Ithra Talks: Up Close With Kjetil Thorsen and Fatema Alrashid


Ithra Talks live presents a conversation with architects Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Fatmah Al-Rashid about the nature of architecture, the practice of Thorsen’s firm – Snøhetta – and the building of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), live on Ithra’s YouTube channel at 4 p.m. Saudi time on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

Thorsen will shed like on a number of conceptual strategies that have made Snøhetta a top-tier leader in the world of architecture. This includes Snøhetta’s notion of “Transpositioning,” where experts from different fields come together to give feedback on different areas of a project as a way of breaking preconceptions. The conversation will also explore the significance and role of Architecture in a post COVID world, where homes have become offices, and public spaces made for interaction have transformed in function.

Fatmah Al-Rashid will highlight sustainability and the role of architecture as a tool for social change. She will share insights into innovation in construction development, creativity initiatives, and the tension between local functionality and a global practice.

The discussion will also cover Snøhetta’s use of associative thinking to enrich the experience of architecture, Thorsen’s idea about how our bodies help us learn from spaces and expand our tools for thinking, and how local knowledge about the site and its surroundings is critical for a successful project. Thorsen and Al-Rashid embodied many of those concepts as they worked together closely to realize one of the iconic architectural landmarks of the 21st century, Ithra, from the moment Snøhetta won the international competition in 2008, to the day Ithra opened its doors to the public in 2018. Their conversation will be moderated by Head of Ithra Programs, Rusha Alrawaf.

We encourage you to log on and take part in the discussion. You can share your questions on social media using the hashtag #IthraTalks for the chance to have your question featured in the program.

Dates & Location

Saturday 27th June, 2020



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Kjetil Thorsen

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen is an architect and co-founder of the first Norwegian gallery for architecture, Gallery ROM, and an international lecturer in…