Another addition to the stellar line-up of speakers at this year’s talks programme at the Forum is Carl Gerges in conversation with Pratyush Sarup, Content Director, Architectural Digest Middle East. Already an accomplished musician, Beirut-based Gerges is one of architecture’s most exciting new names.

Known widely as a musician, in 2008, while studying architecture at the American University of Beirut, he started the band Mashrou’ Leila with a group of fellow students. It’s enjoyed huge success, collaborating with the likes of composer Brian Eno and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Gerges continued his architectural explorations in parallel, officially launching his own studio in 2020.

He approaches music and design in similar ways, thinking “scenographically”; harmony is vital to Gerges, and his buildings are intimately linked to nature, the environment and light (his favourite medium). His designs strive to be at one with their surroundings. This philosophy is acutely present in the eponymous architectural studio, Carl Gerges Architects, which adopts a purely human-scale manner of work, whereby each project aims to consider and preserve its relative social, environmental and historical aspects.

An advocate of authentic, honest, and contextual designs, the studio commences creations by delving into the client’s stories and identities, basing the scope of work on the project’s core value and DNA. Reserving deep respect for sustaining the natural resources within the space at hand, the studio avails itself of these earthly fabrics. Alongside, it handles heritage with intimate sensibility, preserving the past world that grandly inhabits each project’s site and air.

The full programme for the Forum will be announced on 20 October