Skip to main content

Design As Catalyst

Raneem Alsulaim

An interior architect and designer from Saudi Arabia, who is seeking for effective practice in the crossroads of architecture, urbanism, sociology and education. I have developed an interest and critical reflection on how the built environment is situated within its complex social, political, and cultural contexts.


WhatsApp +966555885582

The Blue Balcony

Degree Details

School of Design

Design As Catalyst

Working as a lecturer in design college at IAU, Saudi Arabia. Currently working on a research that meets my interests in urbanism, memory, architecture and social design.

The Blue Balcony — Design Film

The Blue Balcony — Intervention in context 1

The Blue Balcony — Looking through the object

The Blue Balcony — Intervention in context 2

The Blue Balcony — Design approach

The Blue Balcony — Design criteria

The Blue Balcony — Each time a question will be spread, then the object will appear in a new space

The Blue Balcony — Moment of reflection inside the space/object

The Blue Balcony — Design strategy

The Blue Balcony — Base detail

The Blue Balcony — Overview

The blue balcony is a research-led initiative for urban history realisation, to unfold unrealised urban scenes
which are in danger of demolition and erasure. Hence, to promote sense of place which accumulates
sense of belonging.
To re-engage with the once-modern Khobar city in Saudi Arabia, which meanwhile lost its pivotal function
and meaning. Since urban memory plays an essential role in building individual’s identity and sense of
belonging to the place.

This initiative is a bottom-up strategy to prevent architectural destruction and to change the perception of
underused spaces through re-engagement with existing urban assets and bring them back to everyday life
of the city.

The intervention is a spatial experience that aims to change how people see and perceive the city, through
a certain strategy that triggers peoples’ CURIOSITY by questioning an unrealised terminology of the
cityscape. To draw them to that place, where the object surprisingly appear in the public realm invites to
further engagement with the place by targeting a deep personal question that stimulates “REFLECTIVE
NOSTALGIA” which is more critical and contemplative longing that draws people to think about the
ambiguity of change. The object is a mediator between people and how they perceive the city, to be
confronted with certain captured moments.

The initiative named after an unrealised terminology in the city “Blue Balcony” which is an unusual
architectural style in a monochromatic beige city, as the wooden shutters and the blue colour are famous
Mediterranean style but not a typical Saudi. This block of building with the rusted blue balconies is the last
block in the street that left without demolishing.

In the future, the object will become an icon for a new thing to explore in the everyday encounters of the


Galvanised metal sheet and plaster


1200x2000 mm

Previous Student

Next Student

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore, South Kensington,
London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks
of the Royal College of Art