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Beirut Normal

LSE Cities public lecture

Date: Tuesday 25 May 2010 
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue:  Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Hashim Sarkis
Chair: Professor Ricky Burdett

Update: Monday 10 May, 5.05pm. Please note change to title which was previously 'Urban Culture in the Cities of the Mediterranean'.

Is there anything to say about Beirut beyond the obvious, and by now exhausted, lessons of post-war reconstruction and identity politics?  What is a "Beirut normal"? Is it worth examining? The lecture puts forward these questions not in order to diminish the city's architectural output but to reveal aspects of the city that have been overwhelmed by the discourses of war and politics. Through a series of specific architectural and urban analyses, the lecture proposes that a certain urbanism could be derived out of seemingly unrelated attributes of the city such as the speculative intensities of development, Beirut's geography between countryside and Mediterranean, and its insatiable pursuit of "a worldly aesthetic."

Cities are the magnets for more than half the world's population. In such urban conditions, architects are increasingly called into debates about environmental and social sustainability, governance, and social inequality. Shaping Cities is an Urban Age public lecture series organised by LSE Cities that identifies the growing complexity of architectural practice in relation to the challenges of exponential urbanism.

Hashim Sarkis is the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk  

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