Day dedicated to architecture offers films, competition, lecture

The Architectural Engineering Department celebrated on May 4, 2017 an Architecture Day exploring the theme “Architecture and Society.” The day included film screenings, a student competition, and a showing of student projects.

Architecture Day began with a lecture on community development and the urban landscape presented by architectural engineers Nadia Habash and Dana Masa’d, and PhD Program Director in Social Sciences Liza Taraki.

Habash said that architecture should involve local communities by tackling their urgent needs. She pointed to the history of architecture, explaining that it was deeply affected by the struggle over natural resources and land, which created spaces that rely on consumption rather than production.

Masa’d pointed out the architecture in Palestine faces a number of problems, including the types of construction materials that are used in building. She said that even though the West Bank is ranked 12th among the countries that produce stones, mining them has deeply affected the environment, especially due to the lack of oversight on crushers and quarries.

She said that there are a number of alternatives such as compact clay bricks and clay bags. However, these alternatives are not used in Palestine due to their high price.

Professor Taraki talked about how social science today takes an interdisciplinary approach with different fields. Despite colonization, Palestine is still part of a global phenomenon that transferred cities into spaces that attract investments and capital. This has led to rise in the cities’ population and the need for urbanization.

At the end of Architecture Day, the Architectural Engineering Department announced the winners in the competition “Everyday Spaces,” targeted at designs for spaces on campus.