Cultural Center Design Principles and Practices: A Review of Literature and Examples
Coming up with the precise definition of a cultural center is next to impossible. Their varied use in communities across the globe has resulted in multiple interpretations, each one unique with its own set of characteristics.
Cultural Centre Thesis.pdf
A cultural center plays a vital role in retaining values and beliefs for the community. The integration of architectural features, forms, materials, and artwork help imbibe the past as an active part of the future. Moreover, a fundamental feeling of oneness is established, creating a brotherhood that caters to the community.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Kallithea, south of Athens, Greece is an ideal example of a structure looking to connect with the roots of its land. The cultural center is located on top of an artificial hill on the south side of the site.
The Prelude of the Shed is an extension of a cultural center that can be constructed wherever with relative ease. It has a single large floor plan with movable components. This gives people the ability to create makeshift spaces that cater specifically to the event, performance, or exhibition taking place at the time.
The Mi Casita Pre-School and Cultural Centre in Brooklyn, New York contribute to society by educating toddlers. This broad perception of society is an interesting take on cultural centers in the heart of an urban landscape.
Designing a public cultural center usually has deep-seated reasoning behind it. Cultural centers and their concepts are always at the forefront of designs. However, the funding and reasoning behind the timely construction always revolve around a particular motive.
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The Warrior Cross Cultural Center (WCCC) was established through a collective vision of students who advocated for a space where critical dialogue and action take place to dismantle racial, social and cultural systems of oppression. We work to foster critical consciousness by developing intentional programs aimed at liberating the voices of marginalized students and the campus community. The WCCC empowers transformative learning by using a student-centered approach that promotes and validates intersectional identities and experiences. This kind of work is foundational to the practice of Student Affairs, helping students to succeed in becoming global citizens.
The place Ramu has a very rich culture of its own as well as that of Rakhine group of people. But, unfortunately, there is no such facility like preservation of the historical Buddhist Temple or any community facility. Many cultural organizations were not able to carry out their activities successfully. As a result, the culture of this particular region Rakhine did not get the proper media to flourish and did not get the proper feedback to develop or received any other support. The concept of this studio project is to enhance the sustainable livelihoods through cultural entrepreneurship, use of local materials with modern techniques following the traditional house and mostly creating Rakhine identity. This project is proposed by Tabassum Sultana Tamanna, a student of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST). Her studio guide teachers were Prof. Dr. Jasmin Ara Begum, Ar. Nujaba Binte Kabir and Ar. Ayasha Siddiqua, and was supervised by Prof. Dr. Shehzad Jahir.
Huntington believed that while the age of ideology had ended, the world had only reverted to a normal state of affairs characterized by cultural conflict. In his thesis, he argued that the primary axis of conflict in the future will be along cultural lines. As an extension, he posits that the concept of different civilizations, as the highest category of cultural identity, will become increasingly useful in analyzing the potential for conflict. At the end of his 1993 Foreign Affairs article, "The Clash of Civilizations?", Huntington writes, "This is not to advocate the desirability of conflicts between civilizations. It is to set forth descriptive hypothesis as to what the future may be like."
In Huntington's view, East Asian Sinic civilization is culturally asserting itself and its values relative to the West due to its rapid economic growth. Specifically, he believes that China's goals are to reassert itself as the regional hegemon, and that other countries in the region will 'bandwagon' with China due to the history of hierarchical command structures implicit in the Confucian Sinic civilization, as opposed to the individualism and pluralism valued in the West. Regional powers such as the two Koreas and Vietnam will acquiesce to Chinese demands and become more supportive of China rather than attempting to oppose it. Huntington therefore believes that the rise of China poses one of the most significant problems and the most powerful long-term threat to the West, as Chinese cultural assertion clashes with the American desire for the lack of a regional hegemony in East Asia.
Perhaps the ultimate example of non-Western modernization is Russia, the core state of the Orthodox civilization. Huntington argues that Russia is primarily a non-Western state although he seems to agree that it shares a considerable amount of cultural ancestry with the modern West. According to Huntington, the West is distinguished from Orthodox Christian countries by its experience of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Enlightenment; by overseas colonialism rather than contiguous expansion and colonialism; and by the infusion of Classical culture through ancient Greece rather than through the continuous trajectory of the Byzantine Empire.
In his 2003 book Terror and Liberalism, Paul Berman argues that distinct cultural boundaries do not exist in the present day. He argues there is no "Islamic civilization" nor a "Western civilization", and that the evidence for a civilization clash is not convincing, especially when considering relationships such as that between the United States and Saudi Arabia. In addition, he cites the fact that many Islamic extremists spent a significant amount of time living or studying in the Western world. According to Berman, conflict arises because of philosophical beliefs various groups share (or do not share), regardless of cultural or religious identity.
Timothy Garton Ash objects to the 'extreme cultural determinism... crude to the point of parody' of Huntington's idea that Catholic and Protestant Europe is headed for democracy, but that Orthodox Christian and Islamic Europe must accept dictatorship.
Huntington's geopolitical model, especially the structures for North Africa and Eurasia, is largely derived from the "Intermediate Region" geopolitical model first formulated by Dimitri Kitsikis and published in 1978. The Intermediate Region, which spans the Adriatic Sea and the Indus River, is neither Western nor Eastern (at least, with respect to the Far East) but is considered distinct. Concerning this region, Huntington departs from Kitsikis contending that a civilizational fault line exists between the two dominant yet differing religions (Eastern Orthodoxy and Sunni Islam), hence a dynamic of external conflict. However, Kitsikis establishes an integrated civilization comprising these two peoples along with those belonging to the less dominant religions of Shia Islam, Alevism, and Judaism. They have a set of mutual cultural, social, economic and political views and norms which radically differ from those in the West and the Far East. In the Intermediate Region, therefore, one cannot speak of a civilizational clash or external conflict, but rather an internal conflict, not for cultural domination, but for political succession. This has been successfully demonstrated by documenting the rise of Christianity from the Hellenized Roman Empire, the rise of the Islamic caliphates from the Christianized Roman Empire and the rise of Ottoman rule from the Islamic caliphates and the Christianized Roman Empire.
In recent years, the theory of Dialogue Among Civilizations, a response to Huntington's Clash of Civilizations, has become the center of some international attention. The concept was originally coined by Austrian philosopher Hans Köchler in an essay on cultural identity (1972). In a letter to UNESCO, Köchler had earlier proposed that the cultural organization of the United Nations should take up the issue of a "dialogue between different civilizations" (dialogue entre les différentes civilisations). In 2001, Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the concept at the global level. At his initiative, the United Nations proclaimed the year 2001 as the "United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations".
The Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) initiative was proposed at the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005 by the Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and co-sponsored by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The initiative is intended to galvanize collective action across diverse societies to combat extremism, to overcome cultural and social barriers between mainly the Western and predominantly Muslim worlds, and to reduce the tensions and polarization between societies which differ in religious and cultural values.
Eliminating indigenous and ethnic health inequities requires addressing the determinants of health inequities which includes institutionalised racism, and ensuring a health care system that delivers appropriate and equitable care. There is growing recognition of the importance of cultural competency and cultural safety at both individual health practitioner and organisational levels to achieve equitable health care. Some jurisdictions have included cultural competency in health professional licensing legislation, health professional accreditation standards, and pre-service and in-service training programmes. However, there are mixed definitions and understandings of cultural competency and cultural safety, and how best to achieve them.