Lecture 2. Case Studies in Earth and Sustainable Architecture in Contemporary Africa

Picking up where the previous lecture left off, this lecture explores the ways in which earth and architectural practice has evolved in the contemporary period in the context of increased concern around issues of pollution, unsustainable development, and the widespread depletion of natural resources in Africa. Architects are increasingly turning to so-called vernacular materials like earth and experimented with different methods of construction technology in an effort to establish a trajectory of architectural building into the future that focuses on low-cost, low energy built environments constructed from readily available, low-impact materials like earth. As such, this lecture will explore a range of ecologically-related issues and critical methodologies that have thus far been addressed in African architectural production and will explore the ways in which different contexts are responding to contemporary environmental problems on the continent through the use of so-called 'vernacular' materials like earth.


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