Islamic Architecture on the Move
journal article
This study aims to explore a number of conceptual models that may prove fruitful in the study of architectural mobilities within and beyond Islamic lands from the eighteenth century until today. Beginning with a discussion of the ‘new mobilities’ paradigm, the essay explores several examples of architecture on the move via textile metaphors, micro-architecture, flows and hubs, tentage traditions and urban ‘slumming’. The use of the kiswa and small-scale models reveals how the Ka‘ba and the Dome of the Rock have been symbolically dispersed and repurposed in new geographical and religious contexts. Moreover, tensile forms are frequently cited in order to promote notions of authenticity and transience while also serving as weapons within urban warfare, as seen in the 2013 Gezi Uprisings in Turkey. These types of movement between media, spaces and places highlight the fact that architectural practices are never wholly distinct or dichotomous; that mobility and fixity are very often mutually dependent; that the past is frequently ‘moved’ – both conceptually and emotionally – into the present; and that manipulations of urban space can serve as highly visible stages for the enunciation and performance of ideological conflict today.

Keywords: new mobilities;  textile metaphors; micro-architecture; flows and hubs; tentage traditions; urban 'slumming'
Gruber, Christiane. "Islamic Architecture on the Move." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 3, Number 2 (pp. 241-264), edited by Christiane Gruber, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.