Ishness & Counter-Absolutes


Maya Alam

Document Type





architecture, maya alam, boghosian fellow, syracuse






Syracuse University School of Architecture Spring 2017 Lecture Series: Boghosian Fellow Symposium: "Ishness & Counter-Absolutes" February 3, 2017 at Slocum Hall. Organized by Assistant Professor Maya Alam, 2016-17 Boghosian Fellow.

Additional Information

The Boghosian symposium enables the Fellow to produce and present work that is meant to engage the larger Syracuse Architecture community in a discussion about issues relevant to contemporary architecture.

Says Alam, “Our time is asking for definite answers, and thus, somewhat paradoxically, certainty becomes more of an improbability than ever. Similarly to art (and other aspects of humanity), architecture has not been a stranger to persistent questions for absolutes. Questions of authorship, source, imitation or creation, blending-in or standing-out are prevailing.

However, the world we live in cannot be understood as a singular entity - the in-between happens to be our current reality. Uncertainty is understood to be an obstacle in architectural practice today, and the fallacy that it can be avoided through rigorous planning and design remains persistent.

We experience a new paradigm shift where public and private blend into one another; with the ever-growing, multi-layered digital presence of our real-time, social networking reality, we are, more than ever, confronted with a multiplicity of media platforms that challenge both our perception of our environment, as well as our multivalent presence in it. Therefore, maybe, uncertainty can become a chance for new conversations instead of reasons for capitulation.”

This symposium invites architects to examine their work through the lens of “ishness, in-between & other uncertainties.” A series of short presentations by the participants will lead to a round table discussion that will further shape a conversation around the potential of “ishness” in architectural practice.


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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.