Professional Practice
Architecture for the community
Hii everyone,
I brought this subject up because it's serious...
What do you think happened to the relationship between architects and clients??
where are architects who support the common values???

I think that if we fail to support architecture that speaks to common values, it's not surprising that we use our best architects only when a certain level of spectacle is called for or as a toy for the wealthy.
Nor should it be surprising that these projects alone fail to bring vitality to urban places or fundamentally transform them..

Tell me what do you think??
Thanx for you all..
Mai Amin
Architecture for the community
voullez vous un exemple sur l'architecture communotaire algerienne cas de constantine (medina )
Fares Djamai
Architecture for the community
Mai Amin
Architecture for the community

Hello Mia,

Thanks for this topic because it's really important.


Well I can say that clients can be classified into 3 categories: rich normal and poor, while architects can be classified also into 3 categories: architects dealing with money and other relay dealing with the community while the 3rd type varies between the two, as they have no particular goal.


I don't deny the importance of money or I'll be not living on our world, but there's a big difference between working for just being famous = having a lot of money, and working for being useful for your community and help - whatever how - in improving it.


But as you know, most of people - who have money - don't dare to involve themselves in such a process as it'll not give any income on the short run, while the government can't fund everything, while normal people can't do anything themselves because the miss link and un trust between them and any government.


But again to participate as an architect/planner in improving the community, this can't be a One Man Show [ may be it's Boss or Hugo :) ], indeed it's a complete work involving other partners: and the government ( as the authority ) , private sector and NGO's ( as Fund downers ) , social participants ( for transformation of community needs to both architects and normal people ).


So I can say it's a process like playing a symphony by an orchestra: you must have a maestro - which's the architect/planner - who leads the process with other partners in a harmonic way so we can hear the symphony at the last, or the audiences ( people) will leave the place angry.


It's a big and complicated situation involving all the partners, as again I can't ignore the role of money and to secure our life, but if the society began to be educated and developed step by step, we can have a good symphony one day.



Well maybe when we have firms who can make such a process, whatever the size of this firm, starting from small office which have ambitious architects to make good architecture that reflects both there thoughts and there local community identity, and reaching the big firms ( Aga Khan is an example for this ). Also the private sectors and NGO's must play more role in the funding process ( I think like Ford Foundation and Swiss Fund ).


This is not only for upgrading historical places or cities or squatter settlements, but I think that it's important also in building new settlements that interact with the people's need, have cultural aspect, deals to make beauty and please human.


So it's a process of upgrading minds at first: architects/planners mind, people's mind, community mind. May be this will not be soon, but for sure, it's important to start with re-educating ourselves the basics of our community, and to make people - rich and poor - understand the importance of being educated and have some cultural base, in order to interact correctly in the community, not only Educate = Money, but Educate = Upgrade.


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Wishing you all the best,

Good Luck,


Hicham Maged
Architecture for the community
Hii all,
Thanx for your contribution..
I remembered example about what we are talking about.. I don't know if you will agree with me!!!!!!

The Bilbao Guggenheim:
For all the attention it gained it did not on it's own transform the city.
A program of public investment in airports and subways and cultural facilities reinforced the job the museum did of putting the city on the map..
Mai Amin
Architecture for the community
It was mentioned that architects have 3 types of,normal and poor. Usually, from my experience, the rich know what they want, the normal have no clue and the poor can't afford anything. Shouldn't participatory led design perhaps lead the way like Ralph Erskind used? Even though, for all its jubilation, the Byker regeneration project has been praized out of this world, yet the people who live there are quite dysfunctional...hwo is that possible? If it is so good, why are the people there not normalized?
Knut Nord
Architecture for the community
Hello all,
I'd like to give you two examples of architects who have paid a good amount of attention to this very subject..
Hassan Fathy is the first.. He is an Egyptian architect who first studied and came up with the idea of Vernacular Architecture and highlighted its importance.
His main ideas were:
-Archiotecture for the Poor; teraching the poor people living in the place how to help in building so they could later on use it as a way to make a living. Also the use of architecture to look for solutions to the problems facing the ppor.
- Human architecture that agrees with the surrounding context and envirnment.
- Revivalism of old Egtptian methods of building.
- Use of the morphology of space used in Islamic architecture.
- Buildings that are environmentally friendly.

The second architect is Ramses Wissa Wassef:
- Using natural materials like stone and wood, etc..
- Revivalism of ancients methods of building.
- FLexible architecture that accepts accumulation and addition.
- Teaching the children in the area new crafts so they can use them to make a living. His architecture reflected this idea..
I hope this information is useful and not altogether off point.
Malak Qassem
Architecture for the community
To Fares Jamai

OUI! J'aimerai un exemple Algerien d'architecture communautaire! (Il y aurait-il Une addresse web?)


Justine Graham
Justine Graham
Architecture for the community
I think works of Laurie Baker in Southern India might be useful here. His works demonstrate amalgamation of climatic sense, sensitivity towards client's budget etc without compromise on aesthetics and function of the building. Unfortunately his followers have failed to recognise the true depth of his works, making it all only about 'low cost' architecture.
Shubhru Gupta
Architecture for the community
Hi how r u?
Reem Abu Latifeh
Architecture for the community
Hi Malak Qassem,
you said that Ramses Wissa Wassef architecture is flexible (by accumulation and addition), How?
even though I find his work amazing, I don't see any elements of flexibility?
Faiza Nakib
Architecture for the community
well its a great subject that should give architectes self steam its almost the strait forward concept behind the exestance of architecture ,that is through architecture the architect can contribute and adress problems that his own community suffers from . This is what every profission should be all about, to be a part of community development obligation of scince.
Hasan Musallam


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