new gourna-hassan fathyNext week our codirector Sandra Bestraten and in-house professor Emilio Hormias are leading the last workshop of the course, which focuses on low-tech architecture in development. In the spirit of sharing, below you can find 3 recommended readings from the course which you can download excerpts of as pdf’s.

The workshop will look at the lessons learned from their projects with USF (Universidad Sin Fronteras – University Without Borders), through which Sandra and Emilio will analyze the urban planning of these contexts, how they came to be, and how it enables and responds to the lifestyles, culture, and climate of the region.

“It is very important to strengthen the social structure of the place where cooperation projects are undertaken, which can be done in parallel to providing improved low-tech construction techniques and organizational forms of participation. This brings the population greater autonomy and greater quality of buildings, enhancing their comfort, safety and aesthetics,” they point out.

Sandra Bestraten is president of University Without Borders (USF), where she and Emilio Hormias develop urban planning and social and educational facilities with social participation. Together theycofounded Bestraten Hormias Arquitectura, which specializes in sustainable projects using ecological materials such as timber and rammed earth. Sandra is co-author of the recently published book Bellvitge 50 anys. Història d’un barri de l’Hospitalet (Bellvitge 50 years. History of a neighborhood of l’Hospitalet) on the the unique urban history of the Barcelona neighborhood of Bellvitge. Watch a video interview with Sandra on beteve regarding her work as an architect in the creation of accessible spaces, and a more recent interview about her work in Bolivia and on Caladona, a space for women in Barcelona.

Just click on the links to download the pdf:

 1. Architecture for the Poor (1999) by Hassan Fathy

arch for the poor

2. Traité de construction en terre (1989) by Hugo Houben and Hubert Guillaud


3. Transitional Settlement: Displaced Populations (2005) by Tom Corsellis and Antonella Vitalle – Oxfam

Transitional Settlement Displaced Populations_


If you liked this, Make sure to check out other recommended readings from our guest professors,  and 23 (Free) Landmark Books About Cities Every Architect Should Read for more downloadable must-reads.


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