, and Sydney universities. Later, he worked in internationally renowned practices in New Zealand, Australia, and the Middle East on a variety of award-winning projects. In 2014, he founded AmorphouStudio,, a visionary architecture and design studio based in Dubai and Sydney. Parallel to his professional practice, he has taught and served as a guest critic at several universities in Sydney, New Zealand, and across the UAE. He is a regular speaker and panelist at several design conferences and his work has been exhibited and published by several notable design magazines and sites.

Zayad’s work is a reflection of his fascination by the complex form of order found in patterns and organizations of natural systems. He employs a hybridization of analogue and digital processes to analyze and fuse the environmental, contextual, and material forces into an emerging synthesis of form, pattern, and space. By challenging the conventions of design and making, his work is a continuous research on the symbiotic relationship amid nature and technology to produce an adaptive, aesthetically sensible, and performance-based design.

In addition to his international professional and academic work, he has also been a curator of several art and architectural exhibitions. In 2013, he founded d-NAT (Dubai Network for Art, Architecture, and Technology); -, a research hub set for the creative minds to connect and to explore new design possibilities at the intersection of nature, design, and technology.

AmorphouStudio: Visionary Architecture and Design Studio Founder, Director for more information

d-NAT: Dubai Network for Art, Architecture, and Technology Founder, Director for more information