The Lebanese Michel Abboud is a New York-based artist and architect and the founder of the award-winning architectural firm SOMA.
In 2004, Abboud kicked off his career by founding his architectural practice, SOMA, in New York after earning a Masters’s degree in Advanced Architectural Design from the University of Columbia in New York.
Since then, his designs have been attracting recognition, earning him the James Beard Award in 2015, the Architizer A+ Award in 2016 and 2017, and the World Architecture Award in 2019.
He built a reputation for creating provocative and cutting-edge projects, and his designs have gained fans among loyal clientele and acclaimed design professionals.
In 2010, his architectural design for Park 51 in New York earned him the label of “the most controversial architect the US has known.”
The project was shelved for 45 Park Place, a 665-foot condominium tower also designed by Michel Abboud, making him one of New York’s youngest architects to achieve the execution of a skyscraper.
Such acknowledgment has led him to speak at reputable institutions around the world, where he showcases his work, which combines critical thinking as well as systematic and user-friendly techniques.
Abboud’s and consequently SOMA’s methodology is seen in his innovative design for the recently-completed luxury building “One at Palm” in Dubai, with a million square feet of built area and unique features.
In recent years, the Lebanese designer shifted his career from architecture to art by combining both to create large-scale sculptures in urban and rural landscapes across the world.
Through the use of futuristic digital tools and scripting software, Michel Abboud is generating complex designs that are not traditionally “sculpted.”
In 2018, he debuted his solo show in New York titled “Unfolded,” featuring paintings influenced by his childhood growing up in a war-torn environment.
Michel Abboud is now using all his talent earned after years of success to create vibrant paintings using his hands and pieces of art reflecting on the duality of emotions.
He also describes his paintings as “non-paintings” as he considers each of his art pieces as not representing “anything other than itself.”