Sign In
Skip Navigation Links.
Expand AboutAbout
Programs & Degrees
Our People
Expand Quick linksQuick links
Expand MediaMedia
Dr.Ahmad Sukkar Visiting Academic Academic RankAssistant Professor

Specialization:

  • Ph.D., MRes, Architectural Humanities and Culture, London Consortium (Birkbeck, University of London - Architectural Association); MArch, Architecture and Urbanism, Architectural Association

Research Interests:

  • Islamic Art and Architecture, Urban Conflict, Cultural Heritage, and Modern Design: History, theory, and criticism of Islamic art and architecture, and traditional architecture; Architecture, urbanism, education, and activism in the Islamic world and the modern Middle East; Contested cultural heritage, urban conflict, design ethics, spatial justice, displacement and informality, resilient and sustainable conservation and reconstruction, and urban development planning; Architectural humanities, spirituality, philosophy, cosmology, and creative writing; Parametric urbanism, digital architecture, and algorithmic design.

Contact

• Doctor of Philosophy, Architectural Humanities and Cultural Studies, London Consortium (Birkbeck (University of London), Architectural Association, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Science Museum and Tate), 2015 • Master’s Degree in Research (MRes), Architectural Humanities and Cultural Studies (Architectural Humanities) 2007 • Master’s Degree in Architecture (MArch), Architecture and Urbanism, Architectural Association School of Architecture (London), 2006 • Postgraduate Diploma, Architectural Design, Damascus University Faculty of Architecture, 2003 • Bachelor’s Degree, Architecture, Damascus University Faculty of Architecture, 2001 • Training Researcher, London School of Economics and Political Science 2013-14
RESEARCH AND TEACHING EXPERIENCE • University of Sharjah, Architectural Engineering Department 2020-21 Visiting Assistant Professor, Teaching in the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts and Design, and contributing to the Master of Science in Conservation Management of Cultural Heritage program, offered by the Architectural Engineering Department in collaboration with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property—regional office in Arab States ICCROM-Sharjah. • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture - History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art Program Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture Postdoctoral Fellow/Affiliate 2019-20 • Middle East Studies Association in North America (MESA) Global Academy (Carnegie Corporation and vast university network) MESA Global Academy Scholar/Fellow 2019-20 • Arab Reform Initiative 2018-19 Course Leader – Consultant (funded by EU and Germany) • Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, American University of Beirut, project funded by Ford Foundation Steering Committee Member, 2018-20 • University College London-led Relief Centre’s Global Associates International Network (GAIN) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) Associate 2017-20 • Orient-Institut Beirut, Max Weber Foundation of German Humanities Institute Abroad Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow 2018-19 • Center for Arts and Humanities, American University of Beirut Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (Syria’s Reconstruction course) 2017-18 • Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge Visiting Lecturer (Islamic Architecture course) 2017-18 • Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (University of Oxford) and Barakat Trust (Oxford) Imam Bukhari Visiting Research Fellow 2014-15 • Faculty of Architecture, University of Damascus Overseas Fellow 2004-15 Research and Teaching Fellow and Studio Lecturer 2002-04 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE (DESIGN RESEARCH) • Structures of Light (Oxford, London, Beirut, and Damascus) Principal Architect 2000-20 • Zaha Hadid Architects, London Architect 2006 • Wael Samhouri Architecture and Urban Design, Damascus Senior Architect 2001-04
ARCHITECTURE and HUMANITIES Architectural Humanities Research Association 2013 Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum 2014 International Council on Monuments and Sites 2019 Iraqi Journal of Architecture and Planning ─ Advisory Board 2020 MIT Alumni Association (Club of Boston; Arab Alumni Association) 2019 MIT Postdoctoral Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group 2019 Order of Syrian Engineers and Architects ─ Associate Architect 2001 Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain 2013 MIDDLE EASTERN AND RELIGUOUS STUDIES AND TEACHING British Association for Islamic Studies 2016 British Society for Middle Eastern Studies ─ member/expert 2016 International Qur'anic Studies Association 2016 International Syrian Association for Education Development 2020 Middle East Studies Association 2020 Middle East Studies Association’s Global Academy 2019 Syrian Studies Association 2019 Syrian Teachers Syndicate (Damascus University) 2002 The Islamic Manuscript Association ─ member/expert 2014 U.S. Department of Stat’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs - International Exchange Alumni 2020
PUBLICATIONS (selection) Sukkar, A., H. Fakhani and S. Abou Zainedin (2020) ‘Syrian (In)formal Displacement in Lebanon: Displacement as Urbanism, Informality as Architecture’, Syrian Displaced Challenges Series, Asfari Institute, American University of Beirut. (Research project: The Lay of the Land: A Social Mapping of Daily Practices in Informality amongst Syrian Displaced Communities in Lebanon, implemented by Asfari Institute and funded by Ford Foundation). REVIEWS Sukkar, A. (2020) Review of Reconstructing Neighborhoods of War, Orient-Institut Beirut, 29 Nov–1 Dec 2018, International Journal of Islamic Architecture 9 (2): 464–66. Sukkar, A. and Orient-Institut Beirut (2019) Review of Reconstructing Neighborhoods of War, conference, 29 Nov –1 Dec 2018, Annual Report 2018: Orient-Institut Beirut, 134–35. Sukkar, A. (2010) ‘Ḍijrit minnī al-Ḥīṭān: Ilā Judrān Fairūz wa Zaha wa Ummī wa Scheherazade’ (Walls Are Bored with Me: To the Walls of Fairuz, Zaha, my Mother and Scheherazade), Al-Adab (an Arab world’s leading literary journals) 58: 99–102. DOCTORAL THESIS Sukkar, A. (2015) ‘Structures of Light: The Body and Architecture in Premodern Islam’. PhD dissertation. London: University of London. CONFERENCES, PANEL TALKS and PUBLIC LECTURES Sukkar, A., H. Fakhani and S. Abou Zainedin (2020). “Syrian Displacement and Informality in Lebanon”, Middle East Studies Interdisciplinary Workshops, George Washington University. Sukkar, A. (2019) ‘Syria’s Reconstruction Economy: Ex- and Re-appropriation’, War Economy/ Reconstruction Economy in Syria, Asfari Institute, American University of Beirut. Sukkar, A. (2018) ‘Envisioning Post-Conflict Realities: Challenges for Teaching Syria’s Reconstruction’, Asfari Institute, American University of Beirut. Sukkar, A. (2018) ‘Taught Abroad: Syrian Urban Conflict and Reconstruction in Higher Education’, Public lecture, Centre for Arts and Humanities, American University of Beirut. Sukkar, A. (2018) ‘Syria’s Reconstruction’, Syria Workshop Panel 10: ‘Reconstruction in Syria: Post-Agreement Planning or Pre-Agreement Condition? and Who Will Pay the Bill for Reconstruction?’ Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut. Sukkar, A. (2016) ‘The Human Reality and the Islamic Architectural Tradition: Theoretical Aspects and Tangible Examples’, international conference Islamic Heritage Architecture and Art, Polytechnic University of Valéncia, Spain. Sukkar, A. (2016) ‘The Structure of Divine Light and Human Knowledge’, symposium, Light and Knowledge, Wolfson Collage, University of Oxford. Sukkar, A. (2015) ‘Crossing Boundaries between the Body, Space and Architecture in the Islamic Tradition’, international conference: The Aesthetics of Crossing: Experiencing the Beyond in Abrahamic Traditions, funded by the European Research Council, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University. MEDIA Sukkar, A. (2020) ‘Architectural Learning and Education beyond Covid-19: Comparative Views from the (Arab) World’, Federation of Arab Engineers, Organisation of Arab Architects, talk 1st virtual webinar (The Challenges of Covis-19 and their Effects on Architecture and Urbanism in the Arab World), mm. 2:30-2:53. Sukkar, A. (2018) ‘Syria’s Reconstruction’, panel talk, Issam Fares Institute, American University of Beirut, YouTube: Asfari Institute, American University of Beirut, 9 May. MENTIONS Architectural Association (2007) Architectural Association School of Architecture Prospectus 2006/07 (London: Architectural Association): 8; see also 33, 127, 129. (See ‘2005/06 Student Awards and Prizes’ | ‘G-nome Team: I Ammash, J Araiza, M L Flores, A Sukkar’ | ’Design Research Lab, Distinction’) Architectural Association (2006) AA Projects Review 05/06: ExperimentAAtion (London: Architectural Association,): 128–29. (See ‘G-nome’s Net.Lab’.) ( ‘Netlab design research work; G_nome team; The Voronoi diagramming tool’) Dempsy, A. and Y. Obuchi, eds. (2010) Nine Problems in the Form of a Pavilion (London: Architectural Association Pubs): 24 (‘Ahmad Sukkar 2006, DRL Ten Pavilion Com. Finalist’). Flores, M. L. (2007) ‘NETLAB: “Algorithm vs. Architecture” Chart Voronoi as a Design Tool’, Revista De Arquitectura de la Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de la Universidad de Chile 16: 46–53, front and back cover (Spanish and English). Leach, N. and X. Wei-Guo, eds. (2006) Emerging Talents, Emerging Technologies: Students (Beijing: China Architecture and Planning Press): 17–19, 2nd image at the middle of the front cover (English and Chinese). (See ‘Net.Lab’) Translated to Korean Liu, Y.-T., ed. (2007) Distinguishing Digital Architecture: 6th Far Eastern International Digital Architectural Design Award (Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag): 33. (‘Zaha Hadid Pirres Vives, Montpellier, France 2004–’ | ‘Credits/Data’ | ‘Ahmad Sukkar’) Obuchi, Y., T., Spyropoulos, and T. Verebes (2006) ‘Parametric Matter’, AD (Architextiles) 76/6: 70–71. (G_nome T. Netlab) Verebes, T. ed. (2008) AADRL Documents 2, DRL TEN: A Design Research Compendium (London: AA Publications): 236 (image no. 4)–237 (4. Ahmad Sukkar 2006)
• Middle East Studies Association in North America (MESA) Global Academy Scholarship/Fellowship 2019-20/21 • MIT-Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture Postdoctoral Fellowship/Affiliation 2019-20 • Course leadership and consultation, Arab Reform Initiative, funded by the EU and Germany 2018-19 • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Orient-Institut Beirut (Max Weber Foundation) 2018-19 • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, American University of Beirut 2017-18 • Was offered MIT-Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture Postdoctoral Fellowship 2017-18 • Doctoral thesis won third place in the International Classical Islamic World Book Prize, Gorgias Press 2017 • Doctoral thesis shortlisted for the De Gruyter Prize for the Study of Islam and the Muslim World, British Association for Islamic Studies 2017 • Grant, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain 2016 • Imam Bukhari Research Fellowship, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (University of Oxford) 2014 • Awards, Barakat Trust (Oxford) 2012-14 • 1st Prize Award, English Heritage and Archaeopress Poster Competition, Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton 2014 • Award, London Consortium 2014 • Grant, British Council-managed Hammond Trust 2013 • Grant, Gilchrist Educational Trust (UK) 2013 • Royal Institute of British Architects’ European Award (with Zaha Hadid Architects’ Project Team) 2013 • Cityscape Special Award, Highly Commended - Master Planning (with Wael Samhouri Architects) 2010 • Citation, European Union-Funded Sham Spiritual Oasis (Syria-International) 2008 • Poster Prize, Birkbeck College, University of London 2007 • Finalist, Architectural Association (London), Design Research Lab’s Ten Pavilion 2007 • The seventh Far Eastern International Digital Architectural Design Award - Design Merit (with G-nome (Master's) team) 2006 • Thesis-Project Distinction, Architectural Association (London), Design Research Lab Master (with G-nome team) 2006 • Cityscape Architectural Review Award - Master Planning (UAE/International), (with Wael Samhouri Architects) 2004 • Scholarship for Master's and PhD Degrees in the UK, Damascus University 2004 • Postgraduate Diploma Dissertation Distinction, Damascus University Faculty of Architecture 2003 • Graduation (Project) Distinction, Damascus University Faculty of Architecture 2001 • Award for Academic Excellence, Ministry of Higher Education (Syria) 1999
TALKS, GUEST LECTURES AND TEACHING/RESEARCH SEMINARS (selection) • Federation of Arab Engineers, Organization of Arab Architects, and Order of Engineers and Architects (Beirut), Speaker 2020 • Orient-Institut Beirut Colloquium presenter 2019 • Faculty of Architecture and Design, Azm University, Tripoli, Lebanon Guest lecturer, History and Theories of architecture course by J. Abed 2018 • Department of Architecture and Design, American University of Beirut Guest lecturer, History of Art and Architecture course by H. Al-Harithy 2017 • Department of Architecture and Design, American University of Beirut Guest talks, studio supervision, participation in the final review, Architecture and Culture: Geometry and Islamic Design course by S. S. Damluji 2017 • Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Guest speaker, teaching seminar for the master’s degree course ‘Architectural Boundaries and the Body’ by S. O'Meara 2014-15 • Khalili Research Centre, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford Guest speaker, research seminar 2015 • Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford Guest speaker, research seminar 2014 WORKSHOPS (selection) • Heinrich Boell Stiftung – Beirut Together | To Gather, The Space We Shape, Berlin/Tripoli Participant 2018-19 • Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, American University of Beirut in collaboration with the Harvard School of Education Participant 2019 • Westminster University, London Festival of Architecture Participant, ‘Syria - Visions of Hope: Blossoming Identities’ 2018 • Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, American University of Beirut Course leader, ‘Syria’s Reconstruction Workshops’ 2018 • UNESCO - Beirut, International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities - Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance Participant, ‘Regional Meeting on Participatory Research and Advocacy on Urban Inclusion’ 2018 • Beirut Arab University /Arts and Humanities Research Council, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds Participant, ‘Models of Revolt: Mapping Landscapes of Urban Unrest in the Middle East’ 2017 • The British Academy Participant, round-table discussion on the future of Syria 2016 EXAMINATION NAD REVIEWS (selection) • Iraqi Journal of Architecture and Planning 2020 Consultant and Peer-reviews of Journal Articles • University of Wales Trinity Saint David / Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London PhD External Examiner 2019-20 • Department of Architecture, King AbdulAziz University Jury Panel Member 2020 • Department of Architecture, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. Jury Panel Member 2020 • Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management, American University of Beirut Jury Panel Member 2017-19 • Faculty of Architecture and Design, Azm University, Tripoli, Lebanon Jury Panel Member 2018-19 • Department of Architecture and Interior Design, Lebanese American University. Jury Panel Member 2018 • Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge 2017-18 Assessor 2017 • Department of Architecture and Design, American University of Beirut Reviewer 2017 SUPERVISION • Jusoor (US NGO of Syrian expatriates supporting the country’s development) Supervisor 2011-18 • Università Iuav di Venezia, Studio Supervisor in S. S. Damluji’s studio, W.A.Ve. Syria, 2017 TEACHING AND RESEARCH TRIPS (selection) • Platforms (sustainable cities and regions) in collaboration with the Arab Urban Development Institute, University of Westminster, and Oxford Brookes University, part of Sustainable Cities Lab for Saudi Women Architects and Planners, 2018 Speaker and Leader of expert-guided visit to Oxford OTHER ACADEMIC-RELATED AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (selection) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2019-20 MIT Lebanon Challenge, Mentor Virtual IDEAthon: ‘Learn from Home: Rethinking Learning During the COVID19 Crisis’, Member of the Organising Team, Mentor and Judge MIT Postdoctoral Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group, Member / Participant MIT Arab Students Association, Poem reciter • Orient-Institut Beirut 2019 Discussant • American University of Beirut 2017-19 Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, Moderator Centre for Arts and Humanities, Convener • University of Oxford 2015-16 Ashmolean Museum, Consultant Wadham College, Poem Reciter St Anne’s College, Instant translator Department of Continuing Education, Poem reciter • University of Cambridge 2014 Magdalene College, Translator
Back to list