Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Key-note speaker and plenary lectures at conferences
Transformation of Arab Architectural and Urban Education in a Global World:
This presentation involves a wide spectrum of challenges and opportunities relevant to knowledge content and delivery, knowledge acquisition and assimilation, and knowledge consumption and production within the context of Arab architectural and urban education. It offers a kaleidoscope on both the evolution and current condition of architectural and urban education in the Arab world. While exploring its roots, current developments avow that there has been a continuous influence of international trends on the educational process. Yet, higher education in architecture and urbanism in the Arab World is often blamed of being largely unconcerned with the debates and trends raised by the international community while adapting them to local needs. To test this assumption, three major paradigmatic trends in Arab architectural and urban education are examined. These are: environment-behavior studies, sustainability and environmental consciousness, and digital and virtual practices. There is in fact a great deal of discussions in design and architecture circles on these trends, and widely varying opinions as to why and how they need to be introduced in professional curricula. An investigation of a series of programs in a number of Arab countries reveals that in some programs these trends have not reached mature levels, while other programs were able to address the balance between the trends in their curricula. Within this context, issues related to pedagogical models and teaching methods are highlighted. A closer look at architectural and urban education in Qatar is undertaken to explore how current teaching practices may influence the production of space in cities while outlining the contribution of undergraduate and graduate education in research and practice. Arguing for balancing and harmonizing these trends while adapting them to the norms defined by a particular culture or a locality, the presentation concludes by identifying key challenges facing architectural and urban education in the Arab world and the way in which these challenges could be addressed in order to face the realities of the tidal waves of the contemporary global world.