Islam + architecture, Volume 74, Issue 6
Architecture in Islamic lands is at a critical turning point. Until relatively recently conventional academic research had been conducted largely from an 'Orientalist' perspective. Today, discussions of Islam and architecture are acknowledging the true diversity and complexities of Islamic societies. Innovative and sustainable for centuries, the architecture of Islamic regions declined with colonial and and superpower politics, and with the influx of oil wealth, imported inappropriate building systems, or lapsed into a self-conscious parody of 'Islamic style'. With growing global anxiety over control of oil resources in the Middle East and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, what happens next? Are we capable today of a new, pluralistic, truly contemporary and ecologically responsible approach to architecture? If so, then such an approach might be the response not only to the cultural and social needs of traditional Islamic societies but to all our needs as "unity in diversity" becomes essential to survival itself. This highly topical issue draws together a prestigious array of contributors, including Barbara Smith, the previous International Editor of The Economist; renowned Turkish architect Turgut Cansever; Nasser Rabbat, the Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Architecture at MIT, and Dr Suha Ozkan, Secretary General of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Pressing topics such as the challenge of sustainable development and the precarious course that needs to be drawn between globalism and cultural identity are also covered, as well as close-up views of work in Egypt, The Lebanon and Turkey, and a profile of Syrian architect Sinan Hassan.
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achieved Aga Khan Aga Khan Award Ankara approach Arab world arches architectural practice architectural traditions avant-garde Award for Architecture Baghdad Barefoot Architects Barefoot College building built environment Cairo centre Chadirji clash of civilisations climatically competition complex concept construction contemporary context cool courtyard create cultural Damascus diversity dome Egypt Egyptian elements entrance example facades Fariborz Sahba Fathy's forms function geometry global globalisation Gourna Gropius Hassan Fathy heritage housing human Ibn Arabi identity important Institute interior Iraq Islamic architecture Islamic art Islamic world Istanbul Jordan Koolhaas landscape Lebanon living lotus madrasah materials means Menara Mesiniaga Middle East mihrab minarets modern Modernist mosque Moussavi ornamental Ottoman pattern petals political programmes region Rem Koolhaas roof Sabiha Foster Shehzade Sinan social societies structure Turgut Cansever Turkey Turkish architecture unity University urban values vernacular walls West Western Zaha Hadid