The mashrabiya is an iconic component of Islamic architecture. A scalable window lattice that facilitated ventilation while providing privacy and shade, the mashrabiya also brought ornament to severe building façades. Found across North Africa, West Asia, South Asia, and the islands of the Pacific, the mashrabiya can be made from lathe-turned or carved wood, stone, or cement.
Its porosity, material versatility, geometric patterning, and adaptability present unexplored opportunities for architecture. From Hassan Fathy, I. M. Pei, and Jean Nouvel in the twentieth century, to Farshid Moussavi, Zaha Hadid, and Senan Abdelqader in the twenty-first, architects and designers have studied this form for inspiration and found innovative ways to incorporate it.
What applications does the mashrabiya present for the future of architecture? Despite its power as a signifier for Islamic material culture, little material has been dedicated to the study of the mashrabiya. In this two-day symposium co-hosted by the Museum for Art in Wood and the Center for Architecture + Design, architects, designers, engineers, and makers are invited to discuss the potential of the mashrabiya on architecture that is sustainable, culturally meaningful, and supports the needs of our future spaces.
The Museum for Art in Wood seeks emerging scholars and practitioners to present during this symposium, held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition, The Mashrabiya Project. Selected papers will be awarded an honorarium.
Please email up to 250 words and a brief CV for consideration no later than June 15, 2023, to [email protected]; subject line should read MASHRABIYA SYMPOSIUM.