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The Archnet community
My name is Kamran. I am a second year student in University and I am currently working on an assignment which poses the question, "What role does the Internet play in the field of architecture?" What are some of the threads that bind a virtual community such as Archnet?

I've read through some of the discussion forums and already have the feeling that many relationships have been developed through communication through this discussion forum.
Any insight into my question would be greatly appreciated.
Kamran Khaleeli
Responses
 
The Archnet community
Being in a virtual-community allows us to be fluid , unfixed, and multiple. We can change out personality, there is no stauts or class structure. All ideas are unbais.
Kamran Khaleeli
The Archnet community
Dear Kamran.
The role that the internet plays in the field of architecture is so important. I will tell you about my case. Actually I am studying in Palestine, final year, arch. deprt., when I was preparing for my graduation project the internet helped me so much! I will tell you how. My graduation project is to design the Palestinian Martyrs Memorial Museum in Gaza city, and when we come to the study cases, the internet plays a great role in my project. Acording to the crisis in Palestine, I could not travell to any of the neighbouring countries in order to vist some museums in Egypt or Jordan, so I visited some of them through the internt. Also I took the Jewish memorial museum in Berlin as a study case, where I visited the site of the museum, it was so useful to me with the help of some books which are avaliable over her in my library. Through the internt I visited the exhibition that Khaleel Al-Skakinee Cultural centre had made for 100 Palestinian Martyrs. Also I made some chating with some of my professors, cousins, relatives and friends around the world to tell them about my project and to ask them for advice, at the end there were so many information and data, I arranged them, and submitted my thesis part for the graduation last week. Next week inshAllah will be the jury. What I gathered will shape the form of my design of the memorial museum. What I want to say at the end is that the intrnet can even shape the way of your thinking, you will get so many things by research, your research will take you to new things that never think about. You amy visit the site of Arch. Record mag., there you will find some topics at the corner of Digital Practice,and how to mak your own Digital Library with the help of the internet.
Finally I wish you all the best.
your brother Salem. Palestine
Salem Yousif Al Qudwa
The Archnet community
Along with the fluidity, flexibility and convenience of the web is a challange. The challange of using information carefully - especially in architecture. Ideas and concepts get easily transported but architects have to discern and evaluate if ideas and concpets are appropriate for a specific task and project.
Khalil Pirani
The Archnet community
So the Internet in general serves as a communication tool primarily for sharing ideas as well as a convenient method of networking.
How then does a web community such as this one play a role in decision making in archetectual planning? As much as I'd like to believe that everyone trusts everyone elses judgement and accepts all ideas to be sound, I feel that there must be some barriers to in sharing ideas. I could be wrong.
Perhaps a web-based community like Arch Net is only a starting point for a much broader collective.
Kamran Khaleeli
The Archnet community
Hi Kamran.

I am an architect/professor here in the Philippines and normally I require students to research about various topics related in the field of architecture. Archnet is one of the millions of virtual references that you could have in order to improve your craft as an architecture student. The link is quite obvious in fact. However, I always tell my students that the information that they get from the internet is not an absolute representation of reality, as we are not there to experience it. It is not also the only source of information as there are also millions of very interesting books about our field which are not found in the web.

My advice for you therefore is for you to use the web as a virtual reference to improve your craft but at the same time consider the traditional research mode of visiting important books and other publications in your library.

Good luck!
Jonathan Manalad
The Archnet community
I would not classify ArchNet as a community yet. We are in the process of community building on a global level. We believe that ArchNet is an important tool, but it has a long way to go in binding people together. A community shares responsibilities; the ArchNet community are still consumers. I hope that one day they will see and understand what we are trying to build and become contributors.
Shiraz Allibhai
The Archnet community
Shiraz, Is it possible to investigate the use of the archnet over the past year. I think that this could be done through a special questionnaire supported with your recorded statistics. I think this is important at this stage of developing the archnet community.
Galal Abada
The Archnet community
Galal, I like your idea about a questionairre. I am not sure what the right questions are to ask. The statistics on ArchNet are quite positive. We now have over 10'000 members and receive over 3000 hits daily. Any ideas on how best to structure the questionairre?
Shiraz Allibhai
The Archnet community
Thank you all for your responese. The information you provided was very helpful in teh production of my assignemtn.

I have another question to pose:
What kind of problems doy uo forsee witht he growth of "globalization". Specifically when it comes to sharing information and mixing design styles. I know that software companies impose copyright laws to protect information. Does the same concept apply to a web-based community such as this on?
Kamran Khaleeli
The Archnet community
Shiraz Alibhai:
I disagree with your 03-03-03 comment that we are not a community YET. A question: what are the criteria besides "responsibility" that ascertain when a community has come into being?

A family comprises a "community" unit wherein the infant is a "consumer". Yet, it is the infant that will grow up to care for the sick and the aging "consumer" parents. The child is NURTURED in a COMMUNITY whereas without a community it gets kicked out to fend for itself e.g. the street kids and the homeless of this world.

The fact that we share ideas and information FOR FREE is the finest criterion that we ARE a community. Even when I say to you not to be bombastic in your speech, it is a gesture of goodwill just as a parent keeps the lid on the excesses of a child.

The bombast that is unacceptable to me is when you imply that YOU are trying to "build" something (pray tell us what?) and that in time we shall all come to appreciate YOUR charity to US (!) and that thereafter we shall become "CONTRIBUTORS". I have yet to come across such blatant arrogance. As far as I can understand your place in Archnet you are an employee doing a job among thousands of people who volunteer their time to teach, mentor, advise, help, inform and also to reprimand as I have done this instant. WE ARE ALL A COMMUNITY WHICH ARCHNET BINDS TOGETHER. The gratitude should be to that genius who thought of this altruistic venture (someone known as the Aga Khan) and not to you as one of the many employees doing a paid job directly or indirectly through the Aga Khan's Development Network payroll.

Kind regards.
Salim E-A Ebrahim
The Archnet community
Mr. Salim, and Archnet members:
I do not think that this forum is a suitable place for such overtone, none- objective and none-constructive opinions. I personally do not enjoy the very long dialogue in which you have it in the discussion forum over the past few weeks on poverty in urban space. I fully agree with Shiraz opinion concerning the consumption nature of the Archnet. I think your comments and opinions are very evident.

I fully agree with Shiraz' opinion concerning the current consumption nature of the Archnet. I think your above mentioned dialog is very evident. As a member of the Archnet community since long time, I appreciate very much the way of moderating the discussion forum by Shiraz. I personally (and I think many other Archnet members) do not accept your ��out of context�� and overestimated critic on Shiraz comments of the discussion forum. I see his way is highly professional. I do not see any kind of arrogance in his distinct comments and active fellow up of discussion as you claimed.

I think we need to reach an objectively intellectual community that raised above personal modes and subjective issues. Please be constructive and let us build all together our Archnet community dream
Galal Abada
The Archnet community
Dear Galal Abada:

I believe that I have been objective in my response to Shiraz Alibhai's arrogance about his OPINION that we are all CONSUMERS and NOT CONTRIBUTORS to this COMMUNITY. He does not even believe that Archnet is a community yet. I am very disappointed that you do not seem to know the difference between what is OBJECTIVE and what is SUBJECTIVE.

When you talk about other Archnet members it is the GROSSEST use of subjectivity because out of 10,000 Archnet members how can you speak for the majority? Do you see now what I mean by your subjectivity? It is highly important in intellectual discussions that people have a grasp of the difference between the two. Even if you have 100 people writing in your favor on this discussion site, it still does not authorize you to take on the mantle of a universal spokesperson speaking on behalf of the entire Archnet COMMUNITY.

You mention I am 'out of context'. Please inform me how I am 'out of context'. An ANALYSIS (i.e. reasoning, use of logic) to substantiate that phrase would be called OBJECTIVE but a simple assertion that I am 'out of context' is the height of SUBJECTIVITY. It does not mean anything.

I suggest that you yourself become 'constructive' by being OBJECTIVE. If you did not like my comments in the discussion forum on 'poverty in/and the urban space' then why did you not have the courage to enter the fray? When one STATES that one does not 'like' a contention, assertion, principle, etc then he is obligated to EXPLAIN LOGICALLY the reason WHY. Otherwise he is no different than a child complaining to his momma that he does not like rice pudding after dinner simply "because it is rice pudding"!

I recall the Aga Khan himself say during the first ever Architecture Award ceremony in 1980 that he preferred VIGOROUS DIALOG/DISCUSSIONS. If everybody shouts 'foul' every time they are criticized then we would not have something called INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM. It is because the Muslim world has never given its citizens INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM that we are so backward. Thank God for someone called the Aga Khan who understood the need to have the Muslim world speak its opinions without curbs or the secret police knocking on doors. Most of all there is no need to butter up those who simply run the Archnet sites as if they are demi-gods and have the right to opine without criticism.

As long as the language is CLEAN (i.e. there is no foul language, no cursing, no personal attacks like your subjective posting of April 2, 2003) then everything can be criticized by giving an ANALYSIS (reasoning) and not simply ASSERTING (a simple statement of belief without analysis) like you have done.

Kind regards and I hope this reply will not damage our mutual thirst and thrust for knowledge in real friendship i.e. the ability to criticize each other without recrimination.
Salim E-A Ebrahim
The Archnet community
There is a new announcement in the Lobby/News section of Archnet on Building Islamic Architecture Data Base. This project is a great opportunity for Archnet members to be contributors to the development of knowledge. If each member of the community responded by filling one form, the end result will be over 10,000 architects and thousands of projects. Please do not miss the chance.
Ashraf Salama
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