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«CSAAR (7: 2010: Amman) Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development \ Edited by Steffen Lehmann, Husam Al Waer, Jamal AI-Qawasmi. Amman: The Center ...»

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The men would leave their houses after morning (sunrise prayer), They may retnrn at noon for lunch and leave again. But in most cases, they retnrn back at sunset time (the time of Alaghrib prayer).The day, activities, and man's and woman's space at the house could be structured according to time ( which Table 1: The day activities for man's and woman's according to prayer limes Men's space Women's space Men'g & Women's space VS,

–  –  –

defined by prayer times).

7 Conclusion With tbis analysis of the bases of DNA of the place (man, culture, nature, and space), one could interpret the lack of sense of place in today arcbitecture and urban places. The new and changing world of science and technology has left us with the inability to distinguish where one place ends and another begins.

Moreover, the experience of places have changed significantly when one consider how we can now visil places across the continent through video or the world-wide-web, gaining knowledge of the place without actually having physicaHy experienced i1. Or consider that we can now experience skating on ice witbin a shopping centre and amusement park in a harsh sunny day in Gulf region with veI)' hot humid climate.

It is however. clear that many of today' s man-made environments failed to recognize the importance of their relationsbip with man, culture, nature and space. They faiIed to understand the structure of biological system of the place;

the DNA ofthe place, to the extent when it became more beneficial to talk about what place "is not" in order that we better understand the places of today. And because of tbis lack of understanding, the new settlements and urban places are lacking a clear definition of enclosure and density, streets have lost their traditional use and buiIdings are viewed independently. There is a 10ss of identity, a lack of character, and buildings/surroundings are no longer meaningful in their attention to human experience or their existence between earth and sky.

This is why the urban sustainability becomes vital issue in today's architecture and urban design processes. What Is needed is an architecture that fuHy understands its genetic order and its genome system and bases; an architecture that uses these bases as principles for design to give birth to buildings and places with regards to man, culture. nature and space, and recognizing its primary purpose for human experience.

Dalia Taha & Gasser Gamil


Moser, G., & etal, (2003). People, Places, and Sustainability, Hogrefe & Huber Publications, USA Wilson, Ch., (1997). Our contemporary crisis of place. Unpublished master thesis, The Architectural Association, London, UK.

Pred, A., (1984). Places as historically contingent process: structuration and the time-geography of becoming places". Annals olthe Association q/ American Geographers, 74,279-97.

Goss, J., ( I 988). The built environment and socia1 theory: towards an architectural geography", Professional Geographer, 40.392-403.

Rotenberg, R.. (1993). Introduction'\ in R. Rotenberg & G. McDonogh (eds.) The Cultural Meaning 0/ Urban Space, Westport, Connecticut & London: Bergin & Garvey, xi-xix.

Richardson, M., (1982). Being-in-the-market versus being-in-the-plaza:

"material culture and the construction of social reality in South America", American Ethnologist, 9, 421-36.

Altman, 1., (1975). Environment and Social Behaviour. Monterey. Califomia:


Rapoport, A., (1977). Human Aspects ofUrban Form: Towards a Man­

Environment Approach to Urban Form and Design, New York:


www.wikipedia.com. 2010 Marilyn, T., (2007). Tradition or Invention: Remembering And Reviving Meaning 01' Places, Icomos Australia Schulz, c.. (2000). Architecture: Presence, Language, Place. Skira Editore, Milan.

www.humanculture.net Relph, E., (1976). Place and Placelessness. Pion Ltd.

Sewall, L.,( 1999). Sight and Sensibility: The Ecopsychology of Perception,Tarcher/Putnam, 167.

i "Man kind is the only known animal that defines itself through the act 01' living. In other words, first we exist, and then we spend a li1'etime changing our essence. Without li1'e there can be no meaning, the search

tor meaning is the search tor self." Existentialism~A Primer, web-link:

www.tameri.com/csw/exist/.html. Christopher Scott Wyatt.

Sustainability in Developing Countries Developing countries offers some deep challenges to the goals of providing for basic needs and adecent quality of life in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Most research and development interventions focus on understanding and addressing these challenges, often grounding solutions in precedents from the so-called developed world. However, researchers seldom ask what it is that these countries and their traditions can offer to the sustainability discOUfSC. The UNEP/CJB Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction in Developing Countries (Du Plessis et at 2002) identified a number of ways in which developing countries can make a contribution to sustainability. Tbe lies in two main areas: the innovative use of materials and technologies that draws on traditional practices, and in the traditional sodaI organization and value systems of third world countries. However, these contributions face stiff opposition from the aspirations of locaI people for a Western lifestyle and perceptions instilied by colonialism that traditional practices are inferior, if not outright primitive.

Allowing the rich heritage of the non-western world to contribute meaningfully to sustainability necessitates therefore that a way be found to re-validate this knowledge and re-invent the practiccs to make them relevant to the 21ste century.

The papers in this chapter illustrate both these contributions, as weIl as the challenges of their value and relevance in the changing patterns of human settlement of the Third World. Whether it is re-introducing earth construction in a country with a history of enforced inequality and the resultant deep-seated suspicions (Bosman et al), finding a place for traditionallivelihoods and cultural practices in a modernized uIban form (Odeyale et aI), applying the seIf­ organizing powers that lies in the sensibilities of traditional Islamic legal principles (Barau) and the lndonesian Kampung (Tantarto), the message is the same: a simple return to the past is not possible, what 1S required is an approach that transcends both the traditional and the modeIl\ taking the best of both to shape a future that is more than the sum of its heritages.

Du Plessis, C. et al. 2002. Agenda 21 for Snstainable Construction in Developing Countries. Pretoria: UNEP, CIB and CSIR CSIR Report BOU1E0204.

Chrisna du Piessis Council for Scientific & Industrial Research, South Africa Sustainable Architecture and Urban Developmellt 325 Changing Attitudes on Sustainable Earth Architecture: A Case Study in the Central Parts of South Africa Gerhard Bosman, Petria Smit, Das Steyn University Free State, South Alrica Abstract South Africa has got a rieh tradition of earth architecture influenced by illdigenous and European construetion methods. The quality of these current earth building teehniques are waning, resulting in a generallow acceptability for private buildings. The present attitudes in South Afriean communities regarding building materials are equal to eomfort and basic setvices. A bumed briek or cement block house are synonymous and sometimes equal to running water, a flushing toilet and electricity. This notion makes an earth cOllstructed traditional house in a rural area, with a pit toilet and a communal water source less desirable.

The measuring of attitudes posed an abstract, subjective and variable concept. A qualitative study with two sets of questionnaires was employed in order to document respondents' attitudes regarding earth construction before and after an intetvention in the central parts of South Africa. Workshops and an educational community play were conducted as to determine whether providing information on the positive aspects of earth construction could influence attitudes towards accepting more advanced earth construction technologies.

The research project has been successful in illustrating the appropriateness of earth construction as a sustainable construction method in South Africa. Tbe nature of earth-building is sustainable where local people can be trained and be employed within the construction process and where waste products are minimal.

The intetvention has been a failure as it did not succeed in changing attitudes dramatically.

–  –  –

The ilulhNs of thi~ päIJer ftdl:'~ H;'cil involve\l In ~,ustailublp developntent..ind,titt:lIl(ttl,,~~'orblrucliollled1ll01ogy lt:"cdfeh,md uuining ufareltitecture, quanllty.;ulblllll. 1 tOn mll13gernent and urban plallning stllJents sincl~ 1946.

;)w Illg LIIl' period earth archite(;iuft',\a~, luentified as [1[: ideal v~'hl(,;ie t..r ".lJlp'-" tl[\~; !\'~dl e(c,r,omic de~dooliluli in i:i Su~I(lifk,ok v :t)'

–  –  –

The research project was aimed at finding ways to change pt:rt.:cptlons,q~arding the acceptability of earth construction in order to m;:kt,((ttn c;J,lstruction apart of sustainable alternatives to conventional techniqllt:s.HK! W..;Jport sustainable loeal economie development.

The research hypothesis is that proper research aimed at gaining an the present attitudes towards earth construction, togethel v,itb :he G.::.semination 01' the necessary knowledge on the modern use of eanh lstruction, may change perceptions and lead to the acceptanee of earth ~ lstruction.


-i ;,e research project was undertaken in terms ofthe following structured phases' The first phase rstarting date Sept, 20031 comprised a literature study on three. ·w: '''A'r,,:~ "'~"lpl'l Th,:, ':',C',;,ri1 n\"'r~er,t!0PS r':I'nrdin~ [t1~ flcc\,ptability of earth [I,''l'fp"n r 'J1' ·•...,~fl,,\\(il1g th_~ e:{t~nt in ',vhi~h e1rth cnnstn;c.:tton I:, used at present;

.,' •.. ! !';::1I ';cnstI'Jct:on '~{';'lld h"l::; 10 ~Il,:t::,m lncal economic,[.:1 ',' ("'{ V? l(tp;ner:~

–  –  –

:lpdior (b) the presencc.,[ ~llJ.:lil br,('].,;-drJs, (c) the willingne::s ut communitics or groups to take pan in :li;;: IHüje,.:L \.1) thc different earth-buiiding lechniques,d;Jised in the rt,spectivf' «,',,1'. (;,~(: If i bemg in an arid arG! i!li'ked for earth,:;,::;t. udion techniques.

–  –  –

{nt third phase [starting date March 2004] involved the planning of the tim survey. In each of these areas, the houses were counted and mapped. The sampie

size for each ofthe areas was calculated according to Stoker's (1981:] 3) method:

–  –  –

As the areas were approximately the same in respect of their characteristics, it was decided that a systematic sampie would be used, rather than a stratified random sampie, as maps for some of the areas were not available. Areas were randomly selected and then every fourth house was interviewed. Completed questionnaires were periodically collected by the research team, who then proceeded with the verifying process. The questionnaires were codificd at the UFS.

The fourth phase [starting date lune 20041 involved the collection of data from the different sampling areas in terms of the different househo lds.

Phase five [starting date August 2004] comprised data-analysis and interpretation.

Phase six [starting date February 2006] entailed the completion of a foUow-up questionuaire in the study area, involving a smaller sampie size, to assess whether attitudes towards the use of earth construction had improved as a result ofthe interventions (play and workshop).

The seventh phase [starting date September 2006] was the reporting phase, in which all qualitative and quantitative findings,,,,ere published into a concept report.

The eighth and final phase entailed the dissemination of the findings.

2 Earth as Building Technology Houben and Guillaud (1994:4) describe earth construction as the use of raW soil in such a way that it is tumed into a building element without the use of firing.

All earth-building elements are produced by making use of the natural and inherent qualities of the soil. Renewable energy sources Iike the wind and the sun are used in the production process of these elements.

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