Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture

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

Swat Handicrafts

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Contact Oriental Handicrafts from Swat, Pakistan (also find ob Twitter, Facebook)


posted @ 2:20 PM, , 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

New facility at TGD

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NGOs work on multifaceted cooperation with other similar interest NGOs, organizations and people.
Dr Norbert Pintsch, senior expert from SES is now working on a new idea to foster cooperation between AFA, Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka (TGD called Dolls' Village) and SPARC (Lahore).

The idea is to have a new building in TGD for students, guest and volunteers. The main structure will have ample space and will run with appropriate technology. The rooms will be built with mud by architecture students from Lahore institutions.

Other students, for example for the Pottery Project of TTTC and WAC (also guests and volunteers) will also be able to use the same rooms for staying overnight, too.

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posted @ 12:33 PM, , links to this post

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