Mountain Architecture Building Guidelines

Location : Mountain Areas, Pakistan

The Himalayas-Karakoram-Hindukush system hosts water sources and feed the river system of Pakistan. This fluvial system provides for the water needs of the northern communities and nurtures the agrarian system further down south. According to the current climate change scenario and vulnerability of Pakistan to climate change it is projected that the country would be among water scarce nations by 2050 if suitable mitigation measures are not set in place for combating and adapting to climate change. Built environment contributes to 35% of resource extraction and usage, 40% of global energy use, consumes 12% of world’s drinkable water and produce 40% of the global Co2 emissions. Buildings are therefore a major driver of rising temperatures across the globe and can hence play an important role in reduction of Co2 emissions and energy consumption through efficient design and construction strategy. Led by Zahra Hussain, this research draws upon the extensive architectural pattern language mapping, sustainable buildings guidelines and mountain vernacular architecture and passive solar strategies for developing guidelines for architecture development in Pakistani Mountain Areas.

Communities of Practice; Crafts, Lives and Landscapes

Location : Mountain Areas, Pakistan

Partnering with the GCRF Gender Justice and Security Hub led by the LSE and funded by the UKRI, this 5 – year project engages with communities of practice (crafts) in Northern Pakistan that are undergoing conflict and crisis in order to explore the value of craft practices, products in cultural landscapes. Through Laajverd Visiting Schools in 2020, 2021 and 2022, rigorous research and engagement will be conducted with crafting communities in Kalash, Laspur and Skardu to identify linkages between practices, identity-making, material and immaterial landscapes. It will include research on supply chains, natural resource management for craft production, challenges to craft practices and craft heritage. The project will also conduct round table sessions with craft persons, textile designers and market gurus. It will also produce audio-visual stories, publications and exhibitions. For information on the Laajverd Visiting Schools related to this project, please contact hussain.zahra@icloud.com.

Infrastructural Development; Fragile scapes, Fragmented lives

Location : Gwadar, Balochistan, Pakistan

Infrastructural development such as roads and bridges promise mobility, change and development offering opportunities for populations that were otherwise restricted, remote or not connected to the contemporary world. However, they also have the capacity to organize and govern the political, social, cultural and economic lives of inhabitants and their landscapes. In addition to the opportunities and possibilities offered by infrastructures, their destructive potential for marginalized entities such as native communities and their landscapes cannot be ignored. This ambivalent nature of infrastructures will be explored in Laajverd Visiting School 2019 at Gwadar coastal town in South West Pakistan which being refurbished as a port city connecting China to warm waters. Gwadar is an old trading town which had historic links within and across the Arabian sea and Indian ocean where natives are involved in fishing business locally known as ‘mahigeeri’. The newly introduced Gwadar City Masterplan/ Port will disrupt and displace fisherman communities who have for decades lived and thrived in this land and in these waters. Through participatory workshops and creative mapping strategies, LVS explored socio-economic and cultural landscapes of fisherfolk, potential opportunities for local community and etho-ecologies of land life and water that compose the hammerhead known as Gwadar. Research for this project was co-led by Nishat Awan (Goldsmiths) and Zahra Hussain and conducted under Laajverd Visiting School 2019 funded by the Research and Enterprise Committee, GCRF Fund of Goldsmiths, University of London.