|Photo by James Berry|
Karl is an architect, satirist and commentator on the Middle East. He is a Partner at PLP Architecture in London and co-author of Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture which 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 has practised architecture in London and Beirut, and taught for five years at the American University of Beirut.
He is also the author of And Then God Created the Middle East and Said ‘Let There Be Breaking News’ and Style: In defence of Islamic Architecture. 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 wrote a report entitled The Retreat from Universalism in the Middle East and the World: Intellectual Shifts and the Demise of Inclusive Identities as part of The Century Foundation's project on citizenship in the Middle East.
He has written for a number of international publications and organisations, such as The Independent, The Sunday Times, Foreign Policy, Politico, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Open Democracy, The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Creative Time Reports, New Humanist, Vice, The National, Al-Akhbar English, Now, Jadaliyya, Syria Deeply, Daily News Egypt, World Architecture News, Index on Censorship, Die Presse, Springerin, The Architectural Review, Mark Magazine, Novo, Urban Design, Glass, Blueprint, An-nahar Cultural Supplement, and Culture Wars.
He has spoken on a range of issues such as art, architecture, urbanism and politics, at MoMA, the Barbican, Internazionale Ferrara, the London School of Economics, Oxford University, Yale, NYU, Chatham House and many others. He appears regularly on the BBC and other media outlets. 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.
Karl wrote and presented the ‘simple one-sentence explanation for what caused ISIS’, a short video produced with Channel 4. 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.