A large part of the world’s population, including increasing numbers of people in the Muslim world, spend a majority of their time in places of production, such as factories, workshops, and industrial facilities. In most cases, industrial facilities are built with only economic performance in mind; the welfare of those who work in these buildings has not been a major a concern.
One of the numerous themes that the seminar, which was entitled “Workplaces: The Transformation of Places of Production,” explored, was the rapidly-changing nature of many industries and their modes of production. The old sheds that contained traditional production lines are becoming obsolete, and at the same time, the overwhelming growth of cities in many Muslim countries has meant that what were peripheral industrial sites are now located within dense urban areas. The transformation of these sites to accommodate new urban realities has become a major challenge for authorities. Many old industrial spaces were considered liabilities for their surroundings, but, with imaginative programming, some of them have been transformed into assets that support a healthy urban life. Also, while older industrial facilities are being reconfigured to accommodate new functions.