The 2016 Dubai Design Week Iconic City exhibition Cairo NOW! City Incomplete gathers for the first time under one roof Cairo’s current design landscape. The title takes its inspiration from the infamous visual impression of Cairo’s red brick housing stock in varying stages of completion. The aesthetics of incompletion permeate Cairo’s design culture in content and form. Incompleteness is a reflection of the city’s status quo: continuous expansion into the desert with partly realized satellite cities, speculative urbanism where buildings are never fully completed to avoid taxation, and the tendency to leave a bit of extra concrete sticking out of buildings’ roofs in hopes of adding additional floors in the future. This visuality of incompletion is also a sign of unrealized potential, possibilities waiting to be materialized. The city’s designers reflect on this condition in their creations.
Exhibition curated by: Mohamed Elshahed