Fareed Abdal—Architect, Artist, and Designer

About Fareed Abdal


Growing up I remember spending a lot of time in my Father’s library. It may have even worried him as I remember him taking me out and saying, “I want to teach you how to read the sea like a fisherman,” or, “I want to teach you how to read the desert like a Bedouin.” Thanks to him, I read more than just books. I read the environment.

Fareed Abdal, 2015

b. 1957, Kuwait

Fareed Abdal is a visual artist, architect and educator. His expanded practice probes at the inheritance of cultural constructs, and he is interested in what happens away from language in the relationship between form and concept. Though noted for incorporating Arabic text in his work, rather than use writing to delineate thought, his meandering and contortionist-like strokes complicate the experience of language and living. Working against Western rationalism, his work is rooted in the philosophies spanning across near and far East Asia.

Fareed Abdal has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (1980) and a Master of Architecture (1983) from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. For 20 years he led his own architectural firm under the name Fareed Abdal Architects & Consultants. He has been teaching architecture at the Kuwait University School of Architecture since 2004.

Abdal has presented talks at various institutions including the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras (San Juan), Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah (Kuwait) and the Kuwait Society of Engineers (Kuwait), amongst others. His work has been exhibited at Dar Al Funoon (Kuwait), Tilal Gallery (Kuwait), Funoon Jamila (Kuwait), the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Bargehouse (London), Art Heritage (New Delhi), Sultan Gallery (Kuwait) and the World Calligraphy Biennale (Jeollabuk-do, South Korea). Upcoming exhibitions include a solo show at Galerie Imane Farès (Paris) in the summer of 2020.