Between Self and Citizenship: Doxiadis Associates in Postcolonial Pakistan, 1958–1968 | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5895
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5909



In the two decades following the creation of Pakistan,1 its government embarked on a lofty project to establish Muslim nationalism as both a binding factor for the country’s culturally different east and west halves, and as a liberating force for the emerging Third World. A major focus of this project was to build democratic institutions including parliament buildings, universities, education training centres and polytechnic institutes. However, Pakistan’s shortage of architects and the government’s Cold War bent toward the United States eventually led to requests for technical assistance from the US Agency for International Development and the Ford Foundation. Through these partnerships Pakistan secured consultancy services from leading European and American architects. This article focuses on the work of Constantinos A. Doxiadis, whose projects included education reform, a university campus, a master plan of Pakistan’s new capital, Islamabad and a controversial refugee settlement project. This article asserts that the treatment of architecture as a flexible armature that could blend regional symbolism, Islamic iconography and technological modernism was the common theme underpinning Doxiadis Associates’s work in Pakistan. The result can be considered a strategy to transform Pakistan’s overarching Muslim nationalism into a hybrid of postcolonial selfhood and newly anointed citizenship that was infused with the United States’s post-war reformation spirit.


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