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  3. Architecture in the Islamic World

Architecture in the Islamic World (ABPL30062)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeABPL30062
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will offer an overview of the cosmopolitan origin and modern development of architecture in the Islamic world. Case studies from different regional contexts and historical periods will be examined to highlight the broad spectrum of political, cultural, social and environmental aspects related to the shaping of architecture in the Islamic world. A variety of building types, ranging from classical religious and monumental structures, vernacular forms and settlements, to urban and contemporary civic projects, as well as important architectural figures and discourses emerging from the Islamic world will be studied. In order to recognise how architecture continues to manifest the Islamic world’s transforming socio-cultural milieu, a particular focus will be given to the architectural outcomes of the long-standing encounters between the spread of Islam and other social and political formations. These include cross cultural encounters between Islamic and European courts in the Mediterranean region, the syncretism between the teaching of Islam and older indigenous traditions in Southeast Asia, and the shaping of Islamic identity in the context of colonialism and nation building politics in North Africa and Asia, including specifically South and Southeast Asia. The rise of popular culture and youth identity in contemporary cities in the Islamic world, their interactions with Islamic expressions and representations in public space and architectural forms will also be explored.

Intended learning outcomes

On the completion of the subject students will demonstrate:

  • a broad understanding of the historical dynamic and diversity of architectural forms developed in different parts of the Islamic world;
  • an ability to analyse buildings and places in terms of their forms, spatial organisation, and functions in relation to religious traditions and broader socio-cultural practices;
  • an ability to identify and analyse geometric composition, decorative treatment of surfaces, hybridity and cosmopolitanism as important attributes of architecture in the Islamic world;
  • an awareness of modern architectural discourses, seminal projects, and key architectural figures emerging from, and through interactions with, the Islamic world

Generic skills

Critical readings, oral presentation skills, research skills, essay writings

Last updated: 10 August 2019