IASTE 2016


December 17-20, 2016   |   Kuwait City, Kuwait

2016 IASTE Banner

The Fifteenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE)

IASTE 2016 conference program
IASTE 2016 conference photos
IASTE 2016 conference poster
IASTE 2016 call for abstracts poster
IASTE 2016 printable conference information
IASTE 2016 Working Paper Series

In contemporary contexts of globalization, political conflict, and dynamic social and cultural change, legitimacy is often invoked, questioned, or challenged by various actors to achieve certain ends. This conference seeks to ask: What role does tradition play in legitimating practices that produce place-based or placeless built environments?

Recent IASTE conferences have explored the role of subjectivity, authorship, and power in the construction of traditions in space and place. These themes often implied processes of legitimation that affect the built environment in ways that are sometimes more hidden and sometimes more obvious. This conference will seek to address this issue and to uncover how traditions that relate to the production of the built environment have been legitimated or used as tools of political and social legitimation.

Legitimacy can be defined as the recognition and acceptance of someone or something as valid and proper; it can be established through accordance with established rules and standards, principles of reasoning and logic, or the status of being lawful. In the particular context of tradition, legitimacy can have several meanings, including authenticity, legality, and the possession of value or worth. These aspects of legitimacy are not inherent within traditions themselves, but are bestowed by agents for particular reasons. To understand legitimation, or the act of bestowing legitimacy, one must carefully unpack all of its components. The word legitimacy comes from the Latin verb legitimare, which means to make lawful. In theory, then, legitimacy refers to something that is legal because it meets the requirements of the law. However, in actuality, something can be legitimate without being legal, or it can be legal without being legitimate.

In the context of tradition, who legitimates (or de-legitimates)? What are their reasons for doing so? In the context of the built environment, what gets saved, why, and for what purpose? Conversely, what is erased or left in a state of decay as a result of the legitimating of historic references? And what do these processes of dominant and counter narrative mean for present and future environments? These are some of the questions fixed in the constant negotiation over the meaning and value of tradition. With respect to a particular culture, the acknowledgement or denial of legitimacy can come from within or without; in other words, it is possible for a tradition to be internally but not externally legitimate, or vice versa. A discrepancy between internal and external views of legitimacy can lead to conflict, but disputes about legitimacy within the bounds of one group can have the same consequences. In political theory, legitimacy is sometimes conceived as being derived from the consent of the governed. Thus, if coercion or even violence is required to uphold a tradition, is it still legitimate? When politics within or between communities come into play, the exercise of power of the ruler over the ruled finds its expression in built form.

As in past IASTE conferences, scholars and practitioners from architecture, architectural history, art history, anthropology, archaeology, folklore, geography, history, planning, sociology, urban studies, and related disciplines are invited to submit papers that address one of the following tracks:

Track 1: Building Legitimacy through Tradition
Tradition plays a major role in legitimating, maintaining, and securing existing or imagined socio-political constructs. It may also be used to maintain the legitimacy of dominant narratives in volatile and eruptive regional environments. This track will look at how tradition has acted as an agent of legitimation in the construction of particular forms of the built environment, from the scale of a single building to that of an entire settlement.

Track 2: Legitimizing Tradition
Tradition itself may need to be legitimized. Many historic and traditional are sites lost due to a perceived lack of value, while others are saved because their worth is legitimized at the right time and to the right people. This track is concerned with how and why traditions are legitimized, by whom, and in what circumstances.

Track 3: Tradition and the Ethics of Practice
Papers in this track will explore how policies regulate tradition, and will interrogate the ethics of practice under these conditions. They will also investigate how policies secure, conceal, or overcome tradition, with a focus on how the law and other legal measures facilitate or inhibit transformations of traditions. This track opens the discussion up to the subject of social and cultural values encouraged or discouraged in different modes and techniques of practice.

Farah Al-Nakib, American University of Kuwait, Kuwait
Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO, France
Yasser Elsheshtawy, United Arab Emirates University, UAE
Mike Robinson, University of Birmingham, UK

Asseel Al-Ragam, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Dietrich Neumann, Brown University, USA
Nasser Rabbat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Montira Horayangura Unakul, UNESCO, Bangkok, Thailand

Notification of acceptance to conference  |  April 25
Notification of acceptance in Working Paper Series  |  October 7
Conference  |  December 17-20
Post-conference one-day trip  |  December 21

Abstract submission  |  February 15
Revised abstract submission (if applicable)  |  June 1
Pre-registration/registration for presenters  |  July 1
Final paper submission for possible acceptance in Working Paper Series  |  August 1

We urge you to register as soon as possible. To keep no-shows to a minimum and to guarantee the comprehensiveness of each session, we will not include presenters who fail to register by July 1st. General registration fee is $450 before July 1st / $550 after July 1st. Current students (with proof of student status) and non-presenting spouses of conference presenters qualify for a lower rate of $250 before July 1st / $300 after July 1st. One IASTE individual membership for 2016-2017 with subscription to Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review is included with registration. These fees include entrance to all conference sessions and plenary sessions, the registration packet with conference preliminaries and program, half-day tour of Kuwait City during conference, and all conference receptions.


(Please note: The registration system is a different system from the abstract/paper submission system.)

General Registration (Before July 1): $450
General Registration (After July 1): $550
Student Registration* (Before July 1): $250
Student Registration* (After July 1): $300
*Must send proof student status (e.g. student ID, unofficial transcript) to iaste@berkeley.edu

A visa is required to enter Kuwait for many nationalities, and visa guidelines vary depending on country of origin. Travelers from some countries will be given a visa upon arrival to Kuwait International Airport, while travelers from other countries will need to obtain a visa before leaving their home country. If you are a traveler from a country that requires advance visa approval, it is recommended to have the application submitted to the Kuwaiti consulate in your country two (2) months before date of departure. Please consult your local consulate and visit the website for guidance: https://www.dgca.gov.kw/en/travellers/traveller-information/arrival-procedures/visa-services

For participants who require assistance with the visa application, please send a copy of your passport via email to IASTE (iaste@berkeley.edu) by July 1st. Regardless of your country origin, your passport must be valid for six (6) months after the scheduled date of departure from Kuwait.

We encourage participants to book the Meet and Assist service with the National Aviation Services (NAS) Kuwait to ease your journey through Kuwait airport. Service includes assistance with visa checkpoints and baggage reclaim. IASTE conference attendees are offered a discounted rate of 7 KD per passenger.

Every year, the Jeffrey Cook award is given to two presenters at the IASTE conference: the author of the best paper by a scholar and the author of the best paper by a student. The winners will each receive an award of $500 and, after appropriate review and revision, their papers will be published in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review (TDSR). Papers should be concerned with the subject of traditional dwellings and settlements in a manner that challenges traditional scholarship on the subject and engages spatial analysis from an interdisciplinary perspective. We strongly encourage all interested participants to indicate that they would like the Award Committee to evaluate their papers.

Marina Hotel Kuwait
The conference will be held at the Safir Marina Hotel Kuwait, an award winning, 5-star property that has an ideal location in the vibrant and up-market shopping district of Kuwait near Marina Crescent. With its magnificent seaside location and private beach, this prestigious multi-facility complex offers a unique experience, luxury stay and functional amenities. IASTE conference participants are offered a special rate of 60 KD per night (+18.4 KD for double; inclusive of all taxes and breakfast), which is available at a first-come, first-serve basis. To obtain special room rates, reservations should be made through e-mail to MARINASALES@MARINAHOTEL.COM and RESERVATIONS@MARINAHOTEL.COM, with “For IASTE 2016 Kuwait Conference” in the subject line.

Arabian Gulf Road
446 Salmiyah 13054, Kuwait

Hotel Ibis Kuwait Salmiya
The Hotel Ibis Kuwait is a more economical option for conference participants. It is a polished hotel that overlooks the Gulf, and is 20-minute walking distance from the conference site. We will provide a morning and evening shuttle between Hotel Ibis and Marina Hotel for each day of the conference. IASTE conference participants are offered a special rate of 35 KD per night (single; breakfast not included), which is available at a first-come, first-serve basis. To obtain special room rates, reservations should be made through e-mail to Ms. Donna Prnicipe, Office Manager & Reservation in Charge, at H5970-RE1@ACCOR.COM and Mr. Mohamed Shawky, Assistant Director of Sales, at H5970-SM@ACCOR.COM, with “IASTE 2016 Conference, Special Group Code: Q8Uni2016” in the subject line.

Salem Al Mubarak Street
Salmiya 24755, Kuwait

A Kuwait City half-day tour included as part of the conference.

Following the conference, an optional one-day trip will be offered for an additional fee.
Failaka Island (December 21, 2016)
The trip will begin with a 20-minute ferry ride to Falaika Island. Busses will then take participants to unique archeological sites of Kuwait, including the Open Museum of Bronze and Hellenistic Ages sites, which are restricted to the general public. The tour will continue to the Heritage Village resort area for a buffet lunch, museum, photos and relaxation at the beach. The fee, inclusive of transportation and lunch, is 22KD. Participants can sign up for the trip at the conference on the first day, but please indicate interest at the time of registration online.

Nezar AlSayyad, IASTE President, Conference Chair, University of California, Berkeley
Mark Gillem, IASTE Director and Conference Co-Director, University of Oregon
Omar Khattab, Local Conference Director, Kuwait University
Mohammad Aljassar, Local Conference Coordinator and Administrator, Kuwait University
Asseel Al-Ragam, Local Scientific Committee Coordinator, Kuwait University
Victoria Duong, IASTE and Conference Coordinator, University of California, Berkeley
Shaikha Almubaraki, IASTE/Berkeley – Kuwait University Liaison

Mohammed Alajmi, Jawaher Al-Bader, Faisal Al-Nakib, Adel Al-Saffar, Lamis Behbehani, Hussain Dashti, Lidia Janakievska

Heba Farouk Ahmed, Howayda Al-Harithy, Shaikhah Almubaraki, Sandra Al-Saleh, Asseel Al-Ragam, Ricardo Camacho, Cecilia Chu, Roberto Fabbri, Hesham Khairy Issa, Chee-Kien Lai, Giovanna Potesta, Mrinalini Rajagopalan, Ipek Tureli, Montira Horayangura Unakul

Kuwait University – College of Architecture, SSH, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah

Mailing address:
IASTE 2016 Conference
390 Wurster Hall #1839
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1839, USA

Phone: 510.642.6801
Fax: 510.643.5571
E-mail: iaste@berkeley.edu
Website: https://iaste.org/swp