Makram el Kadi and Ziad Jamaleddine of the design firm L.E.FT lectured to the College of Architecture + The Arts on Tuesday, November 19th. The partners from L.E.FT discussed designing beyond the aesthetic mindset and, instead, with an awareness of societal culture. el Kadi and Jamaleddine consider themselves “spatial anthropologists” that use architecture as a medium for critical thinking and activism.
Makram el Kadi graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, and from Parsons School of Design in 1999 with a Master’s degree in Architecture. el Kadi has worked with the offices of Fumihiko Maki in Japan, Steven Holl Architects, Peter Eisenman and Charles Gwathmey, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Beirut Marina project. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and at Cornell University, and is now teaching at Yale University. Ziad Jamaleddine also received his Bachelor’s degree from the American University of Beirut in 1995, and his Master’s degree in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 1999. Jamaleddine has also worked with Steven Holl Architects and the Beirut Marina project. He has taught at Cornell University, and now teaches at PennDesign. el Kadi and Jamaleddine started L.E.FT, a design collective based in New York City, in 2001.
During their lecture at the College of Architecture + The Arts, el Kadi and Jamaleddine emphasized the social aspect of an environment and its effect on its architecture. “[O]ne is never building in a void…” said the L.E.FT partners. “[T]here is always a subtext to the ‘context’ and a set of ideological underpinnings that are peculiar to that setting. Designing in Miami should be different [from] designing anywhere else…[T]here is…an active influence that determines design specificities.”
To learn more about L.E.FT, click here.
The lecture by L.E.FT / Makram el Kadi and Ziad Jamaleddine occurred on Tuesday, November 19th at 5PM, in the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building, Room 135.