Architecture beyond cultural politics : Western practice in the Arabian peninsula
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Much of the recent architectural discourse in the Gulf States is permeated by a passionate preoccupation with narratives of identity and self-definition. During the last two decades, these states invited an overwhelming number of western architects to participate in development projects. The work of these architects appears to involve a multitude of interpretations. At one end is the architect's own theoretical position and autonomous architectural discourse, while at the other end is the cultural and ideological circumstances by which the architect's work and ideas are received and understood. This study is focused on two institutional buildings designed by two western architects: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh by Henning Larsen, and the National Assembly in Kuwait by Jam Utzon. A critical reading of texts and representations of these buildings provides a vehicle to expose the explicit and implicit theoretical positions of the two architects and to offer a critique of the cultural politics of identity by which the architect's work and ideas are received. This study argues that the "discursive practice" and the cultural politics underlying the work of architecture serve to place identity as the centerpiece of discussion which in tum reduces architecture to a set of prevalent characterizations and obscures any meaningful analysis of work and ideas.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1993.Includes bibliographical references (p. 99-103).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology