Diwan Al-Mimar
Epistemic Manifestations of Architectural Education
Aya Musmar

Tuesday 25 June 2024 | 6:30 PM | Beit Beiruti

In our contemporary architectural culture, modern terminologies often overshadow the tangible and practiced reality of architecture. These terminologies dictate the tools and methods we use to teach architecture, elevating modern aesthetic standards above all else. This approach dismisses authenticity, organic forms, and the ephemeral in favor of what is spectacular, artificial, and permanent.

In this lecture, Aya Musmar leverages her university teaching experience to explore liberatory practices in architectural education and their impact on both teachers and students. She proposes an alternative educational model that reorganizes the tools of architectural education to reflect lived reality, especially in the face of catastrophes, while rejecting the push to align architecture with modernity. The concept of "Epistemological Manifestations," invoked in the title, draws from religious, philosophical, and cultural connotations to advance the idea of "liberatory education" as a means to confront contemporary catastrophes and potentially deviate from conventional architectural paths.

The talk will be in Arabic. To register, please fill in the form here.

Aya Musmar is a transdisciplinary scholar, pedagogue, and writer of architecture. She is interested in rethinking the concepts and artistic methods by which architecture bears testimony to spatial and material manifestations of injustice. Her research looks beyond the materiality given in a space and textualises the meticulous cosmic, environmental, and social intimacies of everyday life residing within minor spaces to address complex power structures. Her scholarship explores how an understanding of forced displacement indexes architecture with new subversive vocabularies that transgress the disciplinary definitions of the aesthetic.

During her PhD, she co-founded Borders’ Decay, a design-based initiative through which she coordinated workshops across the University of Sheffield, the University of Petra, and the humanitarian NGO in which she worked as a volunteer.Her PhD was shortlisted for the RIBA President’s Award for Research in 2020. Since then, Aya co-led several international research projects that addressed mobility, conflict, climate change, and heritage among displaced populations in Jordan. In 2022, she was a visiting fellow in the Urban Lab at University College London (UCL) and the Story Lab at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). In 2023, Aya was selected by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture ACSA) as a Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) fellow. Most recently, Aya co-edited an issue with the JAE named, Inifdelities. She is an assistant professor of architecture and feminism at the University of Petra in Amman. She publishes her work in both Arabic and English.