Mr Fadi Shayya

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Fadi is a doctoral researcher and PhD candidate at the Manchester Architecture Research Group at the University of Manchester. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Architecture as a recipient of the School of Environment, Education and Development Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Fadi is trained as an architect, urbanist, and design strategist. He studied social and urban theory, design, and architectural engineering in Beirut, New York, and Manchester; he is a qualified architect in Lebanon since 2003. His professional record includes practicing and consulting in the Middle East and North Africa on architecture and master planning (Dar Group, IGA Architecture and Landscape Design, Chakib Richani Architects, and Spectrum Engineering Consultants), on international development (UN ESCWA and UN-Habitat), and on creative processes and information visualization (Visualizing Palestine and Visualizing Impact).

He edited and published the book At the Edge of the City: Reinhabiting Public Space toward the Recovery of Beirut’s Horsh Al-Sanawbar (2010); founded and directed the research collaborative Discursive Formations (2008 – 2013); co-produced civic and advocacy projects in Lebanon, and taught at the University of Manchester, University of Salford, Parsons School of Design, and the American University of Beirut.

He contributed to the projects Tactics of Collaboration: A Participatory Playbook (project by Mark Strandquist and Magnum Foundation), State Theatre (film by Daniel Kötter/Constanze Fischbeck), Queer Geographies: Beirut, Tijuana, Copenhagen (book by Lasse Lau), Volume Project (project by Vision Forum, Assabil Association and 98weeks Research Project; curated by Sara Giannini and 98weeks), Beirut: Accessible City for All (project by EDAN ME), and Pine Nuts (film by Lasse Lau). Moreover, his work and commentary are featured in Métropolitiques, Traits Urbain, Le Courrier, The Polis Blog, Next City, World Environment, Bold Magazine, Al-Jadid, Los Angeles Times, The National, The Daily Star, Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Danish Radio, Wysokie Obcasy, Deutsche Welle, and Trouw.


Technologies of Survivability: How the Military Scripts Urban Relations

Supervisors: Prof. Albena Yaneva and Dr. Leandro Minuchin

This thesis aims at investigating how urban environments become sites of politics, conflict, and violence through technical mediation. It draws on Gilbert Simondon’s philosophy of technology and Madelaine Akrich’s sociology of innovation to explore how imaginaries of cities and the urban inform the design of mobility technologies through the concretization and scripting of technical objects. The research ventures into the world of the military to investigate how extreme human-technology relations push the cognitive, corporeal, and material performance of the environment, space, bodies, and scale. Through an STS- and ANT-inspired methodology, the study analyses and translates the content of highly technical forms of knowledge from novel sources, including utility patents and specialized military publications, to trace encounters of military mobility with the urban as a threat, fabric, infrastructure, and breakdown. The narrative embraces an architectural conception of the MRAP vehicle as a highly protected and enclosed space, an atmospheric capsule privileging the survival of specific bodies. The study concludes with three key findings: through the design and geographic displacement of technical objects, the urban environment is reduced to something to be survived; terrain becomes a proxy for the environment; and, survivability prevails as a sociotechnical arrangement – not the pain of the bodies, where technical innovation enrols humans, procedures, materials, design, testing, and simulation. The thesis makes the argument for survivability becoming a vital concept of contemporary cities and urban environments, and the urban emerging as a reassembling of survivability arrangements for moving with – not in – the environment.


External positions

Associate Lecturer (HPA), The University of Salford

8 Jan 202031 Aug 2020

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Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

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