TDSR 27.1 Fall 2015

27.1 TDSR coverEditor’s Note

Heresy, Hybrid Buildings, and a Geography of Architectural Traditions
Andrzej Piotrowski
Urban Traditions in the Contemporary Lived Space of Cities on the Arabian Peninsula Ashraf M. Salama
The Cultural Heritage of Small and Medium-Size Cities: A New Approach to Metropolitan Transformation in São Paulo, Brazil
Maria Cristina Da Silva Schicchi
Interrogating Ethnic Identity: Space and Community Building in Chicago’s Chinatown
Chuo Li
Courtyard Houses of Beijing: Lessons from the Renewal [Field Report]
Donia Zhang

Book Reviews

 
 


Editor’s Note

Heresy, Hybrid Buildings, and a Geography of Architectural Traditions
Andrezj Piotrowski
This examination of historical churches in Armenia, Cappadocia and Greece advocates a new geography of architectural traditions that can capture nuanced relationships among different material cultures, especially where they have coexisted in tension. While the history of heretical religions can help identify such places, the buildings analyzed here reveal suppressed or unconscious processes of cultural negotiation. Despite attempts by political and religious leaders to control the ideological programs of art and architecture, heretical worldviews have persisted as tacit but materially consistent practices that have contributed to a greater complexity of forms and experiences than recognized by conventional architectural history.

Urban Traditions in the Contemporary Lived Space of Cities on the Arabian Peninsula
Ashraf M. Salama
This article aims to answer the question “Whose tradition?” in relation to the contemporary architecture and urbanism of the Arabian Peninsula. It first contextualizes tradition in the region within the geocultural politics of the Arab World and identifies key factors that shaped its traditional settlements, including tribal governance, social systems, building materials, and construction techniques. The article then contends that the region’s urban traditions have been transformed from ones shaped by common people to ones shaped by the elite, in which the role of rulers is heavily emphasized. To explore this view, it analyzes two representative scenes in the contemporary urban lived space of the region, using examples from Dubai and Doha. These are articulated in terms of the emergence of elite enterprises, persistent patterns of social and ethnic segregation, and a continuing struggle to construct identity. Conclusions drawn from the discussion delineate key answers to the question “Whose tradition?” But a framework of examination is also introduced that emphasizes that lived space and the traditions that ensue from it cannot be seen in isolation from other types of space — such as conceived and perceived space. There needs to be a new cycle of knowledge production about cities in the region that integrates concern for all three (lived, conceived and perceived space) to better understand its traditions.

The Cultural Heritage of Small and Medium-Size Cities: A New Approach to Metropolitan Transformation in São Paulo, Brazil
Maria Cristina Da Silva Schicchi
In response to the recent transformation of small and medium-size cities in the Metropolitan Region of Campinas, this article proposes a new theoretical and methodological approach to the preservation of cultural heritage in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. Given the interconnected nature of heritage sites in these cities, it is necessary to analyze all historic, structural and dynamic elements that characterize their territories. The approach thus presupposes a cross-scale analysis of processes and policies at a regional level. The objective is to elaborate concepts and methodologies that may be used to define and select heritage sites identified as “diachronic” and “dispersed.”

Interrogating Ethnic Identity: Space and Community Building in Chicago’s Chinatown
Chuo Li
This article examines the role of architectural and landscape imagery in articulating a collective identity for the ethnic community of Chicago’s Chinatown, focusing on the complex and contingent character of spatial processes involved in this effort. In Chicago, the remaking of the Chinatown landscape has been inseparable from a market-driven effort to translate cultural products into consumable difference. But it has also been shaped by internal sociopolitical forces that reveal the active engagement of the ethnic group in the making of self-image and identity through the mechanism of the built environment.

Courtyard Houses of Beijing: Lessons from the Renewal
Donia Zhang
Courtyard houses served as a traditional dwelling type for single, extended families in Beijing for centuries. However, the twentieth century brought significant changes, as individual houses were divided into multiple units and their courtyards filled in for ancillary structures such as kitchens and storage sheds. This study combines architectural and ethnographic research to examine a project initiated by the Beijing municipal government in 2005 to renew dilapidated courtyard housing over a period of 25 years. Reflecting consideration of the lived experiences of residents and the author’s on-site observations, the study found that the project displays many deficiencies. Besides infrastructure and construction-quality issues, the renewed courtyards and interior spaces are too small to accommodate the daily needs of residents. The appraisal concludes by offering four lessons for future practice.

Book Reviews
Consuming Architecture: On the Occupation, Appropriation and Interpretation of Buildings, edited by Daniel Maudlin and Marcel Vellinga
Reviewed by James Steele

Lessons from Vernacular Architecture, edited by Willi Weber and Simos Yannas
Reviewed by Gabriel Arboleda

The Durable Slum: Dharavi and the Right to Stay Put in Globalizing Mumbai, by Liza Weinstein
Reviewed by Tanu Sankalia

Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan’s Premodern Capital, by Matthew Stavros
Reviewed by Sean H. McPherson

Reading the Architecture of the Underprivileged Classes: A Perspective on the Protests and Upheavals in Our Cities, edited by Nnamdi Elleh
Reviewed by E.G. Daves Rossell

Jakarta, Drawing the City Near, by AbdouMaliq Simone
Reviewed by Abidin Kusno

The Territories of Identity: Architecture in the Age of Evolving Globalisation, edited by Soumyen Bandyopadhyay and Guillermo Garma Montiel
Reviewed by Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem

Architecture and Armed Conflict: The Politics of Destruction, editedby J.M. Mancini and Keith Bresnahan
Reviewed by Muna Guvenc

Building Zion: The Material World of Mormon Settlement, by Thomas Carter
Reviewed by Kathleen Corbett

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