Raised in the historic city of Isfahan, Mohammad Gharipour received
his Ph.D. in Architectural Theory and History from Georgia Institute of
Technology in 2008 and Masters of Architecture from the University of Tehran in
2000. He teaches architecture at Morgan State University and is the Director and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. His
areas of research include Japanese traditional and contemporary architecture,
Persianate gardens and architecture, and restorative environments. He is the
recipient of Spiro Kostof fellowship award from the Society of Architectural
Historians (SAH) in 2008 and the author of several publications including Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in
Poetry, Arts and History(I.B. Tauris, 2013). in 2014, Dr. Gharipour was presented with the National Endowment for Humanities Faculty Award for his research on Synagogues of Isfahan, Iran.
Khan, Ahmed Z. “On Design and Politics of Co-producing Public Space: The Long Marches and the Reincarnation of the ‘Forecourt’ of the Pakistani Nation.” In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 2, Number 1 (pp. 125-156), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2013.
The rise in the political power of social media technologies has led to claims about their democratizing and empowering functions. On the one hand, the a-spatial theorization of this ‘rise’ undermines the value and role of public space. On the other, it raises questions about traditional ways of conceptualizing this space. With the intention of broadening the concept of public space, this article investigates key socio-political processes behind temporal events like the ‘long march’ or Occupy movements, and how spatial forms of streets and public spaces interact in producing the image, value and meaning of public space. I assemble a theoretical framework in order to analyse a specific case: the ‘long marches’ and reincarnation of the ‘forecourt’ of the Pakistani nation that materialized in three public spaces in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. By focusing on the spatiality of contemporary long marches, my analyses carefully unravels the intertwinement of design and politics in socio-spatial … these public spaces, and concludes that social processes and spatial forms co-define each other.
Keywords: Pakistan; co-production; design; long march; new media; place-making; public space