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A future for the past of spectacular desert vernacular

Dabaieh, Marwa LU (2016) In ISVS E-journal 4(2). p.29-38
Abstract

Desert vernacular architecture is a product of a sustainable building cycle. Desert local inhabitants inherited the traditional way of building from their ancestors developed and then transferred knowledge from one generation to another. This building and cultural cycle is about to disappear in many desert vernacular settlements of the world. Global ambitions and socio-economic developments are some of the factors behind inhabitants' deserting their houses, leaving them to deteriorate or demolishing them to build new houses using industrialized building materials. People are seeking modern living facilities, which respond to needs that their desert vernacular houses sometimes no longer satisfy. Because of these changes, centuries of... (More)

Desert vernacular architecture is a product of a sustainable building cycle. Desert local inhabitants inherited the traditional way of building from their ancestors developed and then transferred knowledge from one generation to another. This building and cultural cycle is about to disappear in many desert vernacular settlements of the world. Global ambitions and socio-economic developments are some of the factors behind inhabitants' deserting their houses, leaving them to deteriorate or demolishing them to build new houses using industrialized building materials. People are seeking modern living facilities, which respond to needs that their desert vernacular houses sometimes no longer satisfy. Because of these changes, centuries of accumulated tangible and intangible tacit knowledge is being lost. This paper presents a research in desert vernacular architecture in the Western Desert of Egypt. The aim is to discuss a new methodology for a conservation model for thinking re-vernacular in a contemporary context. A theoretical model first designed as a tool for conserving desert vernacular and for supporting its continued existence. To fulfil this objective, the research investigated the existing knowledge used to design and build desert vernacular architecture in Egypt. The focus was on how to adjust desert vernacular housing to contemporary life-style demands while still preserving the beneficial aspects of traditional vernacular techniques. To benefit from local knowledge, the research applied the theoretical model through a practical house construction in the town of Balat in the Western Desert of Egypt. A physical neo-desert vernacular model house was constructed using a trans-disciplinary participatory action research method that engaged the local community throughout the design and building phase. In this way, the present research provides a methodology that creates a bridge between sustainable desert vernacular knowledge as used for centuries, and contemporary vernacular housing demands. This approach proposes a new perspective for looking at the future of the traditional and contemporary desert vernacular through conservation by modelling.

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organization
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Balat, Desert vernacular, Neo-vernacular, Participation, Western Desert
in
ISVS E-journal
volume
4
issue
2
pages
10 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85028619697
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0eba411c-34b4-43cf-9eab-8eeeb1fbe18b
date added to LUP
2017-09-28 10:46:27
date last changed
2017-10-05 11:09:00
@article{0eba411c-34b4-43cf-9eab-8eeeb1fbe18b,
  abstract     = {<p>Desert vernacular architecture is a product of a sustainable building cycle. Desert local inhabitants inherited the traditional way of building from their ancestors developed and then transferred knowledge from one generation to another. This building and cultural cycle is about to disappear in many desert vernacular settlements of the world. Global ambitions and socio-economic developments are some of the factors behind inhabitants' deserting their houses, leaving them to deteriorate or demolishing them to build new houses using industrialized building materials. People are seeking modern living facilities, which respond to needs that their desert vernacular houses sometimes no longer satisfy. Because of these changes, centuries of accumulated tangible and intangible tacit knowledge is being lost. This paper presents a research in desert vernacular architecture in the Western Desert of Egypt. The aim is to discuss a new methodology for a conservation model for thinking re-vernacular in a contemporary context. A theoretical model first designed as a tool for conserving desert vernacular and for supporting its continued existence. To fulfil this objective, the research investigated the existing knowledge used to design and build desert vernacular architecture in Egypt. The focus was on how to adjust desert vernacular housing to contemporary life-style demands while still preserving the beneficial aspects of traditional vernacular techniques. To benefit from local knowledge, the research applied the theoretical model through a practical house construction in the town of Balat in the Western Desert of Egypt. A physical neo-desert vernacular model house was constructed using a trans-disciplinary participatory action research method that engaged the local community throughout the design and building phase. In this way, the present research provides a methodology that creates a bridge between sustainable desert vernacular knowledge as used for centuries, and contemporary vernacular housing demands. This approach proposes a new perspective for looking at the future of the traditional and contemporary desert vernacular through conservation by modelling.</p>},
  author       = {Dabaieh, Marwa},
  keyword      = {Balat,Desert vernacular,Neo-vernacular,Participation,Western Desert},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {29--38},
  series       = {ISVS E-journal},
  title        = {A future for the past of spectacular desert vernacular},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2016},
}