An exhibition of design proposals for ultra-thin buildings, pencil towers and compact micro-units.

The Compact Dwelling exhibition presents models, drawings, photomontages and diagrams of a series of interconnected projects that propose alternative concepts for high-rise development, including pencil towers and micro-apartment buildings. The work on display showcases nearly a decade of work.

These new, architectural typologies offer a direct counterpoint to sprawling, urban development in Dubai. They address the sensitive issue of affordable housing in the UAE, a country with a large expatriate, working-class population and a large income gap between groups of residents across the socio-economic spectrum.

Although it may seem that developable land in the United Arab Emirates is limitless, tight governmental control over land policies, and a relatively high cost of living, means there is great demand for comfortable, affordable housing for working-class expatriates.

About Jason Carlow
Jason Carlow is an award-winning designer and educator, and an Associate Professor of Architecture at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). He holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard, and a Master’s in Architecture from Yale. Prior to joining AUS, he practiced architecture and taught at the University of Hong Kong for ten years. His design work and research has been published widely and exhibited internationally in architecture biennials in Venice, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Sao Paulo.

Carlow’s recent work investigates high rise architecture and the ways in which digital design and production strategies can address the problems associated with mass-produced, overly standardized environments.