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Abloh became a household name after working on creative direction for Kanye West’s DONDA firm, where he collaborated with the musician on album covers, concert designs and merchandising. Abloh’s attraction to music has led him to professionally DJ at prestigious venues and festivals around the world, such as Lollapalooza and Coachella.
Virgil Abloh passed away at the age of 41 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Samir Bantal is the director of AMO, the think- tank founded by Rem Koolhaas in 1998, which enables OMA to apply its architectural thinking beyond architecture, to the fields of design, technology, media and art.
Samir Bantal rejoined OMA in 2015 after working at the office between 2003 and 2007 on a number of projects ranging from product design, research, architecture and master planning. Samir was involved in the Image of Europe, an exhibition on the history and meaning of the European Union, rebranding the European flag. He worked on a new proposal for the Shanghai Expo of 2010, a master plan for Riga Port City and several exhibitions for the Venice Biennale. He was project architect of the Ras Al Khaimah master plan (2006) and Jebel Al Jais Resort (2006). Samir also contributed to a number of publications by AMO, such as Project Japan (2011) and Al Manakh I (2007).
Before joining OMA, Samir worked for Toyo Ito, and was associate professor at Delft Univeristy of Technology in the fields of architecture and urbanism. Between 2008-2012 he was editor of the Annual Architecture Yearbook of the Netherlands.
Currently, Samir is responsible for the new retail concept for the luxury car brand Genesis in Seoul, Korea. Also with AMO, Samir is currently working on 3 exhibitions. In Qatar, AMO explores the role of modern architecture in the development of the city of Doha, opening March 2019. Together with the Harvard School of Design, Samir leads Countryside, a comprehensive research project that investigates the interaction between the city and the countryside, which will culminate in an exhibition in the Guggenheim in New York early 2020. Lastly, ‘Figures of Speech’ will show at the MCA Chicago in June 2019. The design of the exhibition, a retrospective on the work of renown designer Virgil Abloh, is a collaboration between Samir and Virgil Abloh.