In a collective endeavour unique of its kind, a group of scholars from around the world got together to interrogate spatial imaginary interventions for the invisible city of Gaza, inspired by hope. Spearheaded by the late Michael Sorkin, the outcome of the 5 years of interdisciplinary research engaging the tools of architecture, planning, social science, environmentalism and critical theory, culminated in a publication titled Open Gaza: Architectures of Hope, edited by late Michael Sorkin and Deen Sharp.
Yara Sharif and Nasser Golzari (PART+ University of Westminster), Deen Sharp (Terreform and LSE) and Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman will meet on 10 June to launch the book in a collaborative event hosted by Harry Charrington from the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster. Contributors from around the world will share their ongoing research by practice and discuss Architecture of Hope and the Right to the City within the current context with its uncertainties and social inequalities.
The book launch event is a tribute to Sorkin and a testament to his insistent cry for the right to the city and spatial justice for all.
Lindsay Bremner is Director of Research in the School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster in London. From 2016 to 2021, she was Principal Investigator of Monsoon Assemblages, a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Harry Charrington is Head of the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster. He has combined practice and academia in the UK and Finland, and has codeveloped CoHousing. He researches on architecture and planning, and his books include Alvar Aalto: the Mark of the Hand.
Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman is a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego, investigating issues of borders, informal urbanization, civic infrastructure and public culture. Cruz is a professor of Visual Arts, and Forman is a professor of Political Theory and director of the Center on Global Justice, at the University of California, San Diego.
Nasser Golzari + Yara Sharif are practicing architects and academics with an interest in design as a mean to facilitate and create resilient communities within contested geography. Combining research with design, their work runs parallel between their architecture practice NG Architects, London, Palestine Regeneration Team (PART) and their Design Studio at the University of Westminster.
Hala Alnaji is an architect, an artist, and a Ph.D. student at University of Westminster/ London. Hala has a M.Sc. in architecture and two years of advanced research in Decolonizing Architecture from the Royal Institute of Arts/ Stockholm.
Samir Pandya is Assistant Head of the School of Architecture + Cities, University of Westminster. His visiting posts elsewhere include institutions in Africa, India and Europe. His editorial and editorial board positions for peer reviewed journals all relate to his teaching and research interests: the relationship between architecture and identity, examined through the lens of design, (non)representation and power.
Lara Salous is a lecturer at the School of Architecture at Birzeit University. She was awarded her master degree in Interior Design from the University of Westminster. Her thesis won the first Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Lara combines interior design and architecture for instructing and design-based research; currently, she works with her students on a design-based research titled Infrastructure as Urban Commons:Decolonising power generation in Gaza.
Deen Shariff Sharp, CUNY PhD, is the Co-Director of Terreform and an LSE Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science in Geography and the Environment. He was previously a Fellow at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the co-editor of Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings (Urban Research: 2016) and Open Gaza (American University in Cairo Press and Terreform: 2021).