Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fall 2014
Studio Instructor: Cristina Parreño Alonso
Site: Fez, Morocco
Urban Carving: Re-Coding the Medina
Artisan Workshop in Fez, Morocco
The city of Fez was founded in the 9th century, and soon after it became the capital of Morocco for almost 3 centuries. During its history, the city has been a cross road witnessing the coexistence of different cultures. Among other civilizations, the Umayads ,the Almohads, the Almoravids, the Marinids the Jews, the Andalusians and the French have all pass through Fez; each of them contributing in one way or another to the creation, rise and growth of the city.
In 1980 Fez was added to the World Heritage list. As such, the world took a renewed interest in the old city of Fez recognizing its global value as a unique example of human development. As a result, the increasingly global and extraterritorial elites (the tourists) became the next social group to conquer the city: the nomads of the modern era.
Within this trend that looks at the city as a lifeless “artifact”, an “open air museum” or a “machine for tourism”, the design project aims to find an alternative to the current model leveraging the relationships of the different sectors that inhabit the Medina.