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 at 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 the Alan K. and
Leonarda Laing Distinguished Visiting Professor. He was also 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) Sahel Al Hiyari Projects (2005).
He is the editor of Workplaces: The Transformation of
Places of Production: Industrialization and the Built Environment in the
Islamic World (2010), and co-editor (with Majd Musa) of Architectural
Journalism and Criticism: Global Perspectives (2007) and Exploring the Built Environment (2007).
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.