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Scientific Papers Abstract Submission

Theme

2nd Track : Rethinking the Mosque Architecture of the Future

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Author

Research paper Title

Resurgence of Eclecticism in Contemporary Mosque Design

Personal Biography

Yasser Megahed (PhD) is an educator, researcher and practitioner. He is Senior Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture and Associate Architect at Design Office, Newcastle, shortlisted for the RIBA North East Award (2019). He has also been selected for the AJ (Architects’ Journal) Magazine’s prestigious award 40 under 40 (2020). Megahed holds a PhD by Design degree from the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, as well as MSc, BArch-Eng, Dip Arch. from Cairo University. Megahed’s research interests include interrogating cultures of contemporary architectural practice, bridging design research and professional practice, design fiction, in addition to a special interest in the use of graphic novels as a technique for communicating architectural ideas. His research has been translated into several book chapters and journal papers, including the JAE, Interstices and the arq journals, and culminated in his book: Practiceopolis, Journeys in the Architectural Profession (Routledge, 2020). Besides, Megahed is interested in the critique of contemporary mosque typology, where he has produced several publications.

Paper Abstract

This essay explores modern manifestations of ‘eclecticism’ in contemporary mosque architecture. In architectural contexts, the term ‘eclecticism’ often refers to a design phenomenon notably employed in the 19th century that incorporates a fusion of diverse architectural elements borrowed from a wide array of historical and stylistic sources and cultural traditions to achieve a unique aesthetic or functional purpose. The concept was widely dismissed – along with stylistic and historicist forms of architecture – with the rise of modernist architecture in the 20th century for its perceived superficiality, lack of coherence, authenticity, and contextual sensitivity. Still, in contemporary architecture, eclecticism manifests in some forms, albeit with new interpretations and applications, nuanced around globalisation and cross-culturalism. A case in point can be found in contemporary mosque architecture. Historically, mosque architecture has been shaped by the migration of ideas through cultural exchanges via travel, trade, and conquests. However, eclecticism was not a commonly used approach in the historical development of mosques. With the increasing interconnectedness of global cultures, contemporary mosque architects now draw from a wide array of design influences, blending new visual and formal languages with traditional architectural conventions. This has frequently sparked debates over the visual and formal identity of contemporary mosques. Those included questions about contextualization, appropriation of architectural elements, typological distinction, environmental sensitivity and authenticity—echoing concerns about 19th century eclectic architecture. More recently, the advent of AI image generation has provided architects with a powerful tool to explore diverse design approaches. AI tools can blend various architectural styles and elements by drawing from extensive datasets, including historical and contemporary buildings, cultural motifs, and design philosophies. Such globalized and technological atmosphere has provided a fertile ground for the resurgence of eclecticism within contemporary mosque architecture. Against this backdrop, this essay will investigate two interrelated threads. The first thread examines eclecticism in contemporary architecture through a review of literature, historical precedents, and its modern interpretations. The second thread examines the manifestation of eclecticism in contemporary mosque architecture. This thread will involve a visual analysis of case studies of contemporary mosques, including AI generation via Midjourney platform. The essay concludes with speculations on the future trajectory of mosque architecture, pondering on how the role of AI image-generated eclecticism might impact how its typological identity might evolve.

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لوريم إيبسوم دولور سيت أميت، كونسيكتيتور أديبيسينغ إليت. سد كونسيكوات فيليت أت أنتي بيبندوم، إن ديكتوم إليت ديغنيسيم. إنتيجر أك ليغولا إو كوام كومودو إليمنتوم. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. فيسللوس أوت جوستو فيل سابين إيفيسيتور كورسوس. بروين نك ليو فيل دولور جرافيدا كونسيكتيتور. أوت إيد تورتور نيك توربيس لاسينيا فيوغيات. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. بيلينتيسكو
لوريم إيبسوم دولور سيت أميت، كونسيكتيتور أديبيسينغ إليت. سد كونسيكوات فيليت أت أنتي بيبندوم، إن ديكتوم إليت ديغنيسيم. إنتيجر أك ليغولا إو كوام كومودو إليمنتوم. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. فيسللوس أوت جوستو فيل سابين إيفيسيتور كورسوس. بروين نك ليو فيل دولور جرافيدا كونسيكتيتور. أوت إيد تورتور نيك توربيس لاسينيا فيوغيات. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. بيلينتيسكو