Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture

Solar and Wind Energy in Pakistan

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The use of sun, wind and hydro power is really nothing new. The question of energy has always arisen as the industrialization has progressed. One has however, not been able to achieve a permanent solution and rather been satisfied with purely economic and short term solutions, which have turned out to be only a deferment of the actual problem.

Solutions leading towards decentralized technical infrastructure are not popular, because they are less interesting for the industry.

Multipliers from politics, economy and science from Pakistan visited Germany, from 2nd till 26th September, and got acquainted informed about the possibilities that abound this filed.

A number of companies and projects were visited in Hamburg and Berlin for this purpose. The event with delegates from Pakistan was organized by the Near and Middle-East Association (NUMOV) / Sebastian Sons in coordination with Prof. Aamir Rafique  /PU, FPAC.

Closed System, example

Solutions based upon central technical infra-structure suffer from its specialization and a missing holistic approach in the so-called Open system. We have already written about the closed system in various articles. As an extreme example of this model, we have made use of the example of a space ship on its way from the Earth to the Mars.

Material values on the Earth lose their meaning. A big house, boat, etc., luxurious clothing and food and drinks are not possible.

What appears to be quite clear and convincing in the above model looks far-fetched on the Earth. Now why should one voluntarily leave the growth oriented world? Who has the strength and wisdom to voluntarily abandon these luxuries? Why should one try out a new way of working when there is apparently no need for that?

Above questions are understandable and our ancestors from yesterday have reported on the advantages of an autonomous ways of life, far before the beginning of industrialization.

One answer is to be found in "Eigg"- What is this ? This is an approximately 40 square kilometer big island of the inner Hebrides. Less than hundred people live there and spend their life based upon public good. Here, one does not forego the advantages of the digital era, but is autonomous not only in the technical infrastructure but also in a social infrastructure.

One helps each other in house construction, is not oriented towards earning lot of money, is flexible and understands how to put various capabilities to good use; playing music is possible while helping with house construction, teaching children is still possible while working in the kitchen garden, a life without commerce and consumption, for which the urban and industrially oriented contemporaries on the mainland need money for restaurants, free time activities, shopping etc., which are not needed here.

The social life of these people revolves around their fellow citizens. Those of us who would like to be inspired can take an example from the new work methods of computer developers and service providers.

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posted @ 11:45 AM, , links to this post

Housing, Cooperation, Communication and Information Skills

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Dr Norbert Pintsch is arriving in Pakistan on October 1, 2014. He will be followed by other veteran volunteers.

Through October, Dr Norbert Pintsch will be busy in Lahore for Housing, Cooperation with Universities and General Communication and Information Skills with SPARC. At the same time, Marlis will work on natural medicine (Moringa has grown fast) project in Basic Health Unit in Dolls Village (Thatta Ghulamka Dheroa) on the request of AFA, the village NGO.

Monika Kupler is also coming to the Village and she will work in Woman Art Center of AFA in pottery and handicraft section. After heavy monsoon, programs includes a physical building check of the Woman Art Center building.

Students from Lahore are also expected to visit during the October activity season.

File photos from previous visits. 


posted @ 4:14 PM, , links to this post

Dr. Norbert Pintsch and Other Participants of Mud Village Project

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Ghayyoor Obaid
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posted @ 10:08 AM, , links to this post

Special Mud Project Project

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The Mud Housing Project [MHP] was initiated through SPARC (local NGO) in 2010, but it has a history, which began in 1990 in a village development project (Thatta Kedona) in the district of Okara (Gogera) in southern Punjab.

The mud construction has a long tradition (Harappa) in this region and it is still used extensively in the rural areas. However it has not developed further due to the influences of the city culture. Double storeyed mud constructions are however found very seldom. This although mud housing has many positive-construction biological properties and it is much more energy efficient than constructions of baked bricks and steel concrete. Purpose of the MHP is to emphasize the usefulness and importance of mud construction in city development.

An attempt is being made in cooperation with architecture students of PU, COMSATS, BNU, NCA and a constructor (Thekedar) from Harappa-Museum to develop solutions on the basis of a traditional mud hut, which would ultimately lead to a change in urban development strategies.

As a start, construction was started at the premises of the Peersada Cultural Complex; the mud construction serves as accomodation for the handicraft workers.

In cooperation with SPARC and the DGFK (german NGO's), support through the SES (Senior Expert Service) in Bonn and the German embassy in Islamabad was obtained. The MHP has gained additional importance due to the consequences of the recent floodings in Pakistan.

Financial means are to be used effectively, local solutions are to be found, the daily requirements (e.g. hot water, cooking, etc.) are to be considered. Possibilities of using Appropriate Technology are to be explored. The MHP should be understood as the initial flame and its aim to urgently establish a facility for experimental construction, which requires availability of suitable piece of land.

In connection with MHP, this term the special-project "SHE" via SPARC was organized. For this we had a meeting with Prof Malik from COMSATS in Islamabad and with Prof Khan from IVSAA in Karachi. We had discussed excursions with students from Islamabad and Karachi, together with students from Lahore Universities, like before.

The five institutions from Lahore have experience with Mud Housing, because their exposure to the experimental houses on the BNU Campus and the buildings in the village Thatta Ghulamkha Dhiroka.
Excursions are one side, but more important is, to bring a workshop as a curriculum in the curricula of the schools, which is very time-consuming.

A graphic below shows the present situation as an opportunity and chance, both.

The cooperation with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture) in Lahore and FPAC (Foundation for Promotion of Academic Collaboration) works good for the project. In case of FPAC, they have to work on organization level.

Unfortunately GreenMag, like a mouthpiece for architecture, solar and appropriate technology for students-projects for architecture in Pakistan and abroad was not published last year, the issues are ready in digital form though.

Perhaps, we have a chance in the future.

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posted @ 9:36 AM, , links to this post

Mud Preferences

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The scorching heat leads me to think about the solutions we can have to tackle with it. And we have many easy options available.  Pakistan is the cradle of ancient civilizations that was the most developed in its time and inspired many to follow.  The architecture of Moenjodoro and Harrapa - a collective heritage for the world – is a case in point.  The traditions based on centuries old wisdom was followed through till the Moghul reign and it kept improving over. It was during the British occupation that uprooted us from our heritage and injected a lot of alien concepts that did not match with our culture, lifestyle or local environment. 

One such change is in architecture. Our forefathers lived comfortably in summers in their wide spacious dwellings that were primarily build of mud. Those houses had high roofs and thick walls with wide windows and ventilators for minimizing the effects of scorching heat.  And without any electricity and air conditioning they lived quite comfortably.

An architect from USA during his stay at Lahore was fascinated  when he visited an old house. So immersed he was in viewing the style that he forgot to look anywhere else, “When you have houses like this why build new houses.” he asked while comparing called modern but uncomfortable house with the old and comfortable house of yester years. Later, he worked on the mud architecture and considered it a perfect style for developing new housing for future.


posted @ 9:23 AM, , links to this post

Mud House Owners Annual Quality of Life Competition - 2014

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Friends of Thatta Kedona know about our annual Mud House Owners Annual Quality of Life Competition – cherished AFA tradition when owners compete for the best mud house, details and designs. Everyone take part and prepare before the competition. It goes without saying that this is the spirit of that NGO AFA has infused in the villagers and they look forward to the compaction. In the process the village can be seen in an immaculate condition round the year. Here are some of the images of the competition this year:
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posted @ 10:28 AM, , links to this post

Cultural Transformation, Globalization and Migration

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By Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch


Attentive travellers between continents are probably not the only ones to noticed an enormous adaptation to western civilization. Clothing, food, leisure activities etc. are more and more similar to the western standard, without noticing or considering, that developments in climate, agriculture etc. have taken place in the the western system unintentionally at the cost of the environment and nature.
This system is now being taken over by others according to predetermined principles, in which not long-term solutions but rather short term economic efficiency and growth are the main target.
The consequences of this approach are often discussed in pleasant conference atmosphere, in talk-shows -or without any real affect- even in personal quarters, on the surface only and according to the prevalent fashion.

Projects and Problems

Let us speak about projects; these are mostly judged and implemented under technical-scientific and economic aspects only. The social aspect is seldom considered as important. Only if it promises advantage for a certain group, the political card is played according to opportunity.

As long as minorities are accepted in the form of groups, the majority will accept them without any issue. Problems arise, when the majority and the constellation undergoes a change. These are then regulated as the for example in the UAE. The guest workers can hope to get a residence permit only after undergoing a large process of formalities. There, where goodness is practiced out of historical reasons and wrong understanding of democracy, it is there that the problems grow and indeed, more according to the level to which the relevant society has been weakened through a culture of consumption and cannot really offer much to migrants from other backgrounds except material values. The values are tied to demands and comfort factors, about which the affected party (the accepting party) is totally unclear. They are normally of the opinion, that they possess special knowledge due to their experiences with their own minorities. Errare humanum est! But the question is, at what cost and what consequences?

Solutions and Outlook

The solution is to be found in the globalization itself. Its precondition of a networked industrial production requires exchangeable employees worldwide, who are qualified through appropriate education. The much publicized creativity and innovation here is also based on economic factors only and the end result of this creativity and innovation is still zero, because factually nothing new really comes out. New designed objects and structures for the environment, which are supposed to enhance sales. This development is hardly visible, because the population is permanently infiltrated and domesticated in a certain way. Due to permanent expansion of the non-productive sector, an extremely dense organization structure is created, which is assimilated by growth oriented work force and requires team-work. This method and approach creates pseudo work places, like those for therapeutic measures through developments in Bio-Medicine and Biotechnology, which do not guarantee durability of even these work places. Realities like cooking, making shoes, construction of houses etc. obtain entertainment value, ending ultimately with the natural process of biological demise. Where there is no complainant, there is also no remedy!


posted @ 9:42 AM, , links to this post

Dolls, Toys and More

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Download Dolls, Toys and More - free eBook by S A J Shirazi

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posted @ 8:55 AM, , links to this post

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