Faith In The City: The Mosque in the Contemporary Urban West

10-11 November 2010

In partnership with Openvizor and Arts Council England's Arts Islam programme, The Architecture Foundation presents a two day symposium exploring the ways in which religious buildings - in particular the Mosque - shape, and are shaped by, the public life of contemporary western cities. The programme will open with a keynote lecture given by Michel Abboud, Architectural Design consultant for New York's highly debated Park51 Community Centre.

Through a constructive dialogue with key thinkers that will tackle issues of contemporary vs traditional design, the changing role of religious buildings and the plural demands of urban communities, Faith in the City will explore the context of current debates around the construction of new mosques in European and American cities, and suggest alternative ways in which architecture can give form to faith and might aid in navigating the dynamics between ideologies and communities, private practice and the public communication of belief.

In light of the banning of minarets in Switzerland by public referendum, and the furor in America's response to the siting of a new Islamic culture centre in downtown New York - dubbed the "Ground Zero Mosque" by the media and the group Stop Islamization of America - architecture's political and social role has become a renewed site of contest. Using such examples of the challenges facing contemporary religious buildings as a catalyst for further debate, Faith in the City aims to further the discussion of the social, spatial, political and symbolic role of faith buildings in Europe and the USA, through a close exploration of the mosque's changing role in the 'Western' world. Examples of how religious minorities have previously spatially integrated themselves within European cities, best design practice for urban faith buildings, and the future of pluralism in Europe will all be debated.

In addition to Michel Abboud's evening lecture, architects, activists, academics and artists will present case studies of recent mosque buildings from across Europe - alongside historic precedents and possible future scenarios - in a day of discussion at The Architecture Foundation.

Download press  release here

Faith in the City: Keynote Lecture

Weds 10 Nov 2010 7.00pm

Michel Abboud, architect and Principal SOMA launched the programme with a keynote lecture, in conversation with Ziauddin Sardar, writer and cultural critic. A discussion of the issues and sensitivities in design, context and realisation necessary for the highly contested Park51 Islamic centre, New York, and an exploration of architecture's role in the negotiation of this territory.

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Faith in the City Keynote Lecture: The Architecture of Park51 - From Controversy to Resolution

Faith in the City: Symposium

Thurs 11 Nov 2.00-6.00pm

A day of debate and discussion following the Faith in the City keynote lecture including case studies, looking at recent mosque buildings from across Europe - alongside historic precedents and possible future scenarios.

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Faith in the City: Symposium

Faith in the City: Symposium - IDEAS

Thurs 11 Nov 2.00-6.00pm

A day of debate and discussion following the Faith in the City keynote lecture including case studies, looking at recent mosque buildings from across Europe - alongside historic precedents and possible future scenarios.

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Faith in the City: Symposium - DESIGN

Thurs 11 Nov 2.00-6.00pm

A day of debate and discussion following the Faith in the City keynote lecture including case studies, looking at recent mosque buildings from across Europe - alongside historic precedents and possible future scenarios.

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Faith in the City: Symposium - EXPERIENCE

Thurs 11 Nov 2.00-6.00pm

A day of debate and discussion following the Faith in the City keynote lecture including case studies, looking at recent mosque buildings from across Europe - alongside historic precedents and possible future scenarios.

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Faith in the City: Book Launch

Weds 27 July 2011 9.30-11am

A morning launch of a publication documenting and critically expanding upon the AF's November 2010 symposium, Faith in the City. With discussion led by James Pallister, Architects' Journal, and the first screening of a short documentary on last year's symposium.

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Faith in the City: Book Launch

Supporters

Arts and Islam and Openvizor