(In)formal Pattern Language in Egypt

Designing processes for informal settlements

(In)formal Pattern Language in Egypt

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Improvitecture optimizes existing conditions through urban acupuncture without destroying self-organized socio-cultural and economical networks and patterns. Tools and proposals use the same tactics of the (in)formal like compactness, incompleteness, hyperfunctionality, urban layering and resource centrality, to re-appropriate and blend with the built environment. Interventions are flexible, hybrid and expandable to comply with future informality and long-term adaptability.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Optimization of waiting agricultural land: Interventions create a model for environmentally, economically and socially responsible cradle-to-cradle design. They propose urban farming, spaces for micro-economies, photovoltaic power generation, grey water usage, waste management and the integration of locally sourced and recycled construction materials.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Context: Negotiating the formal [in]formal juxtaposition through the case study of Ard El Lewa.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Designed replicable and open source tools in relation to the typologies of participation.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Extracting local patterns from maps to create the 101 [in]complete pattern matrix.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    The Improvitecture generated by community members, architecture students and experts.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Design proposal and optimization for urban voids.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Optimization of urban voids through “Community Walls”.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Design proposal and optimization for rooftops according to typology.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Optimization of existing pigeon towers: A cradle-to-cradle approach.

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    Designing processes for informal settlements, Cairo, Egypt

    Nada Nafeh, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

  • Next generation Next Generation 3rd prize 2017–2018 Middle East Africa

Developing the new typology of Improvitecture©, this hybrid of improvisation, improvement and architecture is proposed as the architecture from, and for, informality and a catalyst for sustainable development.

Last updated: June 06, 2023

By Nada Nafeh - Holcim Research in Practice Grant (RPG) Recipient , Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Ideas: Economic & Social Empowerment

Architectural designer and urban researcher Nada Nafeh is re-thinking the role of the architect, urban designer, and citizens in the context of improvised settlements. Her research examines how sustainable urban growth and community empowerment can be optimized by transforming architecture from a focus on the “design of products” to the “design of processes” to create a more circular green economy across the array of conditions within the contemporary urban fabric.

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