Thu, 16 Sep 2021

JMI to launch Islamic architecture course at undergraduate level

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019

Islamic architecture is not a decadent form of aesthetics caught in a time warp, architect and academic SM Akhtar of Jamia Millia Islamia talks to Rajlakshmi Ghosh

Islamic architecture is dynamic, having evolved across centuries, says SM Akhtar, professor and head of department, Faculty of Architecture & Ekistics, Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), who is the brain behind the institution’s efforts to launch the subject as an elective course in the BArch stream. “The subject, in the new academic session in 2019, will be taught across two semesters in the fourth year when students have the option to work in specialisations such as vaastu, vernacular/rural architecture. Islamic architecture will be the new entrant in the field, which will make the student sensitive to environmental challenges to implement their learning in contemporary settings,” informs Akhtar.

The paradigm shift

Dispelling the traditional perception of Islamic architecture which carries the notion of medieval domes and arches, Akhtar says the architecture in the medieval era is archaeology. While its traditional format was first propagated by the British, it was only towards the beginning of 21st century that Islamic architecture emerged in its present-day form.

It is now being reinterpreted along contemporary lines-- through the use of new icons, idioms and materials like glass, steel, stone and even synthetic fibres. “The course upholds the Islamic philosophy where sensitivity towards nature and harnessing it for human welfare is of utmost significance,” says Akhtar. “The architecture also engages with truthfulness of form, geometrical order and discipline, much like music and poetry. Its contemporary flavour lies in the use of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and thermal power, he adds.

The vocabulary of Islamic architecture has changed, and it is time to evolve a curriculum at the UG level to educate students on this branch of aesthetics, says Akhtar who has authored a book on its perceptions and paradoxes.

Modern Islamic architecture: Contemporary context

  • National Institute for Faith Leadership designed by architect Saurabh Gupta at Dasna Ghaziabad. He has a fun approach to spatiality employing a play of light, volumes and materials
  • Badriya Juma Masjid in Kodi, Karnataka, conceived by Syed Mohammad Beary has been built as zero energy (green) building where the thrust is more on shedding heat in an essentially tropical region
  • The Dana Mosque of Abu Dhabi, UAE, designed by Farid Esmail of Dubai where the building is organic and relates with its surrounding while carrying the essence of Islamic architecture
  • The Lisbon Ismaili Centre designed by architect Raj Rewal at Palma de Baixo, Lisbon, Portugal, which involves interpretation of Islamic philosophies into the built form
  • Mosque at Boys Hostel, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, designed by SM Akhtar, is still under construction and emphasises on functionality despite space constraints

 

Advertisement

Most read articles

School of journalism

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Yogesh Kumar Tyagi, the chancellor of the University of Delhi, i

Interested in investment banking? A dual degree in Math and Computing may be beneficial

Though rare, the combination of Mathematics and Computing can help students acquire both theoretical

‘Mechanical engineers are also material scientists’

Mechanical Engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering. This may explain why it is also

Get Untangled: Why learning the technology of food is gaining popularity

With the popularity of ready-to-eat food, students are increasingly getting interested in learning the science behind it

Back| Next

Most searched tags

HealthCare Journalism Photography Engineering Civil services exams Mass Media Management SCM Acting as career Bschool ranking MBA ranking Online Distance MBA Fashion and Design CAT

Related

Interested in investment banking? A dual degree in Math and Computing may be beneficial ...

Though rare, the combination of Mathematics and Computing can help students acquire both theoretical and practical exper ...

‘Mechanical engineers are also material scientists’ ...

Mechanical Engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering. This may explain why it is also referred to as the ...

Get Untangled: Why learning the technology of food is gaining popularity ...

With the popularity of ready-to-eat food, students are increasingly getting interested in learning the science behind it ...

IIT Kanpur to have a medical college ...

With an aim to move beyond technical education, The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, is all set to have a s ...

Back| Next