Umid Abdullaev
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The Rumi Cultural Events Centre – Design for Winnipeg’s Second Generation Muslims

Advisor: Lynn Chalmers, PhD (Associate Professor, Department of Interior Design)
Internal Examiner: Neil Minuk, MArch (Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture)
External Examiner: Elizabeth Alexandrin, PhD (Associate Professor, Department of Religion)

The Rumi Cultural Events Centre explores how the built environment can reflect a cultural phenomenon such as the evolution of Muslim communities in Western secular society of Canada. The centre has been designed for second generation Muslims, whose simultaneous exposure to religious and secular values change their outlook on religion and culture (Greif, 2007; Amor, 2006, Hadjiyanni, 2007; Kohut, Allan & Wike, 2006; Akyol, 2011; Mandaville, 2001; Distin, 2001). They reinvent the notion of Islam in a secular context, and create a synthesis that embodies religiosity, culture and secularism. The Rumi Centre is a new typology of space that emerges from a need to synthesize the new Muslim identity and values in order to create a non-traditional cultural environment.

The Rumi Centre is not a religious institution. It is a culturally appropriate and contemporary events venue where forward looking and traditional Muslims come together with the local community. The centre’s design language reflects the attitude of Muslims who embrace modernity and secular lifestyle but remain true to their culture.

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