Maram Kassab and Mariam Ayoub, currently in their fifth year at Abu Dhabi University, came upon the design for Qasa’ed through their passion for researching, exploring, and creating new ways to interpret their philosophical backgrounds by developing architecture. They previously participated in the fourth edition of the United Arab Emirates Undergraduate Student Research Competition (UGSRC), where they won first prize for their housing proposal Diver-City.

Qasa’ed is a wooden structure inspired by the captivating imagery offered in Emirati poetry describing the desert and represents the joy held by those who spent their nights recounting vivid stories from the tops of sand dunes in the desert, while underscoring the lasting significance of creative literature in Emirati culture.

Designed with the intention of encouraging social interaction and fostering engagement with poetry in motion, Qasa’ed resembles the shapes witnessed in the desert through eye-catching curves and lines. The exterior and sectional look of the structure is intended to mimic Arabic calligraphy, utilizing bold shapes and a sense of flowing connectivity, while the interior emulates the appearance of sand dunes through smooth spatial qualities.

Artist’s Statement

Maram Kassab says, “We have designed Qasa’ed with the intention of allowing human interaction and gatherings within it. Merging UAE’s past, present and future in one piece so that individuals are to touch, feel and maybe even write poetry of Qasa’ed.”

Mariam Ayoub adds, “With Qasa’ed we wanted to introduce more than a physical structure. Its metaphorical significance was considered as important as its physical appearance because not only did we envision a beautiful structure but we also envisioned a brilliant and magnificent experience that was intended to hit home to the UAE residents as it brings the memories and experiences of those of the UAE’s past into one physical design.”