PULLMAN, Wash. — Bashir Kazimee and Ayad Rahmani, professors in the Washington State University School of Architecture and Construction Management, have authored a book on the Islamic sense of place.
“Place, Meaning, and Form in the Architecture and Urban Structure of Eastern Islamic Cities,’’ was published by the Edwin Mellen Press.
The book may help give Westerners a clearer understanding of Islamic sensibility, which is particularly important in the wake of Sept. 11 and continued conflict with the Islamic world, the authors said. In it, Kazimee, a native of Afghanistan, and Rahmani, originally from Iraq, examine the way in which places play a key role in elevating consciousness and helping the Muslim align with his or her spiritual values.
In many Islamic cultures, the orientation of buildings and architectural features means more than simply a shelter or a workplace. Rather, these features also allow Muslims to live and demonstrate piety. For many Muslims, places provide the same sense of sanctity that cathedrals and the churches do for Christians. Place, however, is not limited to the sacred interior of a building but, instead, is in the midst of all of life’s events. Of particular significance is orientation and how it is important for the Muslim to know and feel his or her whereabouts throughout the community, the WSU faculty members said.
The book examines specific places and features, such as the walls, paths and houses traditionally seen in Middle Eastern architecture, and how they represent important aspects of spirituality for Muslims.
The professors did research for the book in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Kazimee’s expertise is in the areas of traditional settlements and sustainable community development and he has published widely on these subjects. In 1996, his collaborated project on sustainable development received the global IAA Gold Medal by the International Academy of Architecture. He holds degrees from Kabul University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rahmani teaches desgin and theory at WSU. A critic of architecture and culture, his work is widely published in the Northwest. He holds degrees from Ohio State University and Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
The hardcover book is listed on Amazon.com.