Building in the Desert: Perspectives on Conservation and Heritage in Desert environments

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Moritz Kinzel - Foredragsholder

An array of challenges faces anyone engaged in building in desert environments. These include, but are not limited to the often extreme climatic conditions. In recent decades, a lot of traditional construction methods have been lost, while others have been reconstructed, revived or even reinvented. This process has always included modifications and adjustments to contemporary needs and rested on ideas on the improvement of structural inadequacies that are not applicable to modern standards and building codes. The return to tradition as a nostalgic element of an often national identity is a result of heritage and conservation concepts as they have been developed in Europe and diffused globally through the framework of international organisations such as UNESCO and ICOMOS. The typology of traditional desert structures ranges from tent structures to complex multi-storey adobe houses. The preservation and understanding of these traditional ways of living can often be contradictory to societal development on a more general level, but can also be a key factor in preserving pre-modern means of surviving in harsh desert environments.
This contribution will present case studies from various parts of the Arabian Peninsula, including Jordan, Yemen, and Qatar, in order to show the variety of building traditions and decay patterns in desert environments. The role of “buildings in the desert” as heritage monuments and the different attempts to deal with the processes associated with them (e.g. neglecting, modifying, transforming, preserving, presenting, mummifying). Buildings are primarily seen as a tangible heritage, however, the process of construction, as well the architectural structure itself, can in this context also be understood as a part of a more intangible knowledge transfer from one generation of desert peoples to the next.
6 nov. 2013

Begivenhed (Seminar)

TitelLiving on the Edge: Archaeological and Anthropological Approaches to life in the Desert
AfholdelsesstedUniversity of Copenhagen

ID: 69595406