The practice of home in old Cairo: Towards socio-spatial models of sustainable living

M. Gamal Abdelmonem

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    Abstract

    The article investigates the practice of home as an everyday system for sustainable living in Old Cairo. The idea of home in this historic urban space has long involved fluid socio-spatial associations and made efficient use of space-activity-time dynamics. As in the past, a individual’s sense of home may here extend beyond or shrink within the physical boundaries of a particular house, as spatial settings are produced and consumed according to time of day, gender association, or special events. The article argues that architects working in this context must understand the dynamics of this complex traditional system if they are to develop locally informed, genuine designs that build on everyday spatial practices. Work by the architect Salah Zaki Said and by the Historic Cities Program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture is described to illustrate the potential of such engagement, especially as it contrasts to more abstract architectural proposals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-50
    Number of pages16
    JournalTraditional Dwellings and Settlements Review
    Volume23
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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