Building, Dwelling, Dying: Architecture and History in Pakistan
Modern Intellectual History
MetadataShow full item record
There is a long history of scholars finding in architecture tools for thinking, whether this is the relationship between nature and culture in Simmel’s ruins, industrial capitalism in Benjamin’s Parisian arcades, or the rhythms of the primordial in Heidegger’s Black Forest farmhouse. But what does it mean to take seriously the concepts and dispositions articulated by architects themselves? How might processes of designing and making constitute particular forms of thinking? This article considers the words and buildings of Lahore-based architect Kamil Khan Mumtaz (b.1939) as an entry-point to such questions. It outlines how professional architecture in Pakistan has grappled with the unsettled status of the past in a country forged out of two partitions (1947 and 1971). Mumtaz’s work and thought – engaging questions of tradition, authority, craft and the sacred – demonstrates how these predicaments have been productive for conceptualising time, labour and the nature of dwelling in a postcolonial world.
- History