ERIC Number: ED204451
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-20
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Phenomenology of Dwelling and Building: Hassan Fathy's "Architecture for the Poor" as an Indication.
The philosophy of Martin Heidegger has major bearing on work in humanistic geography and related environmental fields. Dwelling, according to Heidegger, is the process through which people make their place of existence a home. For all the seeming rightness of Heidegger's view, there is much about dwelling that confounds and alienates many present day social scientists. One work that helps to demonstrate the importance of the notion of dwelling is Hassan Fathy's "Architecture for the Poor" (1969), which portrays the context of dwelling for Egyptian peasants located in an Upper Nile village. According to Fathy, a building will be successful when it incorporates both structural and sociocultural/religious elements of people's lives. Besides encompassing time and environment, Fathy holds, building (as it arises from dwelling) reflects and sustains a people's society and the socioeconomic order that maintains their sense of group purpose and cohesiveness. This depiction seems far from our own world, yet we too strive to dwell and must ask how our world can be made better to foster dwelling and our need to dwell. It is precisely because we have reached such a tremendous level of technology and sophistication that the notion of dwelling becomes crucial. A phenomenological consideration of empirical accounts like Fathy's brings the notion of dwelling into a context which is less complex existentially than Heidegger's and closer to essential needs of environment and individual human beings. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Egypt; Fathy (Hassan); Heidegger (Martin)
Note: Paper prepared for the Annual Meetings of the Association of American Geographers (Los Angeles, CA, April 20, 1981).