Running time: 25 minutes
The Iraqi Rifat Chadirji was born in Baghdad and trained as an architect at Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts, London, qualifying in 1952. On returning to his own country, he set up the practice Iraq Consult of which he is still president. Between 1954 and 1963 he also held a number of top government posts, and from 1980 - 1982 he was in charge of a massive conservation and development program for Baghdad.
His work - including public and private building large and small - has been widely exhibited in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and has won numerous awards. In 1986 he received the Chairman's Award of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Since 1982 he has been dividing his time between the USA, where he has been a Visiting Scholar at both Harvard and MIT, and England, where he is preparing future books. Already published are several in Arabic and "Concepts & Influences: Towards A Regionalised International Architecture", London, KPI, 1986, is in English.
In his talk he covers much the same ground as in the latter book, but with greater accent on his own work in Iraq. His thesis, that form is determined by the interaction of social technology and social need, offers a different approach to the usual historical analysis of architecture. He argues that architecture's future lies in lessons learned from the past, from man's way of dealing with regional variations in nature and in his means of production.
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