Islamic Architecture and the Veil of Orientalism
January 31, 2007
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar presents the third of its 2006/2007 public lectures on the Arts and Architecture of the Islamic World at the VCUQ Auditorium on Wednesday, January 31, 2007, at 7:30 pm.
Nasser Rabbat, B Arch, M Arch, Ph.D., the Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will present Islamic Architecture and the Veil of Orientalism.
Islamic Architecture went through a series of ontological phases in the last two centuries. Colonial rule of the nineteenth century brought European-trained architects and scholars who developed eclectic styles that borrowed freely from the diverse architectural repertoires of the past and blended them with various European forms. Independence in the middle of the twentieth century gave rise to the more outspoken categories of modernity and nationalism as framers of architecture in the recently constituted states. The new framework engendered some important modernist projects but also occasioned the revival of vernacular architecture. The last three decades witnessed the resurgence of the discourse on Islam as cultural identity. Many architects responded by engaging in the design of various historicist styles, all dubbed “Islamic,” which range from romantic mélanges to grand postmodern projects.