Symposium Designing Modernity: Architecture in the Arab World 1945-1973.
As a part of the symposium Designing Modernity: Architecture of the Arab World 1945-1973 (Goethe-Institut Ramallah), co-founders of the Bricklab studio, Abdulrahman and. Turki Gazzaz participate in the panel discussion “Knowledge Production for modern heritage - Research” and present the project “Saudi Modern: Jeddah between 1938-1963”. Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz will be joined on the panel by Mercedes Volait (France), Amin Alsaden (Iraq), Mazen Haidar (Lebanon) und Susanne Bosch (Germany).
Date: 6th of May 2022
Time: 16:30-18:30 Berlin time
The symposium accompanies the release of the book Designing Modernity: Architecture in the Arab World 1945–1973 that explores modern buildings in Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. In ten case studies, the authors examine historical, sociopolitical, climatic and demographic aspects of a little-explored field of Arab cultural and architectural history. During a two-day symposium editors Philipp Oswalt and George Arbid will join the authors to discuss forms, networks and constellations of transculturality, the preservation and renewal of modern cultural heritage and other topics. During the evening program, the editors will present the book and discuss it together with architectural experts Tom Avermaete, Khaldun Bshara and the participants.
Saudi Modern is a multidisciplinary initiative founded by Jeddah-based architecture and design studio Bricklab that aims to analyze and interpret modernization through the history of the nation's urban and architectural development. As we are witnessing a period of reform in anticipation of the coveted 2030 milestone, a critical inquiry into the nation's civic, social, and economic development from its early years of modernization is instrumental. In the eight decades following the discovery of oil, human settlements across the kingdom have changed dramatically. Over merely three generations, Saudi society has trodden hastily towards modernity and witnessed a wholesale overhaul of traditional notions of civic/rural development. As their homes transitioned from mud, bricks, and stone to reinforced concrete; so has our society, its constituent communities, and respective shared values.
This project aims to unfold the narrative of modern development since the former decades of the 20th century by focusing on architecture and urbanism across the different cities, towns, and villages in the Kingdom. By studying these early interactions with modern technologies and development models, we may better understand the ideological repercussions of modernity. In doing so, we may critically assess our contemporary attitudes towards tradition and its role in reshaping our collective values.
Register for the symposium Designing Modernity: Architecture in the Arab World 1945-1973: