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Fecha:Martes, 14 de Octubre, 2003  12:02:49 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt>


CeHuNews 240/03

Modernization and the Physical Environment in the Eastern Mediterranean

Symposium date: March 20, 2004

The Aga Khan Program of Activities in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, is organizing a symposium that will examine the history of post-WWII modernization and development in the Eastern Mediterranean--defined here not as a rigid geographical area but as a larger cultural context. The symposium will focus on the design of the physical environment, which was immensely influenced by development policies and politics in the region. The spotlight will fall on urban design projects, housing projects, regional development schemes, rural development proposals, and the design of civic spaces, agro-landscapes, dams, pipelines, highways or other infrastructures.  The aim is to examine the formal manifestations of development, to situate these within the larger sociopolitical context that influenced their design and/or implementation, and to reflect on their social, cultural, as well as environmental impact.

Papers that offer historical perspectives on 1950s and 60s discourses of reconstruction and international development, and relate architectural/planning/development projects to larger sociopolitical circumstances--such as the emergence of nation states, the flow of foreig capital and expertise, the drive for socioeconomic "development," and postwar/cold war power politics--are most welcome. Equally welcome will be critical investigations of more recent and contemporary design and development practices in the region--including housing, tourist resorts, landscape designs, dams, etc.--that relate current practices with emerging discourses on globalization and sustainable development. Papers that cut across national and regional boundaries, to extend the discussion to other parts of the Islamic word or otherwise uncover the transnational impact of development practices are also desirable. The papers should be based on well-documented research that is primarily analytical and interpretative rather than descriptive in nature.

The symposium aims to offer an interdisciplinary perspective on development, as it relates to the history and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, urban/ regional development, and environmentalism.
Possible questions that can form the basis for papers include (but are not limited to) the following:

-       In what ways did the design of urban, rural, and regional landscapes become intertwined with particular notions of "development" and "underdevelopment"? What are the differences between 1950s and 60s practices and more recent ones?
-       How did modernizing projects become entangled with the construction of modern identities in the region?
-       What has been the specific role of development "consultants," planning "experts," "revolutionary" architects (local or international), and funding institutions in reshaping the physical as well as intellectual landscapes in the Mediterranean margins of Europe and the Middle East?

To propose a paper, please send a 500 word abstract, plus a 1-2 page outline of the paper, and a 2-page resume including address, telephone, and e-mail information, to:
Panayiota Pyla, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Visiting Fellow, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

Mailing address:
Pani Pyla
UIUC School of Architecture
117 Temple Buell Hall, 611 Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820-6921, USA

Deadline for receipt of abstracts + paper outlines + resume: November 2, 2003

Abstracts and paper outlines will be reviewed by a committee of peers, and selection will be announced in late November 2003.

The symposium is sponsored by the Aga Khan Program of Activities in Landscape and Urbanism at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; Director, Hashim Sarkis.