Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) has announced that its next Crossing Boundaries lecture will take place at 12.30pm on Tuesday, October 4, at VCUarts Qatar’s Atrium. The lecture – titled ‘Generic Specificities’ – will be delivered by architects Elias and Yousef Anastas from Palestine. The lecture, organised by the Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university, is free and open to the public.
The Anastas brothers are partners at AAU ANASTAS Architects and co-founders of Local Industries. The studio focuses on tying links between crafts and architecture at scales that vary from furniture design to territorial explorations. The studio has been advocating for the contemporary use of structural stone in architecture in Palestine and elsewhere.
In the upcoming lecture, titled ‘Generic Specificities’, the architects will discuss the ever-evolving webs that constitute the structure of their studio, and the knowledge-based and cultural influences that have informed their practices. Systematically tracing origins, remnants, and nets of global solidarities across the duo’s varied practices of architecture, design, and cultural production – all of which are based in Palestine – has been the focus of their work, which they describe as “global provincialism”. “We have been particularly interested in the politics of stone use for low carbon footprint structures, more resilient cities, and more responsible quarries’ exploitation," the Anastas brothers said.
The lecture will be moderated by Marco Bruno, associate professor, Graduate Studies, VCUarts Qatar. In addition to AAU ANASTAS and Local Industries, the architects co-founded Radio alHara, a community-based online radio that weaves unconventional nets of solidarities through sonic experiences.
Most recently, the Anastas brothers launched the Wonder Cabinet, a space-based initiative in Bethlehem for cultural productions. The initiative gathers a community of artisans and artists, technical and artistic realms with the aim of producing a culture of global provincialism. For over a decade, VCUarts Qatar has enhanced Qatar’s art and design scene through its Crossing Boundaries lecture series. The series offers the public a chance to interact with and be inspired by world-class designers who – through the application of design thinking across multiple disciplines – present their perspectives on innovative solutions to community-based challenges. For more information on the Crossing Boundaries lecture series, visit