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05.15.18 – Mohamed Serour's Master of Architecture thesis on informal settlements in Cario to be featured at the 2018 Venice Biennale

2012 Daniels Faculty graduate Mohamed Serour will have his Master of Architecture thesis published as part of the Egyptian national pavilion's exhibition at the 2018 Venice Biennale, May 26 to November 25.

Curated by architects Islam El Mashtooly and Mouaz Abouzaid, with architecture professor Cristiano Luchetti, art director and producer Giuseppe Moscatello, and art director Karim Moussa, the Egyptian Pavilion will focus on "Roba becciah: The informal city."

"Having grown up in Cairo, I have always found informal settlements very interesting in terms of the socio-economic and political space they inhabit and, more importantly, the opportunities that informality has created to re-shape these settlements’ social and urban landscapes," says Serour.

For his thesis project, Serour examined the role that architecture could play in increasing the autonomy and self-sufficiency of informal settlements, though an exploration of Ezbet El-Nasr, an informal settlement in Cairo.

His research involved developing an understanding residents' most pressing needs and reviewing the existing technologies they rely on to provide basic services, such as the use of low-tech solar heating systems to provide hot water. His proposal for new, decentralized infrastructural systems in the form of towers builds on opportunities that already exist within the dense neighbourhoods and aims to bring the informal settlement communities back from the margins.

Serour grew up in Cairo and moved to Toronto in 2002 to attend the University of Toronto. He is currently an architect at the Toronto-based firm Superkül.

For more information on Egypt's pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, visit: www.robabecciah.com

For more information on the Venice Biennale, visit: http://www.labiennale.org