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Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt (Phoenix Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
Sometimes a book is so ahead of its time it can sink beneath the waves before it's appreciated. Such a book was 'Architecture for the Poor', written in 1969 and originally published by the Ministry of Culture in Cairo. Written with the help of a fellowship from the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs it was published in America by the University of Chicago in 1973 and in a second impression in 1976. But even then it was only taken up by the fringes of the solar energy movement as a neat idea for a different culture and climate. Currently its out of print. The author died in 1989 having received some praise in his home country of Egypt but having seen no actions to take up his ideas for helping peasants take control of their lives by taking charge of the creation of their homes and communities.
Dr Fathy was officially an architect but his talents as an amateur anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist, inventor, and economist are what make him great. His holistic approach to solving the housing problems of a poverty level community (and his vision to see how they could be applied to a whole country) takes in the gamut from reviving the craft of mud brick making (along with the traditional masonry building of vaults and domes to roof simple mud structures) through to solving the problems of parasitic worm infections that debilitate entire populations infected through their water supply systems.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Upon graduation from Cornell architecture school in 1970 I happened upon this book in the Tompkins County Public Library - that's right. Not the university's architectural libe. Read morePublished on June 21, 2013 by Human2Being
My girlfriend Niti (now my wife) had given me this book almost two years ago, mentioning that this was her favorite book. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Jay Deshpande