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Asma Mehan
Leiden University
  1. Beirut Blast: A Port City in Crisis.Asma Mehan & Maurice Jansen - 2020 - The Port City Futures Blog.
    On 4th of August 2020, the Lebanese capital and port city, Beirut, was rocked by a massive explosion that has killed hundreds and injured thousands more, ravaging the heart of the city’s nearby downtown business district and neighbouring housing areas, where more than 750,000 people live. The waterfront neighbourhood and a number of dense residential neighbourhoods in the city’s eastern part were essentially flattened. Lebanese Government officials believe that the blast was caused by around 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored (...)
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  2. “Tabula Rasa” Planning: Creative Destruction and Building a New Urban Identity in Tehran.Asma Mehan - 2017 - Journal of Architecture and Urbanism 41 (3):210-220.
    The concept of Tabula Rasa, as a desire for sweeping renewal and creating a potential site for the construction of utopian dreams, is presupposition of Modern Architecture. Starting from the middle of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, Iranian urban and architectural history has been integrated with modernization, and western-influenced modernity. The case of Tehran as the Middle Eastern political capital is the main scene for the manifestation of modernity within it’s urban projects that was (...)
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  3.  17
    PortCityFutures, Anthropology and Leiden. [REVIEW]Asma Mehan - 2020 - Leiden University Blog.
    Port cities are internationally connected. Decisions and changes occurring in one city have a direct impact on port cities in other parts of the world. Studying these areas provides insight into social and spatial processes in which local communities and urban development are interconnected with global processes. The PortCityFutures project researches various themes within the port and urban areas. Asma Mehan is one of the researchers involved in this project since June 2020 and works at CADS. What exactly is PCF (...)
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  4. Multiplying Resistance: The Power of the Urban in the Age of National Revanchism.Asma Mehan & Ugo Rossi - 2019 - In Keith Jacobs & Jeff Malpas (eds.), Towards a Philosophy of the City: Interdisciplinary and Transcultural Perspectives. London, UK: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 233-244.
    In this chapter, we evaluate the politically generative dynamic of urban space. Notably, we put forward the notion of the ‘multiplier effect’ of the urban, referring to its ingrained tendency to multiply resistance to oppression and violence being exerted against subaltern groups and minorities and, in doing so, to turn this multiplied resistance into an active force of social change. We, therefore, look at the twofold valence of ‘resistance’: negative and affirmative. Resistance initially takes form as a defensive response to (...)
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  5.  30
    Radical Inclusivity.Asma Mehan - 2020 - VADEMECUM: 77 Minor Terms for Writing Urban Places.
    English- Vademecum: 77 Minor Terms for Writing Urban Places offers a set of concepts that stimulate new approaches in planning, architecture, urban design, policy, and other practices of spatial development. These diverse concepts might reveal blind spots in urban discourse or bring insights from one discipline to another. The term ‘minor’ refers to the ambition to look at the local and social specificity of urban places and to challenge established discursive frameworks by giving voice to multiple actors in the debate. (...)
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  6. The Forgotten Legacy: Oil Heritage Sites in Iran.Asma Mehan & Mostafa Behzadfar - 2018 - In CONGRESO XVII TICCIH —CHILE (Patrimonio Industrial: Entendiendo el pasado, haciendo el futuro sostenible). Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile: pp. 897-900.
    During the rapid process of deindustrialization in Iran, the term ‘industrial heritage’ has recently emerged as a new subject into public realm. In order to integrate the methodologies for the protection and adaptive reuse strategies, the ‘industrial heritage’ itself needs to be divided into various categories. UNESCO has begun inscribing increasing numbers of local industrial legacies such as railway, mines, factories, assembly plants, agricultural production and manufacturing production in its World Heritage List. However, in the process of their adaptive reuse (...)
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  7. The Abstract Space and the Alienation of Political Public Space in the Middle East.Farzad Zamani & Asma Mehan - 2019 - Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research 13 (3):483-497.
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain how abstract space of the State – universally and specifically within the context of Middle Eastern cities – aims to homogenise the city and eliminate any anomaly that threatens its power structure. Design/methodology/approach – Through a historical and discourse analysis of these policies and processes in the two case studies, this paper presents a contextualised reading of Lefebvre’s concept of abstract space and process of abstraction in relation to the alienation (...)
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  8.  28
    Destructive Character.Asma Mehan - 2020 - VADEMECUM: 77 Minor Terms for Writing Urban Places.
    English- Vademecum: 77 Minor Terms for Writing Urban Places offers a set of concepts that stimulate new approaches in planning, architecture, urban design, policy and other practices of spatial development. These diverse concepts might reveal blind spots in urban discourse or bring insights from one discipline to another. The term ‘minor’ refers to the ambition to look at the local and social specificity of urban places, and to challenge established discursive frameworks by giving voice to multiple actors in the debate. (...)
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  9.  35
    The Port City’s ‘Cine-Scapes’.Asma Mehan - 2020 - The Port City Futures Blog.
    Cinema acts as a significant mediator between urban reality and the imaginary sensory experience of the fictive world. Viewing the city through the lens of a camera enables us to build new narratives. Films have captured port cities within the flows of, goods, people, and ideas, making them ever-present in shared memories, historical narratives, and urban nostalgia. Cultural production plays a role in the on-going construction of local port cultures, whether films, festivals, music, literature, theater, advertisements, or events. Telling the (...)
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  10.  50
    نقد ایدئولوژی معماری در اندیشه ی مانفردو تافوری (Manfredo Tafuri’s Critique of Architectural Ideology).Asma Mehan & Iman Vaghefi - 2018 - FAZA VA DIALECTIC 7:1-6.
    تافوری (همانند فورتینی) تحقیق تاریخی را (که آوانگاردها هیچ وقت زیر بار این تحقیق تاریخی به‌عنوان پیش‌شرط پروژه‌هایشان نمی‌رفتند) ابزاری به‌غایت قدرتمند برای به پرسش‌کشیدن اثرات گسترش سرمایه‌داری بر عاملیت فکری می‌پنداشت. تاریخمندکردن ذهنیت‌های فکری بدان معنی است که حوزه‌ای که باید در آن مبارزه‌ی سیاسی کرد، خودِ حوزه‌ی کار فکری است. یعنی تأمل در ویژگی‌ها و کیفیات آن، در چگونگیِ تخصصی‌شدن کار فکری، و در اینکه چگونه در هر چرخه‌ی تولیدْ سرمایه‌داری وظیفه‌ی خاصی را برای نقش اجتماعی روشنفکران و (...)
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  11.  43
    Blank Slate: Squares and Political Order of City.Asma Mehan - 2016 - Journal of Architecture and Urbanism 40 (4):311-321.
    This paper aims to analyze the square beyond an architectural element in the city, but weaves this blank slate, with its contemporary socio political atmosphere as a new paradigm. As a result, this research investigates the historical, social and political concept of Meydan – a term which has mostly applied for the Iranian and Islamic public squares. This interpretation, suggested the idea of Meydan as the core of the projects in the city, which historically exposed in formalization of power relations (...)
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  12.  80
    The Challenges of “Comparative Urbanism” in Post Fordist Cities: The Cases of Turin and Detroit.Asma Mehan - 2019 - Contour Journal 1 (4 (Comparing Habitats)):1-14.
    In 1947, the U.S. Secretary of State, George C. Marshall announced that the USA would provide development aid to help the recovery and reconstruction of the economies of Europe, which was widely known as the ‘Marshall Plan’. In Italy, this plan generated a resurgence of modern industrialization and remodeled Italian Industry based on American models of production. As the result of these transnational transfers, the systemic approach known as Fordism largely succeeded and allowed some Italian firms such as Fiat to (...)
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  13. Adaptive Reuse of Abandoned Buildings for Refugees: Lessons From European Context.Haniye Razavivand & Asma Mehan - 2018 - Suspended Living in Temporary Space: Emergencies in the Mediterranean Region.
    The ongoing refugee crisis is described as the most important concern since the Second World War, which has caused a great displacement of people. Many of these immigrants have been departing towards Mediterranean countries, as first-line states, seeking for a chance to enter Europe. This situation has created a challenging condition for many refugee accepting cities as well as for the migrants to get integrated within the new society. This fact has had a great influence on the sustainability condition while (...)
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  14.  31
    Porto: Distant Horizons, Beside the Douro.Asma Mehan - 2020 - Spread Stories, Not the Virus.
    Her heart shared between Iran and Italy, while Asma Mehan makes peace with lockdown in her current home in Porto, Portugal, her thoughts stray to those familiar places. In those distant horizons there is heartache, but also the unexpected promise of different futures.
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  15.  21
    Socially Distanced – Porto #Ficaemcasa.Asma Mehan - 2020 - Writing Urban Places.
    Porto has its own charm. It has a beautiful Douro river, the steep alleys of Gaia, Ribeira, Miragaia and shiny beautiful waterfronts. While you are strolling in the fishing village of Afurada, you can smell the sea. Watching the sunset with a mild breeze coming from the Atlantic Ocean can refresh the soul. It is difficult to be a non-local curious urban and nature lover like me and to stay at home in a magical city like Porto.
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  16.  47
    Film About Cape Town is Being Used to Raise Awareness, and to Ask Wider Questions. [REVIEW]Asma Mehan - 2019 - The Conversation (Africa).
    Academics have increasingly used video and other electronic methods to collect data and capture reflections from participants. But, until recently, it’s been less common to use film as way of disseminating the results of research. That’s beginning to change. Film can be a powerful way to share research findings with a broad audience. This is particularly true when academics are combining) the traditions of ethnography, documentary filmmaking, and storytelling. -/- Film and cinema are increasingly being used in environmental humanities to (...)
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  17.  48
    Review of "The Empty Place: Democracy and Public Space" by Teresa Hoskyns.Asma Mehan - 2017 - ID: International Dialogue, A Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs 7:86-90.
    The relationship of public space to democracy is dominated by two competing, yet intertwined, theoretical bases: political philosophy and spatial theory. But how does the architect make political space? Can architectural practice create political space through design? In this book, Teresa Hoskyns theorizes that the converging point between theoretical foundations and democratic practices is “participation” within “social production of space.” Therefore, “participation” from joint perspectives of architecture and political philosophy has been studied in two different frameworks: the theoretical and the (...)
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  18.  32
    Il Louvre a Teheran, in equilibrio tra cultura e politica.Asma Mehan & Miriam Bodino - 2018 - Il Giornale Dell'architettura.
    In occasione dell’ottantesimo anniversario del Museo nazionale dell’Iran, una mostra ospita circa cinquanta opere del Louvre parigino e apre riflessioni sulla diplomazia culturale.
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  19.  31
    Emerging Metropolis: Politics of Planning in Tehran During Cold War.Asma Mehan - 2017 - In COLD WAR AT THE CROSSROADS: 194X-198X. Architecture and planning between politics and ideology. Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy:
    The Second World War and its associated political events of a national and global scale brought new circumstances, which was considerably influenced the development processes of Tehran. During World War II, Iran hoped that Washington would keep Britain and the Soviet Union from seizing control of the country’s oil fields. In 1951 and 1952 Truman worked with Iranian Prime Minister, though unsuccessfully, to regain some of those lost oil rights for Iran. By the late 1950s and President Kennedy’s presidency, he (...)
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