Aziz Alhumaidhi : Interview

By cardoin | Dec 02, 2013

This alumni interview was conducted in November 2013 by Chris E. Ardoin (M.Arch 2014). Aziz Alhumaidhi graduated with Bachelor degrees in Fine Arts & Architecture in 2002, in this interview he shares his experiences at risd as well as his current work post-graduation.


C: What has changed since you were at risd?

A: A great deal has changed. There has been much personal and professional growth within me. Since graduating i have been running the family business ( architecture and Engineering design firm) as well as engaging in other professional ventures which have been directly or indirectly influenced by my design background and education. In addition to architectural professional work ive worked on several installation pieces for several shows and galleries.


C: How did risd allow for you to grow as a designer while you were at the university?

A: RISD has provided me with invaluable guidance and direction as a designer. And although at the time, i didn’t quite comprehend the impact and influence my education at RISD would have on my future self, I know in hindsight realize the relevance and meaningfulness of those 5 years. The discussions, questions, and challenges that took part in and out of class did much to inform my thought process and design intentions as well as overall problem solving sensibilities.


C: What are you currently making ?

A: I currently showed two pieces at the Edge of Arabic Gallery in London. These two installation works entitles “Worried beads” and “Unraveling without moving”

These pieces dealt with personal and social frustrations within Kuwait and its population with matters of stagnation and corruption. (See Below Project)

Additionally, currently i am working a on a few residential architectural designs in Kuwait. Personally, i continue to work on several music projects, including production and composition of original music work. (Website)


C: Are there key questions you ask yourself when creating your work?

A: Does it work? does it address the right questions and fulfill the need? Are the tectonics of a given work logical clear and comprehensive. Is it simple and clear in its approach.


C: Who is on your radar right now?

A: I am pursuing installation art work further, i have been approached for more work and several shows. I hope that this line will provide a new professional experience in the art field. I am also currently pursing a possible live music collaboration for a possible show in the near future.


C: Do you have any advise to prospective or current students at risd?

A: Keep an open mind and try everything. Each experience will allow you to draw parallels with another. Knowledge gained in one field can add to and enrich  other possibilities in other fields of work or knowledge.


Worried Beads

“The clicks of the each released bead in the hands of the user are wholly without character their rhythm and the intervening pauses can express a vast range of meaning, placid boredom, thoughtful meditation, agitated nervousness, measured insolence, mounting impatience, burning hostility and full palate of shadings in between. The misbah or rosary is a useful means of getting a point across without actually saying anything.”

Worried Beads : Aziz Alhumaidhi

Worried Beads : Aziz Alhumaidhi


‘though all theft is haram (sinful)- the stealing of worry beads is halal (permissible)’

Kuwaiti Proverb

The misbah (rosary/worry beads) can be seen in the hands of most men in Kuwait. Originally it served the holy purpose of helping the devout remember the number of times a particular prayer or eulogy had been recited and help keep a mans thoughts away from intemperate thoughts. Through the years, however, the worry bead has transformed into a social artifact; often a  fashion statement or an indicator of wealth and social status.

Because of this, most worry beads in Kuwait more often than not find themselves in someone elses pocket. The act of ‘stealing’ the worry beads- whether deliberate or unintentional is often overlooked and permitted amongst men and collectors.

Last year, 2012, marked the highest percentage of crimes in Kuwait in over five years, and the largest percentage of those crimes were against public funds at 63.6% of total crimes.

Amongst most of Kuwaiti society, the act of abusing public funds, government stipends and social allowances is threatening the moral fabric. It has become acceptable to take full advantage of the system. People get paid salaries for governmental  jobs they never go to, individuals bribe officials on a daily basis, and families are having more children just so they can receive an extra 300 dollars a month in social welfare.

The theme of corruption and theft is demonstrated through the use of the pre 1950 Kuwaiti flag with the word Kuwait in arabic and comprises several hundred misbah’s with missing some missing beads. The work also touches upon the resulting sense of anxiety and worry that much of kuwait’s population feels when confronted with the uncertainty of the future for ourselves and our nation.

Aziz Alhumaidhi


Unraveling without moving

“Sadu” is a traditional indigenous style of weaving which employs color and pattern motifs as decorative elements that also convey within them social artifacts and cultural values.

Similarly, this installation utilizes the “Sadu” imagery to present the automobile and local car culture as symbolic of larger social, economic, and political challenges faced by contemporary Kuwait as a nation and a people.

Over the past 50 years Kuwait has witnessed intellectual, cultural, and demographic changes. The gridlocked automobile has come to represent the resulting prevalent and some would say self-imposed social, economic and political stagnation of contemporary Kuwait. The car is now seen as a pervasive object that invades all aspects of public space, in mobile and immobile forms both physically and conceptually. Ironically, the automobile has now become an obstacle to movement and progress.


Aziz Alhumaidhi Aziz Alhumaidhi


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