Alessandra Gola: Architecture of Sociability in the Middle East: Building Spaces, Building Relations. The Case of Ramallah, Palestine.
This doctoral research focuses on the formation and nature of spatial domains actually existing in contexts of conflict and displacement in the Middle East. Taking the case of Ramallah, Palestine, the study examines the relation between spatial layouts, social identity and the production of patterns of rights in diverse urban settings. The research concerns two urban clusters representing respectively opposed socio-spatial models that characterize the contemporary Middle Eastern city. The first is based on instant urbanism and socio-spatial mechanisms close to the local traditional urban system, and the second is based on a more recent, formally developed spatial layout in line with neo-liberal models.
The research is structured upon a multi-disciplinary methodology that combines urban sciences, anthropological approaches and social studies, and builds its argument through the long-term, empirical study of the everyday pattern of trajectories and socio-spatial practices performed in the case studies.
While pursuing a finer-grained vision from within about the diverse identities, practices and requirements of urban sub-communities that animate and co-inhabit the Middle Eastern urban context, the study aims ultimately at developing a consistent interdisciplinary methodology for the socio-spatial applied research in complex urban systems and for the assessment of urban models that integrate more systematically spatial features and social aspects.
PhD student working on the project: Alessandra Gola