Grafting Maple with Cedar
MetadataShow full item record
Canada’s metaphor for integrating immigrants is the mosaic —vividly colored pieces of ethnicity, culture, racial identity, and language planted side by side, and in contrast to the melting pot of the American states, Canada is a nation of immigrants from all parts of the world, including the Arab world. The Arab community’s presence in Canada has not been investigated, represented, or responded to as thoroughly as other notable immigrant communities. This thesis begins with a literature review that underscores the fact that there is no one cohesive “Arab” identity, contrary to popular belief. Hence, moving forward with a focus on El Mashreq countries, this thesis investigates the heritage and social dynamics at the heart of El Mashreq culture, supported by a series of stories collected by the author to provide a humanist perspective towards the usually misconceived Arab community in Canada. Employing grafting—the binding of two separate plant pieces into one—as the research’s primary discourse and method of approach, the following thesis speculates on graft architecture as an advocacy tool for racialized minorities, specifically El Mashreq Arabs in Canada. Following the Being an Arab in Canada Study, carried out with the community in Canada with the goal of documenting authentic insight into their needs, a design proposal for an Ahwé—Arabic for coffeeshop—in Old Montreal is presented as a design solution that responds to the community’s longing for social interaction. The design is based on an exploration of contact zones—where disparate cultures meet—through a conscientious analysis of the French-inspired architecture of Cairo, Beirut, and Montreal, envisioning a unique graft of the three. This thesis ultimately argues that grafting can be utilized as an ever-evolving model for the weaving together of distinct cultures sharing space, when intricately implemented into all stages of architectural design; from program, to material use, and modern detailing.
Cite this version of the work
Hania Shehab (2023). Grafting Maple with Cedar. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19132