Rabbat, Nasser. "Islamic Architecture and the Profession." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 3, Number 1 (pp. 37-40), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.
The term ‘Islamic architecture’ often evokes domed and sumptuously decorated monuments, preferably with minarets and lots of arches. Reductive and exotic, these images are nonetheless quite popular both in the West and in the Islamic world. Even the specialized literature on Islamic architecture, erudite and extensive as it is, still falls for a similar, though less fantastic, kind of historicism. Why is it so? How has Islamic architecture as a body of knowledge interacted with the practice of design? And is the uncertainty with which architectural historians treat Islamic architecture related to the expediency and frivolity with which many architects respond to requests of incorporating ‘Islamic architecture’ into their design?