Building Islam

Required of: 
BSA required; restricted elective for Architecture minor

A review of the history of Islamic architecture, this course spans fifteen centuries and three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe.  It depicts architecture as an embodiment of the historical conditions within which Islam was formed and acquired meaning, and to which it in turn gave form and context.  Building techniques, material, styles, decoration, religion, society, polity, culture, patronage, and learning are examined through a series of paradigmatic architectural and urban moments that span from the House of the Prophet in Medina in the 7th century to the high-rises of Dubai today.  Crosspollination with the architecture of the cultures with which Islam came in contact are highlighted from late Antique Arabia all the way to the interaction with the West in the age of colonialism, independence, development, and the consequent revival of Islamic architecture today. Each class covers a specific time/place but keeps the thread of the entire story moving while emphasizing the role of culture in shaping architecture.