Supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, Omar Nagati and Beth Stryker of CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research), an organization created in the wake of Egypt’s 2011 revolution to establish a critical space for urban discourse, and platform for art and design initiatives, share their work and projects.
Located in Cairo, CLUSTER explores the shifting dynamics of urban space, culture and democracy in post-revolution Cairo through symposia, design workshops, exhibitions in downtown Cairo passageways, and pubic programs. Their conversation will be moderated by Hakan Topal, Assistant Professor of New Media and Art+Design at Purchase College.
Omar Nagati is a practicing architect/urban planner living in Cairo. A graduate of Cairo University, he studied and taught at the University of British Columbia and University of California Berkeley, with a specific focus on informal urbanism. Nagati adopts an interdisciplinary approach to questions of urban history and design, and engages in a comparative analysis of urbanization processes in developing countries. Together with Beth Stryker, Nagati has recently cofounded CLUSTER, a platform for art and design initiatives and urban research and design initiatives downtown Cairo. clustercairo.org
Beth Stryker works between NYC and Cairo and has curated exhibitions and programs for the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival in Cairo, Beirut Art Center, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, Smack Mellon, the AIA/Center for Architecture in NYC (where she held the position of Director of Programs), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among other venues. With Omar Nagati she co-founded CLUSTER, a platform for art and design initiatives and urban research in downtown Cairo.
Hakan Topal is an artist living and working in New York City. He is an Assistant Professor of New Media and Art+Design in the State University of New York’s Purchase College . He was cofounder of xurban_collective (2000–12) and has exhibited extensively across the globe. He represented Turkey at the 49th Venice Biennale. He is coeditor of The Sea- Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters (D.A.P.), emerging out of work for Istanbul European Capital of Culture 2010.