The second outing for this now-regular LitFest-style session with “renowned authors from around the world” features the award-winning architect, author and scientist Sandra Piesik in conversation with urbanists and curators Ahmed and Rashid bin Shabib. The conversation will centre on the newly published compact edition of Piesik’s landmark book Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Climate. First published in 2017, it’s lost none of its force; essentially it gathers together essays by the world’s leading experts on vernacular architecture to examine how local buildings have stood the test of time and offer lessons for the future. The core of the book is arranged by climate zone, from desert to tropical, temperate to arctic, showing how climatic conditions and vegetation affect the evolution of building styles; the excellent reference section offers information on materials science and engineering, including how buildings have been adapted to contend with natural disasters.
Among the reviews: “Hefty, handsome … works best as evidence and inspiration, as the laying out the amazingly multifarious forms that human dwellings can take, from which it might still be possible to learn” said the Observer. And Aesthetic called it “a landmark publication … a timely and urgent story of humanity’s capacity to create architecture without jeopardizing the equilibrium of the ecosystems upon which human life depends”.
Should be a really interesting (and possible valuable) afternoon …
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