MEDirections Keynote Lecture by Marwa Al-Sabouni | The Spring’s Harvest: What Role Can Architecture Play in the Reconstruction of Syrian Cities?

31 January 2019, 17.00-19.00, Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia

The so-called Arab Spring has left the Arab region in devastation and destruction. 

Talks about the ‘next phase’ are already starting while the battles of on-going conflicts continue. What is the nature of these talks? Under what spirit will the reconstruction of the ash-covered cities will take place? What challenges are expected? And what has been done so far? All these questions are related to a current situation: recovery. 

While addressing these questions through a general outline, the talk aims to shed a light on the act of recovery through the lens of architecture and urban planning, and its connection to pre-war dynamics that were affecting the Syrian cities long before the eruption of violence. How architecture plays a role in the Syrian conflict, and what is actually at stake in the act of reconstruction, are the two main questions of this talk. 

About the speaker:
Marwa Al-Sabouni is a Syrian practicing architect and author of The Battle for Home published by Thames and Hudson 2016. She is a Prince Claus Fund laureate 2018 and was listed as one of the top contenders for the Pritzker Prize 2018. Her TED Talk was chosen among the best of TED talks 2016 was viewed over 900K times. She also was listed as one of the top ten experts on Syria’s reconstruction. She holds PhD in architectural design. 

Everyone is welcome and a drinks reception will follow.