Atelier de recherche du CEDEJ
CEDEJ Research workshop
Without a Plan? An Ethnography of Architecture and Building Practices in Cairo today
Thursday 9th of December at 4 pm
After the pyramids and the mamluk monuments, the tall red-brick buildings are what epitomizes Cairo’s landscape the best. While they are often associated to the image of Cairo’s informal neighbourhoods, they are also the reflection of the building practices that prevail in the capital. This presentation discusses them through two angles: the improvement of the domestic space and the architects’ professional practice. While the later claims monopoly over building’s design, this paper sheds light at the logics driving home improvement projects when no architect is involved.
Dalila Ghodbane is an architect, urban planner (ENSA Paris la Villette and the French Institute of Urbanism) and associate researcher at the Cedej. In 2021, she defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “Without a Plan? An Ethnography of Architecture, Domestic Microclimates, and Building Practices in Contemporary Cairo” at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, in Switzerland. She has been an SNSF Doc-Mobility visiting doctoral fellow at the University of Oxford Brookes (2020). Her research interest is at the intersection of architecture and the social sciences, which enables her to address urban development from the perspective of lived experience. Her recent publications include: “L’air et la manière. Pratiques et savoir-faire thermiques dans les espaces domestiques du Caire” in Urbanités #12 / La ville (s)low tech (2019), “Building Bonds, or the Science of Social Connection” in J. Toriyama (ed.), Tales From the Field (2021), and “The Domesticity of Thermal Agency. On the Creation of Microclimates in Cairo, Egypt,” in M. Kobi, S. Roesler, L. Stiegler (ed.), Coping with Urban Climates. Comparative Perspectives on Architecture and Thermal Governance (2022).
Mohamad Abotera, architect and doctoral researcher (University of Antwerpen).