Al-Lahham, Abeer. "Traditionalism or Tranditiona-lieism." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 8, issue 3 (2014): 64-73.
Muslim cities with their notable architecture and morphology have always attracted scholars, architects, and planners. Regionalism, Historicism, Neo-Traditionalism, and Revivalism are but a few postmodern approaches that emerged calling for reviving the spirit of the place and searching for an identity associated with history and context. Structuralism, Semiology and Critical Studies offered significant methodologies in this respect. This research argues that traditional Islamic built environment has its own structures stemmed from Shari’a (Islamic legal system), which gave it its authenticity. Similarly, contemporary built environment has its own structures based on capitalism and its mechanisms. Those two modes (Islam and capitalism) are substantially different, and hence their structures. Adopting linguistic methodologies, Revivalism of Islamic heritage, or Traditionalism, is in effect imposing solutions originated in one mode onto another. This led to internal contradictions in the structures of contemporary built environment and thus to a state of in-equilibrium that might be depicted as a crisis. Therefore, the process of “authentication” of contemporary built environment turned out to be a “fabrication” of contemporary Islamic architecture. It is thus “Traditiona-lieism.”
Keywords: Islamic built environment; Capitalism; Structures of the built environment; Traditionalism; Rights-based mechanisms.