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Beirut normal

Public lecture of the Shaping cities series hosted by Urban Age

Is there anything to say about Beirut beyond the obvious, and by now exhausted, lessons of post-war reconstruction and identity politics? What is a “Beirut normal” ? Is it worth examining?

The lecture puts forward these questions not in order to diminish the city’s architectural output but to reveal aspects of the city that have been overwhelmed by the discourses of war and politics. Through a series of specific architectural and urban analyses, the lecture proposes that a certain urbanism could be derived out of seemingly unrelated attributes of the city such as the speculative intensities of development, Beirut’s geography between countryside and Mediterranean, and its insatiable pursuit of “a worldly aesthetic.”

 

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  • Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies and Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. He sits on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, is a Council Member of the Royal College of Art and Trustee of the Norman Foster Foundation. He was Chief Advisor on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural advisor to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. He was Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006 and curator of the Global Cities exhibition at Tate Modern in 2007. Burdett has been on architectural juries for high-profile projects including Tate Modern, London’s Aquatic Centre, Rothschild Bank Headquarters, Holland Green and Elizabeth House and has worked on major regeneration projects across Europe and the USA, including the 8-million sq ft redevelopment around Penn Station in New York City. He was appointed CBE in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours List.