Islamic Architecture
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Dear friends,

This is a new thread which is rooted in our ongoing discussion on the subject of Islamic Architecture.

We need to identify the strategies and trajectories of development and evolution of Islamic Architecture.

What are the issues that we need to address in the future missions of Islamic Architecture?

What are the goals and objectives for the future missions?

What are the methodologies that we have which we can deploy ? or Do we need to innovate new methods?

What are the resources that we can utilise in these missions? Know how, expertise, experience,organizational, financial, socio-cultural, religious etc.

How institutions can collaborate and cooperate?

What are the concrete policies, programmes, projects and actions that we can initiate in this regard?

ArchNet has provided us with an open forum which could be used to generate awareness and spread deeper understanding.

Hope you all will find the issue interesting and would respond to it wholeheartedly, in the process all of us will be enriched with a deeper understanding about Architecture in general and Islamic Architecture in particular.

With warm regards and salams,
Akhtar Chauhan
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Archnet est, pour moi, une gande occasion de rencontrer des collegues architectes qui discutent de l'architecture Islamique.

C'est aussi une occasion pour moi d'ameliorer mon anglais. Malgre que je n'arrive pas a rediger en anglais je comprend presque tout sans probleme. Alors si vous permettez j'aimerais bien, chers amis, vous ecrire en francais et vous continuerez, de votre part, a ecrire en anglais parce que cela m'aidera beaucoup a m'ameliorer dans cette langue.
Quand au thread de monsieur Chauhan (une personne de grande culture) je dirais:
Cher Akhtar la maniere avec laquelle vous avez pose la question reflete une grande conscience de la question de l'architecture de maniere generale et de l'architecture islamique de maniere plus precise. Vous avez evoque ci-dessus tous les elements necessaires pour une meilleure comprehention de cette question.

On est deja devant une question tres bien posee et qui nous ouvre sur tous les domaines se rapportant a l'architecture.
Vous avez evoque l'economique le social le religieux et de faire ses programmes et ses projets pour penser le future.
Je trouve qu'une grande partie de la reponse reside dans cette ouverture disciplinaire et ces interets divers...
Jalel Almawla
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Dear Jalel Almawla,

Thanks for your appreciation of the questions posed on the new thread about the future missions of Islamic Architecture.

I was able to understand your posting thanks to its translation by my daughter, Ayesha who is a student of French language. So please feel free to write in French, we shall make our own efforts to respond to the issues.

I shall await your detailed responses on the issue.

with warm regards and salams,
Akhtar Chauhan
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Jalel , I kind of understand what you have said. I did a online translation and got the jist of what you said, you are more than welcomed to express your input!

Before we can proceed with such a discussion, we need to clarify what each individual wants Islamic Architecture to be. This can be done in a variety of ways, by explaining verbally, showing physical examples of Islamic architecture, and give their opinion of the essense of Islamic Architecture. I will begin with my own understanding of it.

Islamic architecture to me is personified by peace and harmony and it is achieved the geometry, proportion, mathematics and the usage of natural materials. It also expresses craftsmanship greatly. It relates to the human experience, every size, shape and type. Great care was taken when these buildings were built and so it should be when designing new Islamic Architecture.

Geometry, proportion, mathematics and the loving hand of the craftsman are the hallmarks of good architecture. This is not reflected in many a buildings put up but if good architecture is what you want too make than it should greatly reflect it so. The understanding of geometry is crucial to Islamic Architecture. The ability to manipulate shapes in a synthesisizing way, whatever context will in fact display Islamic Architecture greatly! Being masters in geaometry, mathematics, proportion and materials used is extremely crucial for the survival of Islamic Architecture!

We live in a very advanced world with many technologies and conveniences ie. electricity, running water, heating systems, telephone wires, cable wires etc. These technologies should be understood very well. They can pose as obsticles in a well designed building. In my opinion they should be well hidden from the human experience, invisible to the eye. This will achieve two things; keep us upto date with the latest technologies and evoke of old Islamic Architecture which had a freeing affect!

Islamic architecture is synonymous with good architecture. Good architecture exists all over the world.
Learning from different good structures that exist, can only benefit Islamic architecture. Learning is crucial, not copying but learning is crucial. We have to be in constant pursuit of this learning, leaders in it. The more you know the more better you will be able to execute better architecture.

These are just some points, I think are crucial. The learning and implementing of Islamic architecture is a colloborated event, there is no 'I' in it. Pursuit of a single signatured expression of architecture is not in the spirit of Islamic Architecture.
Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Dear Abdul,

Your posting is a very positive and constructive contribution to the discussion on these isses.

We need to go into each aspect as sytematically and wholistically as humanly possible.

Let me begin with the issue of peace.
How do we translate this into action?

To me it is clear that we can not achieve peace by mere politics. We can only realize this only through human development by education, culture and social interactions.

In order to achieve this, first of all we need to house all the people adequately, comfortably and in a sustainable way. If 25-50% of our citizens live in slums, in most of the cities in the third world, then social tensions would be inevitable.

So we need to evolve housing policies, strategies, programmes and undertake projects to house all the people, shelter for all and this has to be given the top most priority.

The work can be done through government and non-government organisations, through professional and voluntary services; through contribution of time, energy and resources; through ideas, competitions and collaborative endeavour.

The next is promotion of harmony.

This can be best achieved if we evolve architecture in harmony with nature and human society. It should be affordable, appropriate and inspiring.Islam teaches us to respect nature and care for the society.

Architecture in harmony with nature will require us to study the climatic context, the appropriate construction technologies and sustainable design and planning.

It will require our buildings to relate to each other to generate sustainable neighbourhoods and communities. Islam lays a great stress on the need for good neighbourliness and promotion of Ummat or community.

In order to promote the good neighbourliness and community spirit we need spiritual nodes, social and cultural facilities and education, health care, sports and recreational facilities. The way these relate to living spaces and work places will determine their proper integration to promote social harmony.

The way we link all the facilities, through paths and streets, and other modes of movement is very critical. In order to promote human understanding and relationships we need to provide opportunities to share and support. This would require priorities to the pedestrian rather than vehicles. We need to create spaces for human and social interactions, through the design and provision of meeting places and interaction spaces. From corner points, small squares to large public places.

We need to conserve our rich architectural and cultural heritage and evolve new architecture in harmony. We shall have to conserve natural environment and resources, and care for water bodies, seas, coastlines, rivers, springs, lakes and we shallhave to take care of mountains, hills, slopes, grounds and vegetation.

In the process this will lead to a more refined and sustainable human settlements: villages, towns, cities, metropolises and agglomeration appropriate to our time, society and culture.

The idea of egoless participation and involvement in making of architecture is key to evolution of Islamic Architecture.

We need to be humble and open to collaborate with each other to generate a whole societal environment where creativity can bloom.

In many a way, the essence of this creative struggle is common to all faiths, societies and cultures. Islam recognizes this clearly and encourages us to take initiatives and promotes our participation as equals in this noble endeavour.

But then it will also require a lot of understanding and innovation. We can not merely impose Islamic forms from outside without evolving Islamic Architecture from within. This would mean a life long engagement with the issues through on-going studies, research and participatory development.

In order to achieve this we have to have society that is at peace and lives in harmony without any exploitation of each other. Viloence and crime have to be eradicated through education, cultural and social emancipation. A more equitable and just society is to be evolved without sacrificing individual freedom and social justice.

The ideas of refinement,perfection and excellence are keys for the future evolution of Islamic Architecture. It will require a deep spiritual understanding and a life long commitment to the simple and straight path.

The beauty of this path is that it gives us immense satisfaction and lasting happiness. In the process it enhances our knowledge and understanding and takes us to the highest spiritual experience, brings us closest to the God Almighty.

Let us explore this path to promote peace, harmony, sustainable development, cultural refinement and spiritual enrichment as a world wide single family.

Wish you all a merry Christmas and a very peaceful, harmonious and creative New Year.
Akhtar Chauhan
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Wishing everybody a Happy Holidays and a fruitful New Year!!

Salaam Akhtar-Your commitment to the issue is unquestionable. If there were more people like you around the Muslim world and the world, it would be a better place. Unfortunately there aren't many like you, there should have been droves of Muslims responding to this question but it only seems, it is me and you, who take an active interest in this very important topic. It is what it is, this shouldn't deter us in proceeding, working towards something better. In fact, I think if we go through this exercise in a systematic way, it will be very enlightening for us and to the people who pay heed to Architecture in particular and the Muslim World in general. So I say, In the name of Allah, guide us to a better understanding on this issue.

Akhtar your approach is very theoretically sound but the question needs to be tackled in a pragmatic way as well, to make it a reality. You first discuss how we can translate peace into action and in fact your approch is correct, "education, culture and social interaction". You also speak of poverty and how 25 - 50% live in poverty, this too is imporatant. The question that needs to be asked, is there any reason why people shoould be living in such a deplorable state? I say no. There is enough wealth in Muslim countries for it to go around and improve everybodies situation. The aristocracy of these countries want to keep the wealth all to themselves but to what benefit to there people. Don't people of wealth care for there citizens. Don't they understand the concept of a nation. A nation doesn't revolve around a few pocket books, all civil countries distribute the countries wealth to its citizens, not all of it but enough to keep there citizens out of poverty. Until the wealth is properly distributed to its people, much of the Muslim world will remain the same, unfortunately.

Educating the public is key for this change to occur. In my opinion, every citizen should be able to read and write. When the public is educated, change can readily be demanded from the politicians. Volunteering to teach illiterate people how to read and write is the way to go. Now taking a couple of hours a week to teach someone to read and write, doesn't require that much resources. All it demands is the human effort and the willingness to teach. This act will teach you many things about your society. Just try it and you will see, what I mean!

Social reform starts form each indivilual. Be kind to your family and to your neighbours, spread peace with your actions and commitment to it. Getting others involved will also improve the situation. Make being kind something enjoyable(which it is) and the norm. Promote social awareness, make people believe in the concept of a nation and ummah! Only through this kind of genuine activity can change occur, otherwise the stagnation will be maintained. Give more than a 100%!Struggle!

Islamic architectures survival is dependant on the will of the people. They have to believe and want it. Architects that design, should be creative and make Islamic architecture appealing. Creativity is not restricted by economics, "necessity is the mother of design". As long as there is a will to do something well, it can happen. For example look at the Sandbag Shelter Prototypes by Nader Khalili. More of this kind of ingenuity needs to be harnessed, which can be found in the depths of yourself.

These are just some points. Others are more than welcomed to add, direct or criticize it!

Thak You,
Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Akthar and Abdul - you are not alone in the wilderness, there are others out here as well. This is a good topic, one that is continuously addressed by sucessive Master Juries of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. This cycle's Jury identified 4 themes that architecture within Muslim societies should come to terms with. This is perhaps a good place to start when laying out a future mission for Islamic architecture. These themes are: (From the 2004 Master Jury Report)

1. The first question raises the issue of how the complexity of history and of historical memory can be expressed in architecture.

2. Secondly, the Jury considered the question of how private initiatives are integrated into the emerging public sphere. The Jury believes that the development of a pluralist public realm is one of the most important issues facing many Muslim countries. Today, more and more private initiatives in the public realm empower societies and address their needs, be it in the fields of education, sanitation or other social requirements. Architecture plays an important role in manifesting these endeavours, and the Jury especially appreciated a balanced relationship between the social content of an initiative and its architectural representation.

3. Address the question of how to express individuality in complex social settings. In modernity, architecture expresses individuality, permitting a poetical interpretation of the self. The Jury recognized the growing awareness and appreciation of individuality in the Muslim world. On the one hand, this individuality counters the idea that Muslim societies emphasize collective identities, and on the other hand it reveals the plurality of Muslim traditions.

4. The fourth question the Jury considered was the issue of how power and authority in the global domains of technology, culture and economics might be addressed through architecture. The Jury paid special attention to the responsibility of architecture in the Muslim world and to projects that show understanding of the worldwide exchange of technological, cultural and economic knowledge in local contexts. The translation of global identities into architecture �� which can occur in the technology used in buildings or in the potential functions of buildings �� was considered by the Jury to be of great importance for many parts of the Muslim world.

The Jury also analysed how these four issues have been transferred to architecture. It is common sense that the way structure and design are used in a project should always be adequate to the issue addressed. Adequacy, however, does not mean simply assigning a form to a problem and updating traditional architectural solutions. It means adopting a critical perspective on the problem and addressing it by means of architectural techniques. The Jury recognized this by giving importance to projects that raise the standards of excellence.

Finally, the Jury focused on the social, cultural and environmental impact of the projects, analysing the balance between intention and realization, meaning and material, and functionality and use. The integration of projects within the environment and the criticism of tradition were also factors in assessing projects.

Architecture in the Muslim world partakes of all the features of modernity in architecture. However, it often also tries to incorporate specific Islamic meanings, and it is only in such deliberate instances that architecture can be labelled 'Islamic'. When 'Islamic' traditions are followed instinctively, the result is simply architecture in a Muslim cultural context. This means that there is a difference between architecture in the Muslim world and what is defined in discourse as 'Islamic architecture'. The plurality of architecture in the Muslim world is evident at many levels: in varied discourses on architecture; in architecture that deals with restoration in ways that re-establish the generic pluralism of Muslim culture; and in the multiplicity of forms produced by a variety of social, cultural and economic environments. The Jury was particularly aware of the complexity of the plurality of the Muslim world and was critical of those projects that tried to establish a cultural normativity that could threaten that plurality.

The Aga Khan stated at the end of the recent Award Seminar in Agra: "As we move forward it is important for us to accept that we are a community of people interested in building environments for Muslims in different parts of the world," the Aga Khan said. "We are looking at creating inspiring value systems which our societies and our professionals will be able to look to and to say to themselves, with these value systems we can move forwards in trust and confidence because we have an understanding of the kind of environment we wish to have."
Shiraz Allibhai
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Shiraz-The Aga Khan Award for Architecture and its criteria is a very sound approach. It understands very well what world we live in. Further understanding of it is of interest to those concerned with the Muslim World and architecture in general. It seems to me that architecture is the backdrop to the real message that the award is trying to present. Which is fine, as long it helps promote a better understanding of the world we live in. More of these kind of initiatives should be promoted in the Muslim world, it will greatly improve their sitiuation. How is the award recieved by Muslim countries? Are there other similar initiatives that exist? Are people responding positively towards it?
Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Chers Akhtar et Abdul Basit
Je vous remercie beaucoup pour votre comprehention. Je suis vraiment tres enchante d avoir l occasion de discuter avec vous
Je vous previent que mon francais n est que passable. Mais c est une langue que je maitrise assez bien et avec laquelle j arrive malgre tout a m exprimer. C est dans cette langue que j ai entame tres dernierement une these de doctorat.
Dans le monde de la recherche, la question de methode devient primordiale. Et pour quelqu un comme moi qui a passe une grande partie de sa vie a flaner derriere une intuition architecturale, soutenir un discours scientifique n��est pas evident.
A force de pratiquer le metier d��architecte on finit par avoir des rapports intimes avec les choses. Et apres "de soudaines morsures de la realite" comme les appelle Henri Maldiney, on commence a "ressentire (��) le monde comme situation avant qu il ne soit offert comme objet"
A un certain moment nous arrivons a avoir, comme certains plasticiens, un rapport, avec la matiere, les couleurs, les formes et tout son environnement, qui fait que nous nous ouvrons sur le monde ou le monde s ouvre a nous a dire comme Paul Cezanne "la nature est a l interieur".
Voulant exprimer ses idees, une personne ayant acquit un tel rapport avec le monde ne peut que se suffire a son ��uvre plastique. Ceci est le probleme de la plupart des artistes entre autres les architectes quand ils pensent faire de la recherche.

Je ne vais pas parler, ici, de ma these. Je vais plutot evoquer quelques idees un peu separees de leurs contexte theorique, afin d��etre bref, et pour acceder vite au vif du sujet et ne pas s��arreter a un niveau purement theorique dont notre forum n��est pas le contexte ideal. Comme j'ai pu le remarquer chez plusieurs collegues participant a divers threads ici ; La conception de l��espace est entrain de beaucoup changer chez les architectes d��aujourd��hui. Ces derniers commencent a comprendre que le monde est devenu aussi complique que tout participe dans tout et que l��architecture est devenu une notion a redefinir chaque fois et par tous les humains.

Quand on parle d'un monument ancien nous evoquons necessairement l��epoque et le gouverneur pendant le regne duquel le monument etait construit. Dans le cas du dome de rocher a Jurisalem par exemple, les historiens nous informent qu��il etait construit par le calife oumayyade Abd al-Malik entre 688 et 693 A.J. c��est le gouverneur qui est donc cite en tant que constructeur.
pendant l��epoque Ottomane ou on a commence de parler d'architecte telque sinan on trouve que ce dernier etait un proche du sultan et participait comme toute personne en cette situation a faire de la politique. Sinan etait , en meme temps, un homme de politique et un homme d'art...

Meme dans la periode de la renaissance, en Europe, ou des architectes sont devenus celebre entant que tel ils ne l'etaient pas tout seuls il y avaient derriere eux les grandes familles mecenes qui etaient aussi celebres qu��eux.
aujourd'hui encore des architectes comme Ghery, Hadid et autres, et qui sont presentes par les medias aujourd��hui de la meme maniere d��ailleurs que des starts de la musique ou du cinema, ne sont pas non lies a tout le systeme economique, politique et sociale en occident et dans le monde.
Derriere ces "starts" il y a toute une machine economique qui n��arrete pas de tourner et un systeme qui partage la legitimation sur tel ou tel architecte. Et ou des concourts internationaux sur un grand projet dans une grande capitale occidentale ressemble, dans sa presentation par les medias, a la finale d��un championnat du monde de tennis.
Tout cela dans une exclusive perspective de consommation...
Cette petite analyse n��est pas pour dire que les architectes etaient toujours des instruments d��execution dans les mains des decideurs.., pas du tout. Je voulais seulement montrer que depuis le debut jusqu��a la fin l��architecte faisait, naturellement, partie d��un systeme politique, economique et sociale.

Donc pour viser une innovation dans le domaine de l��architecture il faut penser a changer ou faire evoluer tout le systeme.

C'est seulement pendant la periode moderne que l'architecte a pris toute l'importance d'un maitre d'oeuvre presque solitaire, et encore��
L��exemple de l��ecole du bauhaws peut etre dans ce cas pertinent ainsi que pour toute notre analyse.
Grobius n��etait pas seulement un architecte il etait surtout le directeur d��une institution de formation, de production et de creation. Une institution qui etait pluridisciplinaire accueillant en son sein les techniciens comme les architectes, les peintres comme les designers. Le Bauhaws etait aussi tres ouvert sur son environnement et ses aspirations politique, economique et sociale.
A mon avis a l'architecte de maniere generale, ou a l'architecte musulman de maniere particuliere d'etre conscient des changements politiques, culturels, sociaux et economiques qui surviennent de nos jours et ne pas penser que c'est a lui tout seul en tant qu��architecte que revient le destin de la construction.

Il faut effectivement savoir que faire de l'architecture c'est "construire le monde"
Ceci ne se fait que dans le cadre de tout un systeme. Un systeme que nous participons a construire de l��exterieur et non seulement de l��interieur en tant qu��instruments d��execution tout en restant sans prise de position et se suffire a "la maniere de Ghery" en oubliant celle de Grobius. Ce dernier comme on l��a dit plus haut, tout en etant architecte, voulait dominer son systeme et etre parmi ses arhitectes concepteurs et executeurs.
Ceci est ce qu��on attend aujourd��hui de notre architecte. Qu��il soit musulman ou non musulman...

Wish you all a merry Christmas and a very peaceful, harmonious and creative New Year.
Jalel Almawla
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
I introduced the Aga Khan Award Master Jury Statement as a response to Akhtar's posting about the future mission of Islamic architecture. It was not intended to divert the topic, but meant to help layout some possible avenues that could yield future missions. I still think they are worth exploring. Akhtar, is this what you had in mind or off the topic?
Shiraz Allibhai
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?

"...However, it often also tries to incorporate specific Islamic meanings, and it is only in such deliberate instances that architecture can be labelled 'Islamic'. When 'Islamic' traditions are followed instinctively, the result is simply architecture in a Muslim cultural context. This means that there is a difference between architecture in the Muslim world and what is defined in discourse as 'Islamic architecture'..."

When the award is trying to implement specific Islamic meanings, what is it that conveys this Islamic meaning? And if architecture is just created in their own cultural context, is it always bad that they are doing so?

I am not trying to be critical of the award, I am just trying to understand what philosophy it is trying to show. Many people may understand Islamic architecture in different ways. Which way does the award understand it as? Maybe if we can understand the philosophy of the award, we can work off this.

This is why in my previous comments I was trying to establish what it means to create Islamic Architecture. Hopefully if we can get individual responses we may conclude what it means to create Islamic Architecture. Instead of arguing on what it is and what it is not? Maybe we can establish points of agreement and implement them in our own personal philosophies of Islamic architecture!

I would also suggest, perhaps Akhtar can orient the discussion. Perhaps going through questions in a systematic way. Each can give a point on it and discuss it for a period of time and when it is time to move on to the next question, Akhtar will let us know!

The discussion should have a direction and orientation for it to be productive!

Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Cher Jalel,

Je conviens que l'architecture est reflétée par l'enviroment politique et l'impulsion sociale du peuple. La création d'artiste, d'artisan et d'architectes la reflétera ainsi mais je crois puisque nous vivons dans la période de l'expression individuelle, nous choisis d'incorporer certaines valeurs islamiques dans nos créations. Les artistes et les architectes vivant dans les sociétés plurielles ont différents choix des expressions. Des valeurs islamiques d'artistic/spiritual devraient au minimum être pratiquées dans les expressions des artistes et des architectes musulmans. J'ai appris également que n'est pas ce nécessairement ce que les clients veulent mais c'est où la créativité et l'ingéniosité des artistes et des architectes devraient sortir. Connaître quand les gens sont prêts pour des conceptions particulières est crucial mais en même temps des expressions islamiques devrait être lentement présenté. Seulement par la présentation les idées peuvent nous savoir si l'enviroment l'acceptera ou pas. Maintenant l'architecture islamique reflète la beauté, aucun doute. La fabrication de la belle architecture sera acceptée par chacun. Savoir quand présenter les dispositifs architecturaux islamiques particuliers est clef ! Travaillons vers ceci ! Salut
Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Dear friends,

The devastating tsunami waves have killed more than 25000 people in south and south east asia. Please reach out to affected people through any available organisation and contribute your help, assistance and donations. Even a small contribution by each one of the large ArchNet community will go a long way.

One of the future missions of Islamic Architecture is to have a world-wide sustainable disaster mitigation, relief and rehabilitation programme, facilities and services.

We need to incorporate the study of this aspect in our colleges of architecture, urban design and urban planning.

In the meanwhile let us all pray for the souls departed, may Allah grant them eternal peace and seek God's help to heal the wounds of injured and assist those affected to rebuild their lives.

Akhtar Chauhan
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Dear Shiraz,

Thanks for putting Aga Khan Award for Architecture Jury statement on the issues involved. It has added depth to our discussion and is an important contribution. We should discuss the issues identified by the AKAA Jury.

I feel each participant in the discussion should feel free to make an opening statement. We will then begin to analyze and discuss the issues arising out of the statements.

I believe that we should be flexible and open enough to allow the discussion to evolve rather than control it too tightly. I shall participate as one of you.

I do not know if most of us are aware that Islam also preaches an open way which gives freedom to pursue a path. It guides us with concepts of good and evil, permissible - 'halal' and not permissible- 'haram',and recommends us to critically evaluate the path to find out its benefits, costs, not just economic but also social and environmental before pursuing it fully, so as to enable us to navigate through difficulty and complexity of life experience. Since the guidance is given in very simple and straight forward manner, most of us miss out its relevance in the contemporary times.

To me the whole of life is like an ongoing planning,design, construction, management and developmental project. The interim juries are by our clients, neighbours and communities, and the final jury is the day of the judgement! It is an architectural experience, indeed!

with warm regards,
Akhtar Chauhan
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
cher Abdul Basit
lorsque notre cher ami Muni dit dans le topic what can you say about house?: My home for now is not 'home', with my parents absent

il faut voir cela avec notre attachement, amour et grand respect à nos parents
tu peux me dire cher Abdul que ceci est humain. Je suis d'accord mais l'Islam a beaucoup renforce ces sentiments et ces liens, tres nobles, envers les parents. Une des specificites de l'architecture islamique c'est que notre espace est habite par ce genre de sentiment et liaisons. Louis khan en parlant de 'sa piece', il dit qu'elle est le lieu de l'esprit et il dit que dans une petite piece on ne dit pas ce qu'on dirait dans une grande piece. Louis khan a parle aussi d'une piece ou l'on est que deux: l'attention de l'un converge vers l'autre...etc. Mais tout cela, avec tout mon respect au grand architecte Louis Khan n'est au meilleur des cas qu'analyse psychologique. Dans une architecture islamique lorsque l'attention de l'un converge vers l'autre l'Islam demande au deuxieme de saluer le premier; et voila que l'espace change, plus de tension, c'est plutot l'ouverture sur le Divin: Assalam. Il faut qu'on devienne plus conscient que le salam, entre autre chose, dont a parle notre Prophete est une spacialite. Dire salam en croisant une personne est une maniere de recreer l'espace Islamique.

dans ta participation, au meme topic cite plus haut, tu as parle avec raison de direction. Titus Burckardt a commence son beau livre L'art de l'Islam par parler de la Kaaba. Tu sais cher Abdul Basit combien le lieu musulman est oriente, et par rapport a quoi? par rappot a la kaaba. les musulmans font beaucoup de leur culte par rapport a la qibla. Ils font aussi tres attention dans leur vie de tout les jours a cette orientation. c'est par rapport à elle qu'ils dorment, se comportent dans les toilettes, pendant l'agonie, a l'enterrement...etc. Il ne faut pas oublier donc que l'architecture islamique est aussi ce savoir et pratique que porte le musulman en lui dans son orientation devenue presque interieure et qu'il retrouve ou il va.

Une architecture islamique future doit interpeller cette culture du musulman d'etre en continuelle orientation.
Une orientation qu'il s'en rappelle plusieurs fois par jour pendant ses cinq prieres.

In the meanwhile let us all pray for the souls departed, may Allah grant them eternal peace and seek God's help to heal the wounds of injured and assist those affected to rebuild their lives.

Jalel Almawla
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Cher Jalel,

Il n'y a aucun désaccord entre vous et I. Je conviens si nous devons discuter l'architecture islamique que nous devons prendre en compte du système de valeur de musulmans. Dans les sociétés islamiques traditionnelles, Allah était sur le souffle d'everyones et c'était avec cette mentalité que les musulmans ont créé leurs bâtiments et sociétés. Malheureusement nous vivons dans un temps très différent, où en fait Allah est detested(a-uzabillah). Ainsi il est dans ce contexte que nous devons comprendre comment créer l'architecture islamique. Quand Allah est nié, autre chose remplit son vide. Il habituellement souffre ou un autre préoccupation ! Une chose qui n'est pas rejetée par la plupart des personnes est beauté et majesté quand elle est expérimentée. Prenez le Taj Mahal, il est apprécié par toutes les mentalités des personnes ; athées, modernistes, traditionalistes, gens communs etc... Ainsi quand un architecte moderne conçoit quelque chose pour un client(someone moderne qui n'est pas informé dans les subtilités de la conception) qui n'a vraiment aucun souhait de conception architecturale islamique. Bien, l'architecte peut slyly incorporer les dispositifs islamiques spécifiques de l'architecture à la conception finale sans la communication préalable de client. Une fois qu'elle est créée, le client, leurs amis et le peuple l'apprécieront. Les gens désirent ardemment pour cette signification mais les régimes politiques et les géants économiques la nient. L'architecte à mon avis peut changer ceci par des subtilités. L'architecture islamique doesn't doivent avoir l'Islam lacé partout le les voûtes d'IE, les formes géométriques, la calligraphie etc... J'égalise également l'architecture islamique à la conception futée, ingéniosité, effiecency, beauté, originalité. Ce qui est principal est celui-là devrait être assaisonné en structures islamiques traditionnelles et structures modernes de même. Seulement quand on est, weilding créateur de bidon peut sortir. Alot de travail à côté des architectes de Muslim et des architectes bien disposés doit être fait. Le monde musulman est fortement influencé par westernization. Les musulmans vivant dans l'ouest peuvent changer le mentalitity des gens occidentaux mais ceci doit être fait vivement et en exerçant la sagesse quand le besoin aussi. L'ouest n'acceptera jamais une pleine expression de civilisation islamique. Les expressions manifestes d'Islamicosity seront rejected(you pure si en France). Les musulmans ont leurs pieds dans l'ouest, nous ont laissés ne pas menacer ceci, nous ont laissés être sages et penser aux musulmans en général. Si Allah laisse, Inshallah, musulmans peut influencer l'ouest et alternativement influencer le monde musulman. Les musulmans vivant dans l'ouest ont l'alot de la puissance, nous ont laissés apprennent comment l'employer ! Travaillons vers ceci ! Inshallah ! Le monde musulman est fortement influencé par westernization. Les musulmans vivant dans l'ouest peuvent changer le mentalitity des gens occidentaux mais ceci doit être fait vivement et en exerçant la sagesse quand le besoin aussi. L'ouest n'acceptera jamais une pleine expression de civilisation islamique. Les expressions manifestes d'Islamicosity seront rejected(you pure si en France). Les musulmans ont leurs pieds dans l'ouest, nous ont laissés ne pas menacer ceci, nous ont laissés être sages et penser aux musulmans en général. Si Allah laisse, Inshallah, musulmans peut influencer l'ouest et alternativement influencer le monde musulman. Les musulmans vivant dans l'ouest ont l'alot de la puissance, nous ont laissés apprennent comment l'employer ! Travaillons vers ceci ! Inshallah !
Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Cher frère Abdul Basit moi aussi je suis d'accord avec ce que tu as dis et je le trouves très pertinent. Ce que je fais chaque fois est de réagir par rapport à ce que vous dite et rajouter de nouveaux éléments à la discution. Peut être que vous allez trouver mes idées un peu bizarres. En tout cas je ne fais que profiter de l'occasion dont nous offre Archnet et de la rencontre avec vous chers frères et chères seours pour exprimer mon point de vue sur l'architecture et comment je la conçois. je pense qu'il faut faire apprendre à nos étudiants architectes dans le monde musulman comment penser un projet architecturale du côté de sa conception, de sa spatialité, sa fonctionnalité et les différentes étapes de son exécution. c'est avantageux de leur enseigner aussi bien les techniques de construction traditionnelles que de la haute technologie (high tech). Mais ce qu'il ne faut jamais oublier est d'enseigner aux étudiants architectes dans nos écoles d'architecture musulmanes que: dans une maison de musulmans la perception et le vécu de cette dernière change integralement quand elle accueille un orphelin (yatim). Et qu'une maison accueillant des grands parents respectés par leurs fils et leurs petits fils est différente de point de vue ARCHITECTURALE d'une maison sans cette présence etc...
Jalel Almawla
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
As the discussion seems to be stiffled, I will ask, what do you think Islamic Architecture should be? If you were given cart-blanche to design a structure, lets say a home, how would you design it, so it would evoke of "Islamic Architecture". If you are unable to answer, than how do you expect to implement future missions of Islamic architecture?

If you have the time or the will than entertain my proposition. It can perhaps serve as a case study for others to implement in their design philosophies! Give it a try, perhaps you will come to know what is truly Islamic architecture!

Take Care,
Abdul Basit Mukri
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
cher frère abdul,

Dans son livre L'art de l'Islam langage et signification, Titus Burchkardt a expliqué la naissance de l'art musulman par une rencontre de la communauté musulmane primitive avec la culture urbaine des peuples conquis et convertis et ce qu'il appelle une "extériorisation" providentielle de ce qu'il y a de plus intérieur dans le coran et la tradition.

Par l'integration des musulmans au sein des sociétés occidentales, la convertion de plus en plus manifeste d'individus d'occident à l'Islam et l'envahissement de la terre d'Islam. Cette rencontre, malgré l'aspect de confrontation qu'elle est entrain de prendre, ajoutée à une nouvelle compréhention de l'Islam,ouverte sur tous les horizons civilisationnelle dans le monde, vont donner, à mon avis, une nouvelle tendance créatrice dans l'art musulman et un renouvellement dans l'architecture islamique que tout le monde y participerai. Mais sur un plan vraiment universel cette fois.
Jalel Almawla
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
une fois, dans une discussion, avec un ami archtecte il était question des problèmes de la pratique de l'architecture dans un pays arabe bien précis.
Parlant de la capitale, mon ami a évoqué entre autre la grande difficulté de trouver un beau terrain. Tout les beaux sites sont occupés m'a-t-il dit. Alors comment faire c'est la question?
Dans une civilisation matérialiste pour récupérer ces beaux sites il n'y a pas mieux que la guerre et tous sera rasé puis reconstruit après.
C'est d'ailleurs ce qu'on est entrain de faire dans beaucoup de pays musulmans aujourd'hui.
Pour nous musulmans je pense qu'on est appelé, dans une nouvelle perspective de concevoir l'architeture islamique future, à militer pour créer et recréer de nouveaux terrains de paix. Et ceci par une conscience que le monde aujourd'hui ne supporte plus de guerre et que l'étendu qui est sujet de l'architecture ne conserne pas seulement l'espace entant que matériel mais aussi la dimension intérieur de celui là dans l'homme.
Elargissant donc le monde par une conscience que l'étendu spacial se poursuit dans les être et qu'il ne faut pas que les hommes soient humilliés opprimés ou peureux. Sinon on participera à la destruction de leur architecture et son vécu.

Au début de la période des modernites
les architetes ont évoqué les problèmes de l'insalubrité des batiments habités. Aux architectes d'aujourd'hui d'évoquer avec la même force que les architectes prémodernistes et modernistes jadis la question de l'insalubrité des habitations de la grande majorité des peuples musulmans mais aussi les questions de la liberté de l'homme et son honneur. Ces éléments influent beaucoup sur la qualité spaciale et le vécu du cadre batit des hommes.
N'oublions pas que nous sommes architectes et que nous agissions sur les perceptions et que pour percevoir on doit être libre.
Une architecture islamique future doit penser le droit de l'homme musulman -le premier à être attaqué dans sa sécurité et dignité dans le monde aujourd'hui- et non musulman à la liberté, la sécurité et la justice dans son espace VECU.
Jalel Almawla
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
I've listened carefully to the replies and I agree with many of the points, however, I think we need first to identify the ''kernel'' of Islamic there such a thing? Well yes and is this possible.....if by ''Islamic'' we understand the natural order of things as reflected by Islamic cosmology then yes, but alas in this case ''Islamic'' remains a utopian horizon to strive for at all times forever ideal to guide human such certain qualities and values need to be identified, as reflected by the constant interaction with the sacred text (Quran) and the forces of this case only values imbeded in a ''process'' can produce or generate anything ''Islamic''in which case we asj whether the description ''Islamic'' is necessary at all...for if we are following an order we perceive as being natural then why refer to it as ''Islamic''....we may be justified by doing so if among the cacophany of voices out there our ''Islamic'' position is unique...Is it???....there is no such thing as ''Islamic'' if by this term we mean something Muslims do or have and cannot be applied to ''others'' it equally applicable to all??? If so then it is a ''natural architecture'' of sorts and not merely ''Islamic''....these are just some thoughts.....
I hope through my upcoming research at Cambridge to contribute to a reflection on the built environment from Islamic sources....there already exists an emerging Theology of the Built Environment among our Christian brethren...we are in dire need of a similar move....your contributions in this forum, i hope, will illuminate and bring some order to my own chaotic ideas....
Samir Mahmoud
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
The profound geometric complexity of Islamic architecture lends itself perfectly to design using current and future computer hardware and software. I offer, as example, my own muqarnas design (not architectural) work on the computer. I am convinced that Islamic architecture is on the verge of a renaissance which will carry world architecture forward for the forseeable future. Western architecture having surrendered the beauties of its Gothic and Romanesque peaks is mired in rectangular commercialism. Please view my muqarns image collection for many more examples.
Daniel Owen
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
Hi Daniel,

Nice job of fitting your promotion of (nevertheless nicely done) work into three different forum questions!

But honestly, isn't what you are doing the same thing done by orientalist architects in late 19th c. (and surprisingly, by historicist post-modern architects today). That is, aren't you just treating the architecture as "ornament" by taking a single decorative element that often serves a structural purpose and pasting it anywhere and everywhere, like along a stairway to heaven (as in the image you've used to illustrate your post)?

Shouldn't there be some critical thinking attached to your project for anyone to take it seriously?
Ozgur Basak Alkan
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
All architecture employs space-enclosing systems to serve human purposes. The vast majority of modern architectural forms utilize rectangular space. No matter how you stack boxes they are still just that.

Architecture reveals the nature of space. Muqarnas challenge us by revealing spaces which are more subtle and varied and that require sustained contemplation to appreciate. The genius of the Islamic system of muqarnas is found in its ability to define and express an unlimited and perhaps unknowable variety of spatial forms. I love Gothic and Romanesque. I appreciate Gaudi and geodesic and tensile forms. However, none of them offer the long-term potential for architectural cultural growth and enrichment as do muqarnas.

Muqarnas in the abstract are a 3-dimensional system that tiles space. Muqarnas include numerous symmetry groups and an unknown number of basic and complex forms which may be combined into compositions. The richness and still largely untapped potential of muqarnas arises from the aforesaid.

The number of unique tiles in any given muqarnas symmetry group is quite limited and is key to the practicality of their future use. For example, the 32-fold division of the circle (360/32) yields fifteen (15) unique muqarnas tiles. Fifteen mass produced elements. All of the forms in my image collection which make reference to '32-fold' are made of these 15 muqarnas blocks or tiles. Each of the 15 usually each have a unique color. This further helps to reveal the structure.

By and large modern architecture offers nothing culturally and thus in general is not worth preserving. There are few incentives or cultural structures in place to attempt to erect structures that will deserve to be standing in, say, three or four hundred years. Why?
Daniel Owen
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
What are the future missions of Islamic architecture?
The mission of Islamic Architeture has never changed and will remain always the same. The Kalema ....LA ELLA ELLA ALLAH Mohamed Rasulu Alla. Transated into english.
There is no God but Allah and Mohamed (PBUH) is his prophet .
Now translate that in form of Achitecture , which is the science of
building . You have "Islamic Architecture" it is left to the designer
to interprete that in architecture.
The mission has not changed and will never change.Understanding of the subject of Islamic Architecture is the
problem.How can we address an issue that
we do not understand.I think that this question has to be rephrased.
WE should address first what is Islam?
and then ask what is Architecture.? With the clear understanding of both
words , we can begine to address "Islamic Architecture".
Ibrahim Khadar


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