The Profession’s Extensions: Architecture Beyond Architects in the Modern Middle East / May 13-14, 2022

The Fung Global Fellows Program, PIIRS and the Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities are pleased to announce a:

Hybrid Symposium | The Profession’s Extensions: Architecture Beyond Architects in the Modern Middle East

Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University (Room TBD)

Convened by Dr. Wesam Al Asali, Fung Global Fellow 2021-22, this event will be both virtual and on-location at Princeton University.

Despite the emergence of new critical works on architectural history and practice beyond Euro-American frameworks, much of this thinking and writing remains focused on architects and planners and their role in the creation of space. This seminar seeks to challenge this approach by asking: who is behind the production of our built environment? By de-centering the architect in architectural studies, the seminar seeks to engage with and unearth actors and processes that have been overlooked or obscured in the study of architectural history and practice, including labor networks, building crafts, and building materials. This approach allows for questioning accepted categorizations of the built environment that are not produced by architects (including ‘vernacular’, ‘informal’, or ‘self-built’ architecture) through understanding how the conditions of scarcity and abundance have been central to the production of these built environments in the Global South, including the Middle East and North Africa. With this in mind, the seminar will examine the following themes: (1) materials, resources, and environmental challenges (2) histories and futures of labor and technology (3) design practice, building cultures, and imagined communities (4) the rural and the vernacular.

We invite contributions from scholars working on one or more of the symposium’s themes. We strongly encourage submissions from early career scholars. Important dates and deadlines: 

  • January 15th  2022: Submission of 300 word abstracts 
  • February 1st 2022: Notifications of acceptance
  • April 22nd 2022: Submission of 3500-5000 word working papers 

For more information: