Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture

Future of Mud Architecture

Are you familiar with the aura created when first drop of rain falls on ground? The smell speaks of serenity and purity. Those who are still living in mud houses know this very well. Coming from rural background, I am very well familiar with the sensation that appeals to all five sense at once. Lately use of local construction materials like mud is being promoted once again. Local NGO SPARC has started a mud houses projects in Lahore and have selected some functional mud houses in remote village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka as show case giving mud house owners incentives to keep them spanking and open. This has created new chain of activities and people are seen renovating their houses (it is so easy to keep a mud house neat and new). These images showing women mud plastering exterior of their houses say a great deal.

Mud houses conventionally bring an image of ancient dwelling devoid of modern civic amenities. That is not true. Mud houses can be modern and fully equipped with all the facilities that are available anywhere. One wishes that urbanite revert back to use of energy efficient mud material, get closer to that nature and take advantages in urban areas so that this impression can be dispelled. I can see future lies in mud architecture. Can you?


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:56 AM, ,

Mud Queen

They became covered in muck after playing in the mud-lake as part of the annual Mud Day event in Westland, Michigan. The lake was created by mixing approximately 20,000 gallons of water with 200 tons of topsoil. The event, which is sponsored by the Wayne County Parks Department, draws about 1,000 children each year. [Via]


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:31 AM, ,

Celeebrating Mud

A South Korean girl reacts during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul. The 13th annual mud festival features mud wrestling, mud sliding and a mud king contest. Image via AP]

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:59 PM, ,

The Fanciful Mud Architecture of Mali

For centuries the mud architecture of West Africa has been one of the region’s most distinctive artistic forms. The French-speaking country of Mali is rich in examples, particularly in its Islamic architecture, though the architectural style is also used for many other types of buildings (churches, homes, civic buildings … ).

One of the unusual aspects of these mud buildings is that every year the mud surface must be given a new layer of clay to replace what torrential rains have washed away.

The most famous example of Malian mud architecture is Djenné’s great mosque, which was founded in the 13th Century though the current structure dates from 1907. It is reputedly the largest mud building in the world, and it has three minarets that are more than 10 meters high and pierced with wooden toron (stakes) that act as permanent scaffolding. The building was designated a World Heritage Site in 1998.

There’s an extensive photo archive of the “Mud Mosques of Mali” on The archive was created by Sebastian Schutyser, who photographed 515 adobe mosques of the Niger Inner Delta. There is also an interesting — and short — report about this unique brand of architecture on BBC titled “Mali’s mud architects.” [From]


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:04 PM, ,

Income Protection Insurance in Australia

Have a look at xLife – personal insurance and superannuation experts operating Australia wide that work with Australia’s top life insurance companies and superannuation funds to give users tailored financial advice best suited to their unique situations. They compare over 500 policies and options for wide range of personal insurance products including life insurance and income protection insurance Australia and also offer a number of free personal insurance comparison services. I suggest you have a look at xLife and see what they are offering to help you make informed insurance decisions.

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:16 AM, ,

Visitors in Gross-Behnitz

Gross-Behnitz has already become a meeting points of volunteers who have been associated with Thatta Kedona – a self help project in Pakistani village Thata Ghulamka Dheroka (TGD). Here Dr Karola Groch (the medical doctor), who was 10 times in TGD and plans to com to PAK in November this year for a short visit, Renate Perner, the trainer and handicraft lady who has been to TGD, Pakistan 5 times in and her friend Mr. Fuegge who has visited TGD this year for the first time, seen with Dr. Senta Siller and Dr. Norbert Pintsch in Gross-Behnitz.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:50 AM, ,

News From Gross-Behnitz

In Gross-Behnitz Dr. Senta Siller organized a week for special Handicraft Patchwork for women in rural areas around Gross-Behnitz (images will follow).

Another news is and it says that good area for material and equipment in Gross-Behnitz has been prepared and by the the end of this year the workshops will be active in Agrarhistorical Museum.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:49 AM, ,

Housing, Development, Culture and Infrastructure

[Read here]


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:43 PM, ,

Cultural Sustainability: West African Mud Architecture

Too often when people in the West think of African architecture, they perceive nothing more than a mud hut – a primitive vernacular remembered from an old Tarzan movie.  Why this ignorance to the richness of West African buildings?  Perhaps it is because the great dynastic civilizations of the region were already in decline when the European colonizers first exposed these cultures to the West.  Being built of mud, many older buildings had already been lost.  Perhaps the buildings were too “strange” to be appreciated by outsiders.

In fact these buildings are neither historic monuments in the classic sense nor as culturally remote as they may initially appear.  They share many qualities – such as sustainability, sculptural form, and community participation in their conception.  Though part of long traditions and ancient cultures, they are, at the same time, contemporary structures serving a current purpose.

In the wonderful pictorial “Butabu Adobe Architecture,”  James Morris takes a journey through parts of West Africa to explore the beauty and utility of these structures.

In “Adobe, Building and Living with Earth” by David Larkin and Orlando Romero, we see the African influence in the adobe building in the southwest of the United States transported by the Spaniards who embraced the culture of the Moors.

With thanks to iSM


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:41 AM, ,


Books in Print lists over 20 books on adobe construction, from construction manuals to scholarly accounts of its history, preservation, and bibliography. The book at hand, which is noteworthy primarily for the beauty and care with which it has been produced, features beautiful photographs, elegant text, and fine editing. Romero is head of the library at the oldest European building in America, the Palace of the Governor in Santa Fe, and Larkin has made a career out of producing just this kind of historically minded style book; his Shaker: Life, Work, and Art (LJ 11/15/87) is a model of this sort. With an introduction that deals with the African roots of adobe and chapters on plastering, solar applications, and artistic formulations, this celebration of the most ancient of sustainable building techniques will appeal to a wide range of the public, including ecologists, contractors, architects, designers, and historians. Peter Kaufman, Boston Architecture Ctr.

When David Larkin's name graces a title page, the book is bound to be well designed and full of superb color photographs. His most recent projects include Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks and Barn (1993). Here Larkin has teamed up with Romero, library director for the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe and expert on adobe in particular and southwestern culture in general, to create a picture-rich study of the history, technology, and dignified, sculptural beauty of adobe structures. The oldest of building materials, adobe bricks are made from mud and straw and have been used in Africa, the Iberian peninsula, and all across the Southwest and Mexico. Surprisingly durable if maintained, adobe constructions can last for centuries. Romero and Larkin explain brick-making and remudding techniques, showing both archival photographs of Native Americans at work on their pueblos and photographs of contemporary builders. They also document some of the Southwest's most famous adobe churches and pueblos, such as the San Francisco Mission Church at Ranchos de Taos and the wondrous mesa-crowning Acoma Pueblo, as well as a selection of lesser-known buildings. Special attention is paid to interior decorative detail and to adobe's intrinsic connection to the landscape. Donna Seaman


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:47 PM, ,

Mexican Mestizo Architecture


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:36 PM, ,

German Connections

Johan Lorbeer is a German street performer famous for his "Still-Life" Performances. His installations includes "Proletarian Mural" and "Tarzan", which are famous in Germany. Several of these performances feature Lorbeer in an apparently impossible position.

With his still-life performances, this German artist seems to unhinge the laws of gravity. For hours on time, he remains, as a living work of art, in physically impossible positions. Elevated or reduced to the state of a sculpture. He interacts with the bewildered and irritated audience, whose appetite for communication rises as time goes by, often culminating in the wish to touch the artist in his superhuman, angelic appearance in order to participate in his abilities.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:35 AM, ,

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