Announcing the Fall 2023 Lecture Series

Our 2023 Fall Sciame Lecture Series is titled Crosscurrents: Architecture, Landscape, and Spatial Practices in Southwest Asia and North Africa and assembles designers, scholars, practitioners, and activists who engage the territories of Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Crosscurrents: Architecture, Landscape, and Spatial Practices in Southwest Asia and North Africa probes the radical reimagining of the region compelled by the expression Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA). In recent years, the acronym SWANA has gained currency among architects, landscape architects, urbanists, and historians who conceptualize the territories of the Middle East and North Africa through geography and place rather than colonial frameworks. The term “Middle East” was a British invention, a tool used to advance colonialism in a region where so many national borders resulted from imperialist interventions. In the Fall 2023 Sciame Lecture Series, groundbreaking designers, scholars, practitioners, and activists chart multiple—and sometimes competing—currents in the architecture of the region and its diasporas, while displacing essentializing colonial narratives. To do so, speakers from across the area shed light on global, transnational, and diasporic human stories about design, space, landscape, and architecture in SWANA, and advance new ideas about territory, buildings, places, histories, and belonging.

All lectures are in-person, free, and held at 5:30 pm NYC time at the Spitzer School of Architecture (Sciame Auditorium).
Please check current campus access protocols here.

We look forward to seeing you in person!

Thursday, 09/14/2023
Sand to Salvation: Crafting Humanity’s Future through the Wisdom of Desert Architecture
Pamela Karimi

Thursday, 09/21/2023
The Civic Entrepreneur
Selva Gürdoğan

Thursday, 09/28/2023
Gender, Space, and National Belonging: The Women’s Mosque of America
Tazeen M. Ali

Thursday, 10/12/2023
Measuring Built Ecologies
Mohamed Aly Etman

Thursday, 10/19/2023
Forms of Power and Mobility in a Bedouin Town
Noam Shoked

Thursday, 11/2/2023
Spitzer Alumni Panel: Future Practice, Diaspora Narratives
Hajar Alrifai  ’21, Hamees Gabr  ’22, Nadeen Hassan  ’20, and Benjamin Akhavan  ’20

Thursday, 11/9/2023
Living Waste: The City in the Shadow of the Shantytown
Sheila Crane

Thursday, 11/16/2023
Nubian (Dis)places
Menna Agha


This Sciame lecture series is made possible by the Spitzer Architecture Fund and the generous support of Frank Sciame ’74,
CEO of Sciame Construction.


Thursday, 10/05/2023
Special Film Screening and Panel Discussion

The Five Demands
Andrea Weiss, Greta Schiller  ’03, ’06, Rosalind McLymont  ’71, Charles Powell  ’71