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Title: Cairo, khåora and deconstruction : towards a reflexive reading place
Authors: Abdelwahab, Mona A.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Cairo, the Egyptian capital, has grown into a complex, multicultural, and high density city. The dynamics of which is reflected through her everyday realities in public urban spaces, which show a growing tension between the different involved parties, formal/ informal, private! public, administration! people, and place! people. Simultaneously, Jacques Derrida, among few other researchers, questioned the misrepresentation of Cairo-space through the monolithic image of the historic Islamic city, which helped to isolate her from reality and develop the complex and dynamic patterns of relations and tension. Accordingly, we approach the paradox of the misrepresentation of the city and question the role of architects and urban designers towards the city space, as they lack the tools to approach these multiplicities and dynamics. The main aim of the research is to develop reflexive reading strategies of place, with special reference to Cairo-space, which operates between multiple projections of place through both abstract theory and contextual realities. Accordingly, we draw on a multidisciplinary approach that considers both theoretical and empirical data. We approach different theories of place developed through post-structuralism with particular emphasis on deconstruction -khora-;soclal studies of place particularly environmental psychology, that intrinsically operate within an architectural background. Accordingly, we consider a case-study of public space in Cairo to reflect on the reading strategies rather than develop a reading of Cairo-space. Consequently, we are adopting a reflexive methodology to approach the dynamics of our multidisciplinary approach, and which operates on four levels of interpretation; data construction through theories of place and the case study in Cairo; primary interpretative framework of place which was developed through a preliminary reading of theories of place; critical interpretation which considers deconstruction reading strategies; and finally, self reflection that re-approaches the reading strategies critically through 'khora'.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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