Research Paper: Deconstructing Heliopolis

This is the final research paper, prepared within my Masters of Science program, at Arab Academy for Science and Technology (AAST), presented to Dr. Mona Abdelwahab in the “Urban Design” course.


This paper attempts to offer a deconstruction reading of the planning and building of Heliopolis, the affluent suburban district planned and partially built by Baron Empain in the beginning of the 20th century.

Typically, an academic paper would have an abstract, then an introduction, followed by a method section, then analysis and results, and finally a discussion and conclusion (Huck, p1). However, since the topic I am attempting to address here follows the philosophies of deconstruction, I found that imposing such a rigid structure on the work I’m attempting to do, is rather unfit.

In contrast, I found that deconstructing this structure, and not committing to it, even when it came to choosing the names for the sections, is the more “naturalistic” approach, and I use the word naturalistic, because after all, there is nothing “Natural” about language and writing (Stocker, p72).

This is not to say that the paper has no structure, of course it does, like any other text do, but the structure I chose to follow came from the flow of ideas, and the process of approaching the deconstruction of Heliopolis. I feel that this may be more true to the spirit of deconstruction, or at least to my understanding of it.

Download the full paper in Pdf format: Deconstructing Heliopolis

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