Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture

Preservation of Cultural Heritage: The Mud Village in Lahore

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:26 AM, ,

The Valley of Mud-Brick Architecture

The Valley of Mud-Brick Architecture by Salma Samar Damluji is a scholarly book concentrating on the architecture and town planning of two towns in the Hadhramawt, Shibam and Tarim, Yemen. It looks at the very ancient origins of the south Arabian mud built architecture, its suitability for the climate, its adaptability, and its relative virtues compared with imported Western practices and how it can continue to develop as an indigenous Arabian art or science. It is clearly an exciting study to any such as Dr. Damluji, who had worked with and is clearly an admirer of Hassan Fathy, the great exponent of traditional mud brick architecture in Cairo. Read a review.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:17 PM, ,

Korestia Mud Houses

Dozens of abandoned residences in the Korestia region, Kastoria prefecture of northwestern Greece, retain their impressive orange color, as the houses are remnants of another era when skilled builders erected domiciles using sun-dried bricks, made from the region's red soil, water and hay.

The initial pre-industrial age builders were self-taught and their craft made the region distinct for its architecture. The last house built using this specific technique was completed in 1955.

Today, over 100 such residences are left abandoned and wrecked in the abandoned villages of Gavros, Kranionas and Mavrokampos. {#}

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:29 PM, ,

Stone Age to Attention Age

Who knew the Stoneage would make a roaring comeback? Have a look at  this amazing stone house exterior, tucked in a peaceful pastoral setting in Nas Montanhas de Fafe, Portugal. This hillside house boasts unobstructed, untarnished views of the grass-covered mountain and valley. This unusual structure isn’t your typical house, featuring an irregular exterior, but some traditional “house” elements were incorporated – namely, its charming windows and a shingled roof that stands out among these seemingly untouched, natural surroundings.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:57 PM, ,

Mud Architecture Building Materials

The Earth Architecture website is a great resource that focuses on architecture constructed of mud brick, rammed earth, compressed earth block and other methods of earthen construction. And if you’re able, check out “Lasting Foundations: The Art of Architecture in Africa” which runs through Jan. 13 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.. You can read a review of the show here. Also take a look at a documentary of about the history and possible future of earth architecture, Future of Mud. More on recyclable and natural building materials here and here. {Thanks to Chris}


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:10 PM, ,

About Appropriate Technology

Let us briefly describe first what appropriate technology (AT) is. It is technology that has been designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. Typically, it required fewer resources, is easier to maintain, has a lower overall cost and less of an impact on the environment, compared to industrialized practices (from This definition implies the design of experts in research departments, but some people, -mostly in the Third World- can invent, create and contribute to this technological concept much more than experts do. That is because they understand their needs, they deal with them everyday and know exactly how to prioritize them, at least in the small scale at the local level.

Read what Myriam Mahiques writes about Appropriate Technology at her wonderful blog.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:48 PM, ,

Home Sweet Stone-age Home - 10,500 years old is uncovered

It is cramped, draughty and unlikely to win any design awards. But, according to archaeologists, this wooden hut is one of the most important buildings ever created in Britain.

The newly discovered circular structure – as shown in our artist’s impression – is the country’s oldest known home.

Built more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge, it provided shelter from the icy winds and storms that battered the nomadic hunters roaming Britain at the end of the last ice age.

The remains of the 11ft-wide building, discovered near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, have been dated to at least 8,500BC. It stood next to an ancient lake and close to the remains of a wooden quayside.

Dr Chantal Conneller, from the University of Manchester, said it was between 500 and 1,000 years older than the previous record holder, a building found at Howick, Northumberland.

‘This changes our ideas of the lives of the first settlers to move back into Britain after the end of the last ice age,’ she said. ‘We used to think they moved around a lot and left little evidence.

‘Now we know they built large structures and were very attached to particular places in the landscape.’

None of the wood used to make the building has survived. Instead, archaeologists found the tell-tale signs of 18 timber posts, arranged in a circle. The centre of the structure had been hollowed out and filled with organic material.

The researchers believe the floor was once carpeted with a layer of reeds, moss or grasses and that there may have been a fireplace.

Dr Conneller said the hut was used for at least 200 to 500 years – and may have been abandoned for long stretches.

‘We don’t know much about it and we don’t know what it was used for,’ she said. ‘It might have been a domestic structure, although you could only fit three or four people in it. It could have been a form of ritual structure because there is evidence of ritual activity on the site.’

Previous archaeological digs have unearthed head-dresses made from deer skulls close to the hut, along with remains of flints, the paddle of a boat, antler tools, fish hooks and beads.

The researchers also found a large wooden platform alongside the ancient – and long vanished – lake at Star Carr. It was made from timbers which were split and hewn.

The platform, which may have been a quay, is the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe. At the time, Britain was connected to the rest of Europe. The occupiers of the hut were nomads who migrated from an area now under the North Sea to hunt deer, wild boar, elk and wild cattle.

Dr Nicky Milner, from the University of York, said: ‘This is a sensational discovery and tells us so much about the people who lived at this time.

‘From this excavation, we gain a vivid picture of how these people lived. For example, it looks like the house may have been rebuilt at various stages.

The ancient Star Carr site is located not far from the Yorkshire town of Scarborough

‘It is also likely there was more than one house and lots of people lived here. And the artefacts of antler, particularly the antler headdresses, are intriguing, as they suggest ritual activities.’

Although Britain had been visited by hunter-gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years, it was only at the end of the last ice age, when the glaciers finally retreated from Scotland, that the country became permanently occupied.

Thousands of miles away, in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ of Mesopotamia, the earliest farmers were learning how to sow seeds and domesticate animals in a discovery that would transform the world – and herald the age of villages, writing and civilisation.

But in northern Europe, the hunter-gatherer way of life that had served prehistoric man for millennia remained unchallenged. Via


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:32 AM, ,

Mud Architecture in Afghanistan

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:39 AM, ,

Celebrating Mud

Youth cover themselves with mud during a festival at Nitzanim beach in southern Israel on April 1, 2010. The three-day festival attracts many young Israelis and includes rock concerts, meditation, yoga sessions and nudist camps. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:19 PM, ,

Heritage and Appropriate Technology Center Cameroon, Bamenda

Readers at Light Within are familiar with the work of NGOs and how Thatta Kedona (and also SPARC) is making difference in a small village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka situated on the bank of River Ravi near Gogera. Dr. Senta Siller (mother of dolls) and Dr. Norbert Centre (fondly called by village community as chaudhry sahib) keep toggling between Germany and the remote village with fresh ideas and people of the village keep making new products (dolls, tin toys and other decorative cultural mementos) keep travling from village to the entire world. Now the untiring couple has started another project in Cameroon. Heritage and Appropriate Technology Center is born in Cameroon.

Heritage and Appropriate Technology Center Cameroon is Bamenda - capital of North West Region in the Republic of Cameroon - based NGO. The NGO is focusing on development, presentation on exhibitions and promoting of appropriate technology. Do-it-yourself usage of appropriate technology gives a hope of independence from central technical infrastructure. And handmade dolls, dressed in traditional attires from the different provinces are a means of additional income generation in rural areas. Heritage and Appropriate Technology Center Cameroon involves men, women and also children in different initiatives.

Heritage and Appropriate Technology Center Cameroon has develop active cooperation with foreign NGOs like Technology Transfer and Training Centre in Pakistan, Institute for Planning and Consulting, German Society for the Development of Culture (DGFK) and Bamenda University of Science and Technology (B.U.S.T). This blog, in addition to useful information about Cameroon (one of the most diverse African countries that is called Africa in Miniature and its culture and people, will covers CAT initiatives and projects. [Via]

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:28 PM, ,

Earth Architecture

Investigating the intelligence of the low-tech earth architecture of the Sahara: A feasibility study from the western desert of Egypt


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:17 PM, ,

Thatta Kedona FAQs

Read Thatta Kedona Frequently Asked Questions


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:43 PM, ,

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