Mohammad al-Asad is a Jordanian architect and architectural historian. He is the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment in Amman. Dr. al-Asad studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and history of architecture at Harvard University, before taking post-doctoral research positions at Harvard and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
He has taught at the University of Jordan, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was Alan K. and Leonarda Laing Distinguished Visiting Professor. He was also an adjunct professor at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Dr. al-Asad has published in both Arabic and English on the architecture of the Islamic world, in books and academic and professional journals. He is the author of Old Houses of Jordan: Amman 1920-1950 (1997) and Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East (2012); and co-author, with Ghazi Bisheh and Fawzi Zayadine, of The Umayyads: The Rise of Islamic Art (2000) and, with Sahel Al Hiyari and Álvaro Siza, of Sahel Al Hiyari Projects (2005). He has also edited the proceedings of three Aga Khan Award for Architecture seminars: Shaping Cities: Emerging Models of Planning Practices (2016), Workplaces: The Transformation of Places of Production: Industrialization and the Built Environment in the Islamic World (2010) and (co-edited with Majd Musa) Architectural Journalism and Criticism: Global Perspectives (2007).
Dr. al-Asad has been a member of the board of directors of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, part of the Royal Society for Fine Arts. He served as a project reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture during the 1989, 1995, 1998, 2004 and 2007 Award cycles, and was a member of the Steering Committee in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
al-Asad, Mohammad. "The Construction of Spatial Commonality Within the Apple vs. Orange Taxonomic Paradigm: Revising the Accepted". 2005.
Pre-structuralist ideologies have imposed
an intensive corpus of delineations debating an epistemological investigation
defining the construction of spatial commonality with the apple vs. orange
taxonomic paradigm. The dialectic underpinnings of such debates have reached a
collective synthesis that accepts and in turn underscores specific taxonomic
constructs connecting the two objects under consideration. This synthesis
presents a hierarchical system that structures a spatial field segregating the
two members of the fruit family and establishes the hegemony of the apple in
relation to the orange. However, a re-examination of presented evidence divulges
epistemological patterns that question and ultimately redefine the
underpinnings as well as the historicity of such a synthesis. As this paper
will expose, this re-examination will lead to a reconfiguration of this supposition
in favor of a spatial matrix that establishes the subservient relation of the
orange vis-à-vis the apple.