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Traveling installation explores social and political role of urban Beirut

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Dr. Rachid G. Chamoun, director of LAU's Urban Planning Institute, inaugurated the international exhibition, entitled "The Urban Environment: Mirror and Mediator of Radicalization?" on April 1, in the Sheikh Zayed Hall.

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Visitors examine the exhibit, which presents the results of a research project at the University of Manchester, in the U.K.

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Dr. Ralf Brand, a lecturer at the Manchester Architecture Research Centre who led the research project, joined LAU's Dr. Chamoun in inaugurating the event via video-link from the U.K.

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The exhibition shows the outcome of the research in text and images. Large folded paper walls serve as fragile substrates that carry the various layers of information, visually linked by selected perforations.

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Artist Wolfgang Obermair and Vienna-based architect Andrea Boerner (center) who designed the exhibition, with Dr. Elie Badr (left), acting dean of LAU's School of Architecture & Design and assistant provost for Academic Programs; and Dr. Rachid G. Chamoun (right), the project partner who is the director of the Urban Planning Institute at LAU.

Click on any photo above to view all five images.

April 12, 2010—

The Urban Planning Institute and the Department of Architecture & Design at LAU launched an international exhibition entitled “The Urban Environment: Mirror and Mediator of Radicalization?” on April 1, in the Sheikh Zayed Hall, at the Beirut campus.

The exhibition, which will run till April 16, presents the results of a research project at the University of Manchester, in the U.K., about the “complicated but fascinating relationship between the urban environment and socio-political conditions in cities with different types of conflict: Belfast, Beirut, Berlin and Amsterdam.”

Beirut is the second stop of the touring exhibition.

The featured installation explores such questions as “How does our urban environment reflect and influence our society, particularly radical political and social movements?” and “What lessons can a city like Beirut learn from other cities, which are going through conflict?”

Led by Dr. Ralf Brand, a lecturer at the Manchester Architecture Research Centre, the research project “pursued the question of how polarization becomes materially imprinted in a city and how material aspects of a city might actually affect (accentuate or alleviate) polarization processes.” It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the U.K.

Designed by Vienna-based architect Andrea Boerner and artist Wolfgang Obermair, the exhibition shows the outcome of the research in text and images. Large folded paper walls serve as fragile substrates that carry the various layers of information, visually linked by selected perforations.

The event was inaugurated by Dr. Rachid G. Chamoun, the project partner who is the director of the Urban Planning Institute at LAU’s School of Architecture and Design. Brand joined Chamoun in the inauguration via video-link from the U.K.

The exhibition will run until April 16. Admission is free.


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