Dr Peter Chomowicz is an Architect, urban researcher and London Met PhD graduate. Peter received a bachelor's of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a master's in Design Studies in the history and theory of architecture from Harvard University and studied economics and political economy at the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research.
Chomowicz began his career in New York City as a practicing architect eventually establishing his own firm, specializing in linking business strategy with spatial design. His clients include General Motors, Amgen Life Sciences, the University of California at Berkeley, the United Nations, and AIG.
Throughout his professional career Chomowicz has maintained an equal footing in design education and professional practice, with teaching and administrative positions at the University of Florida, Catholic University of America, the Cooper Union and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Chomowicz’s research focuses on the ancient origins of architecture and urban planning in the Middle East and its relationship to current building schemes. He has been the head architect on a number of archaeological excavations throughout the region.
The search for city : between being and seeming in the rapid urbanisation of Doha, Qatar
Prof. Peter Carl
Dr Wendy Pullan, Cambridge University and Dr Helen Malinson, London Metropolitan University
This dissertation’s essential aim is to understand the collective nature of a rapidly evolving twenty-first-century city. Looking closely at Doha, Qatar - a city that can choose to be anything it desires - reveals a tension between the regime’s aspirations and the expectations of its (mostly foreign) constituents. Doha’s fundamental transformation from village to metropolis provides an interpretation of ‘city’ that discloses the possibilities and limitations of civic culture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.
This thesis’ contribution to knowledge is four-fold: (1) to add generally to architectural and urban theory, and particularly to Arabian Gulf studies; (2) to develop an analytical framework based upon hermeneutic phenomenology that incorporates architecture into its structure of understanding; (3) to use this framework to illuminate the structure of Doha’s urban culture during its most transformative period; (4) to publish previously unseen documents and gather original personal narratives related to the period of study.
This thesis takes as its central concern how the institutional order within Doha, Qatar, provides the ground for ethical and ontological orientation; how one specific urban society, Doha, Qatar, uses architecture and its representation in its search for an authentic orientation in history when caught between the pull of tradition and the push of modernity. This tension is expressed in the city’s architecture and urban order as a mechanism to enable a shifting institutional order: new institutions arise within new forms, which in turn yield new architectural embodiments and new cultural articulations. This is Doha’s search for the city: the constant attempt to reconcile what the world seems to be with what it might be.
- Chomowicz, P (2021). The Urban Imaginary in Doha, Qatar. Histories of Post War Architecture, Impatient Cities of the Gulf: Post-oil Architecture in Flux, 8.
- Chomowicz, P (2021). "Infrastructure as a Means of Political Legitimacy in Doha, Qatar." In: J Heathcott (ed.) Infrastructure Designs: Views from Architectural History. Routledge.
- Chomowicz, P (2018). "The Architectural, Urban and Political Development of Doha, Qatar," In: X Chen (ed.) Research Handbook on Asian Cities. Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Schwartz, G M and Chomowicz, P (2015). "The Ceramics of Tel Raqa'i." In: G M Schwartz (ed.) Rural Archaeology in Early Northern Mesopotamia: Excavations at Tell Al-Raqa’i. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, University of California. pp. 193-295. ISBN 978-1-938770-04-3. Recipient of the 2017 American Schools of Oriental Research G. Ernest Wright Award, for the most substantial volume dealing with archaeological material, excavation reports, and material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean