The discipline of architecture is as old as humanity itself. Throughout human history, we have looked for safety and shelter, whether it be from storms and natural disasters, or predators. In the primitive ages, houses and constructions served merely as protection from external threats, as time passed, however, we have grown more sophisticated, and architecture has evolved to be an art form through which cultures express their identity, and present the beauty of their structures to the world, that they may look on in awe and wonder.
Historical structures of ages long past stand tall to this day, illustrating the stories of their ages, and inspiring modern architects. Stretching far back to around 3000 BC, when the ancient Egyptians left their mark on human civilization by constructing architectural marvels such as the pyramids & the Sphinx, and numerous temples spreading throughout Egypt. Quite a bit forward in time, during the fruition of the Islamic golden age in Al-Andalus, the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba (locally known as Mezquita-Catedral), sat at the heart of Al-Andalus’ capital, Córdoba, and still stands today in Spain as one of its major historic monuments, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Scholars of the period have noted the influence of the great mosque’s construction on modern-day architecture in the Mediterranean region, particularly Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Elements of Moorish and Islamic architecture often incorporate calligraphy on the structure’s walls, immortalizing their language and vocabulary, still present in the mosques of today.
In relatively modern times, the advent of Baroque architecture originating from Italy in the 16th Century presents resplendent constructs throughout all of Europe. The architectural style arose in the counter-reformation period, as the catholic church needed to maintain its grip across Europe against the protestant reformation. Prominent landmarks that incorporate the baroque style include St. Paul’s cathedral in London, which remained the tallest building in London from 1710 until 1963, and the Karlskirche in Vienna, which features gorgeous imagery painted across its walls.
All of these ancient styles of architecture did not simply dictate a practical method of stacking wood and stone, they were meant to convey a message, an emotion that could not be put into words. Imagery that inspires, calligraphy that immortalizes language and vocabulary, and complex construction techniques that incorporate smooth curvatures and tricks of the light. These unique elements inspire the masses, and stand to enlighten modern-day architects and artists, pushing them to surpass their ancestors, and further refine the art of architecture.
Historical marvels that evoke emotions in all of us, should be maintained and preserved. They must endure timely degradation, everlasting through the generations, for their value to inspire, and the sense of pride they spur within nations is invaluable. To this end, IEREK is organizing the 7th edition of “Cities’ Identity through Arts and Architecture”, where experts from all fields, including architects, engineers, historians, artists, and psychologists, will present innovative techniques that aim to preserve historical landmarks that fascinate and resonate, through future generations.
The “Cities Identity through Arts and Architecture” conference envelops topics concerning the conservation of cities’ identities through arts and architecture. It addresses multiple topics of contention concerning cities’ heritage and conservation efforts, such as the influence of artistic expression and creativity on cities’ safety, traditional artistic techniques & architecture, historical eras, and their construction practices, and sustainable preservation practices. The conference additionally highlights a special issue that deliberates upon Andalusian art and architecture, and its everlasting influence on contemporary architectural practices in the Mediterranean region, through Moorish and Arab constructions.
Statement of Purpose
Set in culturally rich Morocco, the 7th edition of CITAA intends to develop a healthy discourse surrounding the topic of heritage preservation, and the maintenance of cities’ identities in an increasingly evolving world. Historical architectural marvels and traditional cultural norms are wells of inspiration, that younger generations can reflect upon and be inspired, iterating upon the works of their forefathers, and leading their nation forward. This conference aims to highlight sustainable methods of heritage & identity preservation and the significance of historical dimensions in shaping contemporary design.