Architectural Knowledge and Cultural Diversity

5th Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium
April 6-8, 1998 Monte Verità, Ascona

On April 6 to 8, 1998, some forty architects from 15 countries gathered at Monte Verità for the 5th Architecture & Behaviour  Colloquium – held this year only in English – on the theme Architectural Knowledge and Cultural Diversity.  The Colloquium, organized by Kaj Noschis, Lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in collaboration with The Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva, gave the opportunity to discuss problems of educational curriculum in architecture in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.  During the last decades the architecture in these countries has been strongly influenced by the western world while being nowadays also confronted with growing demand connected with their muslim identity.  A spirited debate took place around this issue.  To what extent does architecture have to recognize a regional specificity and how to define it ?  The diversity of situations in different countries emphasized the difficulty to set a perspective for the debate on influences upon architecture in particular countries, especially when it comes to defining the importance of cultural specificity for the educational cursus.  Or is it necessary ?  The two standpoints were defended with alacrity.  The lecturers have all rewritten their papers taking in consideration the Colloquium debates.  As result the book edited by William O’Reilly and published by Comportements (Architectural Knowledge and Cultural Diversity, 1999) is not only the Colloquium Proceedings, but also a useful reader for architecture schools confronted with cultural diversity.
Participants : Abeer Al-Lahham (Université Oxford Brooks, Grande Bretagne); Shiraz Allibhai (Le Prix Aga Khan d’Architecture, Genève, Suisse); Jamel Akbar (Department d’Architecture, Université King Faisal, Al-Khobar, Arabie Saoudite); Saiyeda Qudsiya Akhtar (Dhaka, Bangladesh); Meer Mobashsher Ali (Department d’Architecture, University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh); Abdul-Aziz Al-Kabab (Faculty of Architecture, University of Science & Technology, Sana’a, Yemen); Jihad Awad (Department d’Architecture, Université Nationale An-Najah, Palestine); Moustafa Baghdadi (Faculté d’Architecture, Université Al Azhar, Cairo, Egypt); Yves Belmont (Ecole d’architecture de Lyon, France); Ali Cengizkan (Department d’Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turquie); Marco Christov (Le Prix Aga Khan d’Architecture, Genève, Suisse); Jose Depuydt (Department d’Architecture, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique); Farrokh Derakhshani (Le Prix Aga Khan d’Architecture, Genève, Suisse); Halina Dunin-Woyseth (Ecole d’Architecture Oslo, Norway); Hisham El-Kadi (Ecole d’Architecture, Université de Plymouth, Grande Bretagne); Ihsan Fethi (Faculty of Engineering & Architecture, Al-Bayan University, Abu Dhabi, Emirats Arabes Unis); Mohamed A. Gawad (Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt); Laurie W. Hegvold, School of Architecture, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia); Mine Inceogly (Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Taksim, Istanbul, Turquie); Sri Rahayu Kartohadiprodjo (Department of Architecture, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia); Jack Kennedy (Le Prix Aga Khan d’Architecture, Genève, Suisse); Tom G. Kessinger (The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Genève, Suisse); Kaj Noschis (Department d’Architecture, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Suisse); William O’Reilly (Le Prix Aga Khan d’Architecture, Genève, Suisse); Suha Özkan (Le Prix Aga Khan d’Architecture, Genève, Suisse);Cho Padamsee (Goa College of Architecture, Goa-Panjim, India); Attilio Petruccioli (The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and M.I.T., Cambridge, U.S.A.); Ranjit Sabikhi (Architects & Town Planners, New Delhi, India); Ashraf M.A. Salama (Misr Development Co., Cairo, Egypte; Necdet Teymur (Faculty of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turquie); Faozi Ujam (Edinburgh College of Art, School of Architecture, Edinburgh, Grande Bretagne); Pierre von Meiss (Department d’Architecture, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Suisse); Akbar Zargar (University of Arts, Teheran, Iran).