Adaptive Ephemeral Interiority: Upcycling Site Specific Interiors

Main Article Content

Issue Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022)
Published Jul 30, 2022
Section Articles
Article downloads 243
Submitted : Sep 30, 2021 | Accepted : Jun 4, 2022


Adaptive reuse in architecture refers to the process of redesigning, converting, and reappropriating existing spaces for functions different from the ones they were originally designed for. This research is a case study showing an alternative to this concept, re-purposing aviation parts and finding new programmatic functions in the design learning studio. The pedagogy approach, adopted by a design studio in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), presents the fluidity of adaptive interiority against rigidity and site specificity. The research results in the creation of adaptive modular spaces and ephemeral interiority through upcycling design, flexibility, materiality, reusability, recyclability, and connectivity while simultaneously showcasing the rigorous interplay of innovation, research, science, and technology. The case study design studio was based at Zayed University and partnered with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, highlighting the importance of industry and education as interdisciplinary collaborations. The paper looks at the pedagogical approach and examines the conducted process and evaluates the outcomes and shortcomings, including those inflicted by the COVID-19 world health pandemic. It argues for ‘adaptive interiority,’ inclusion in the adaptive reuse framework and a further reflection on the large vision and possible future impact within the UAE’s social and architectural context.

Keywords: adaptive interiority, spatial design, repurposing aviation parts, ephemeral interiority, upcycling design

Article Details

How to Cite
Sosa, M., Ahmad, L., & Musfy, K. (2022). Adaptive Ephemeral Interiority: Upcycling Site Specific Interiors. Interiority, 5(2), 155–178.
Author Biographies

Marco Sosa, Zayed University, UAE

Marco Sosa is an architect, Associate Professor and the Chair of Design at the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE), Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. Sosa has over 10 years of experience working as an architect in the UK. He a postgraduate diploma in Architecture (tutored by Florian Beigel, Adam Caruso and Peter St John), and a MA (with merits) on Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources under the tutorship of Professor Maurice Mitchell, all completed at London Metropolitan University. He is a member of the UK’s Architect’s Registration Board and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) since 2002. In 2014, Marco was appointed Head of Design for the First National Pavilion for the UAE at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibition was titled Lest We Forget; Structures of Memory in the UAE.  Sosa has published various academic papers and presented at various conferences around the world.

Lina Ahmad, Zayed University, UAE

Lina Ahmad holds a Master from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. She has over 10 years of UAE professional experience working across different sectors and project stages; ranging between design work from proposing alternate schemes to detailing and executing architectural packages and participating in projects’ execution and site supervision. Prior to joining academia, Lina held the position of project design team leader at BDP MENA consultancy office in Abu Dhabi. Lina is an Associate Professor and the Assistant Chair at the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University. Her work has been awarded and exhibited, and she has published various academic papers and presented at a number of regional and international conferences.

Karim Musfy, Zayed University, UAE

Karim Musfy is a seasoned executive and a professor with over 20 years of international experience in academia, consultancy, and development. Currently an Assistant Professor at Zayed University, Karim has worked with several design consultancy firms including KEO in Abu Dhabi, SOM and Perkins & Will in New York managing large-scale projects.  He also worked with leading developers, overseeing global projects collectively worth circa USD 30 Billion. Karim started his career in architecture with Eisenman Architects in NY, then managed his own practice in Beirut while serving at the American University of Beirut for a period of 8 years and the American University of Sharjah for a year. Karim holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. Reference to his work was mentioned in publications including A+U, El Croquis and Eisenman Architect’s publications Diagram Diaries and Selected and Current Works.


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