Shahed Saleem: In What Style Should We Build?
In what style should we build? This question, which has resonated throughout European architectural history for some 150 years, is revisited and reapplied in my talk to the predicament of mosque design in Britain today. Style became an existential battleground for the Victorians, representing contested notions of morality, identity, nostalgia and historicism in a period of self-doubt and reinvention. I argue that Muslim architecture in Britain, and in the West more broadly, where diverse Muslim communities are building as diasporic minority communities, is entwined in similar negotiations of identity and positioning.
Drawing from my research into the architectural and social history of the British mosque, I will provide an historical overview of mosque architecture in Britain, and will set out what I see as its current predicaments. Alongside this, drawing from my own design practice and experiences of working with Muslim communities, I will also suggest my own responses to the questions raised.
Shahed Saleem teaches at the University of Westminster and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Bartlett, Survey of London, and a practising architect.
The Architecture Research Forum is a seminar series hosted by the Architecture + Cities Research Group where staff present work-in-progress for discussion.
Where: Erskine Room (M/523), Marylebone Campus
When: Thursday 23rd November, 13:00-14:00