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Call for Papers

Instant Cities: Emergent Trends in Architecture and Urbanism in the Arab World

1-3 April, 2008     American University of Sharjah, UAE

Organized by:

The Center for the Study of Architecture in the Arab Region

In Collaboration with

School of Architecture and Design, American University of Sharjah, UAE


Keynote Speakers:

Anthony D. King, Emeritus Professor, State University of New York, USA

Speech title: Thinking Through Cities: Identities, Modernities, Globalities

Besim S. Hakim, Consultant and an independent scholar, USA

Speech title: Eco-Policies and Generative Programs for Sustainable Cities


Throughout the Arab region, rapid urbanization fueled by speculation and geopolitical transformations have had a significant impact on architecture. The flow of people, goods and capital into the Gulf states has prompted fundamental changes resulting from economic growth and diversification intended to lessen the dependence on oil revenues. As a result of its ability to entice investors and instantly translate funds into real estate ventures, Dubai has become a prime example and a potential focus of study. Architects and planners struggle to adapt to processes of rapid change and there seems to be little time for reflection on the long-term socio-cultural or environmental consequences of current practices.

The CSAAR 2008 conference will focus on the causes and effects of emergent trends in architecture and urbanism in the Gulf. Media campaigns and journalistic accounts of the extraordinary projects that promise to increase economic vitality and attract tourists have focused attention on the region. However, there have been few attempts to move beyond the descriptive. We invite colleagues from across disciplines to develop analyses that identify, explicate and theorize emergent trends in architecture and urbanism in the Arab region in general and the Gulf states in particular. Questions to be considered include: How has economic progress affected contemporary architecture and urbanism in the Arab region? What theoretical constructs can be employed to explain transformations in the built environment? What can be learned from architecture and urbanism in fast-developing cities like Dubai? How have inhabitants adapted to the effects of urban development?
While the conference is primarily concerned with conditions in the Gulf, organizers invite contributions that address how rapid urbanization affects the production of architecture and the lives of inhabitants throughout the Arab region and beyond.

Topics of Interest

We invite submissions in all areas related to urbanism and architecture, particularly work focusing on bridging the gap between theory and practice. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

Urban Development

Economic and Urban Strategies
Culture, Lifestyle and Urbanity
The Role of Heritage
Landscape Strategies in Harsh Climates
Urban, Suburban and Exurban
New Urbanism/Transit-Oriented Development
Tensions between Environmental and Economic Sustainability
Changing Definitions of Public and Private
Land use, Transportation and Urban Management
Land Reclamation as a Means of Expansion
The Impacts of Privatization
Uses of Urban Space
Segregation as an Urban Strategy
Ecological and social sustainability
Modernization and Cultural Regeneration

Morphology and Typology

Emergent Urban Patterns
Emergent Building Types
Mixed-Use Developments
Traditional Neighborhood Design / Neo-Traditional Design
Spaces for Shopping, Tourism and Entertainment
Effects of Neo-Liberal Economic Policies (e.g. Free Zones, Privatization, etc.)
The Role of Infrastructure
Gender, Space and Social Practice
Form as a Means of Social Control
Environmental Determinism / Economic Determinism
Postmodernity and the Architecture of Festivals
Urban fabric, social life and healthy communities
Approaches to Precedent

Design and Representation

Simulations and Simulacra
Depictions of the Arab World in Themed Developments
The Role of Branding in Selling Buildings and Cities
Constructing National Identities through Built Form
Stylistic Tropes
Representations vs. Reality in Architecture and Urbanism
Design as a Marketing Tool
Geometry and Form Generation
Distributed Design and Global Practice

Important Dates

Deadline for abstracts (extended) August 30, 2007
Full paper submission September 30, 2007
Notification of acceptance December 15, 2007
Deadline for final papers January 15, 2008

Abstract Submission

Abstract submissions should be approximately 500 words and must be in English. Abstract and full paper submissions should be sent in MS Word or PDF document format. Abstracts should be e-mailed to scientific committee co-chair (). Full paper submissions are required to be done online at csaar submission and review system below.

Full Paper Submission

List of accepted papers  

list of accepted papers can be found here >>

Conference Fees and Registration

Authors are invited to complete the registration process before January 30th  2008. Authors should pay registration fees before February 28th. Failing to send the registration fees on or before this date will result in excluding the paper from the proceedings. Click here for online registration>>.   

Conference Proceedings

All papers accepted for publication will be published in a conference proceedings, which will be available to delegates at the time of registration.  In addition, papers will be published in a volume of CSAAR Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN 1992-7320).

Location & Accommodation

Information regarding location, accommodation, visa and travel information is available here >>


Conference Program

Draft of conference program available her >>


Conference Site Manger

Rania Morsi, American University of Sharjah

Conference Secretariat

Samer Taweel, CSAAR
samer @

  Page Map


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   Accepted papers New

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American University of Sharjah, UAE

The Center for the Study of Architecture, Jordan

Organizing Committee

Amer Moustafa, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

George Katodrytis, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Jamal Al-Qawasmi, KFUPM, Saudi Arabia

Kevin Mitchell, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Mehdi Sabet, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Samia Rab, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Tim Kennedy, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Scientific Committee Co-Chairs

Amer Moustafa, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Jamal Al-Qawasmi, KFUPM, Saudi Arabia

Kevin Mitchell, American University of Sharjah, UAE.


Conference Scientific Committee

Abeer Al-Lahham

KFU, Saudi Arabia

Abeer Shaheen

Harvard University, USA

Adel A. Aldosary

KFUPM, Saudi Arabia

Adnan Morshed

The Catholic University of America, USA

Ahmad Okeil

British University in Dubai, UAE

Ahmed Kanna

University of Iowa, USA

Ali Alraouf

University of Bahrain, Bahrain

Besim Hakim


Boris Brorman Jensen

Institute for Urbanism& Landscape, Denmark

Donald Bates

LAB Architecture Studio, Australia

Fabio Todeschini

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Florian Wiedmann

University of Stuttgart, Germany

Gareth Doherty

Harvard University, USA

George Katodrytis

American University of Sharjah, UAE

Gordana Fontana-Giusti

University of Kent, UK

Han Meyer

TU Delft, Netherlands

Habib Alshuwaikhat

KFUPM, Saudi Arabia

Hilde Heynen

Harvard University, USA

H. Filiz Alkan Meshur

Selcuk University, Turkey

Hilde Heynen

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Hisham Elkadi

University of Ulster, UK

Ihab Elzeyadi

University of Oregon, USA

J M Jamil Brownson

United Arab Emirates University, UAE

John Alexander Smith

American University in Dubai, UAE

Kahina Amal Djiar

The Polytechnic School of Architecture & Urbanism, Algeria

Khaled Galal Ahmed

United Arab Emirates University, UAE

Lineu Castellio

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Mehdi Sabet

American University of Sharjah, UAE

Mohamed Alaa Mandour

Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Nabil Mohareb

UAE University, UAE

Nabyl Chenaf

University of Girona, Spain

Nadia Fava

University of Girona, Spain

Nadia Mounajjed

American University of Sharjah, UAE

Nnamdi Elleh

University of Cincinnati, USA

Raed Al Tal

The Hashemite University, Jordan

Ranjith Dayarate

University of Bahrain, Bahrain

Robert Weddle

Durury University, USA

Sabah Mushatat

Ajman University of Science & Tech., UAE

Salim ElWazani

Bowling Green State University, USA

Sandra Guerrero

Zayed University, UAE

Samer Bagaen

University of Aberdeen, UK

Samia Rab

American University of Sharjah, UAE

Safei-Eldin Hamed

Texas Tech University, USA

Shuhana Shamsuddin

Universitti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia

Sigrun Prahl

University of the Arts Berlin, Germany

Stephen Ramos

Harvard University, USA

Tauseef Ahmed

University of Engineering & Technology, Pakistan

Tim Kennedy

American University of Sharjah, UAE

Vincent Canizaro

University of Texas at Austin, USA

Waleed Al-Sayyed

Lonaard & Dar Mimar, UK

Wm. Todd Reisz

Ofice for Metropolitan Architecture, Netherlands