architect; writer; Middle East commentator; co-author, Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture
Karl Sharro is an architect, writer and commentator on the Middle East. He is co-author of Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture. The manifesto was included in 100 Artists’ Manifestos: from the Futurists to the Stuckists, a survey of 100 influential art manifestos from the last 100 years. He previously taught at the American University of Beirut.
Karl has been involved in the design of various buildings and master plans in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, as well as theoretical projects that look at how cities could look in the future.
Karl has written for a number of international publications, such as the Independent, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, Index on Censorship, World Architecture News, Architectural Review and Blueprint Magazine. He blogs at Karl reMarks where his satirical pieces about the Middle East are published.
He wrote a chapter on Density vs Sprawl in the The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated and a chapter entitled ‘The Visionary City’ in The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs. He is also the author of Style: In defence of Islamic Architecture.
He has spoken on a range of issues such as art, architecture, urbanism and politics, at MoMA, the Barbican, Internazionale Ferrara and many others. He presented his argument for open borders in a TedX talk in London in 2011 and an argument for removing planning constraints and allowing people to build whatever they want in BBC Radio 4 ‘Four Thought’ broadcast. He has also taken part in BBC Radio 3 programmes reviewing the Islamic Art gallery at the Louvre Museum in Paris and The Shard in London.
His idea for a ‘1000 Mile-City’ along the East Mediterranean coast was broadcast on the BBC’s This Week’s World as part of the ‘Think Again’ strand, exploring radical ideas for the future.
Sunday 23 October, 17.30 Garden Room
Is utopian thinking dead? Attitudes to the future