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Housing Cairo: The Informal Response and Rethinking Precarious Neighborhoods


November 26, 2017

Panel Discussion

At 6:30 pm

Joint Book Launch & Panel Discussion

Panel discussion with:
Dr. Agnès Deboulet, Laboratoire Architecture, Ville, Urbanisme, Environnement (LAVUE), French National
Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Director, MAS Urban Design
Hamdy Reda, Founder, Artellewa
Dr. Irène Salenson, Research Officer, Economic Assessment and Public Policy Department, French Development Agency (AFD)
Leonard Streich, Co-Founder, Something Fantastic, MAS Urban Design
Omar Nagati, Co- Founder, CLUSTER

Moderated by Yahia Shawkat, Co-founder & Research Coordinator | 10 Tooba

About Housing Cairo: The Informal Response (Ruby Press)

Initiated by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes at the Chair of Marc Angélil, in collaboration with Something Fantastic and CLUSTER, Housing Cairo: The Informal Response was developed within the Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Urban Design at ETH Zurich. Published in early 2016 by Berlin-based publisher Ruby Press, Housing Cairo received the Architectural Book Award from the German Architecture Museum in October 2016.

Housing Cairo: The Informal Response is a publication that aims to illuminate the architecture of informality and its mechanism, focused on the neighborhood of Ard-el-Liwa. It challenges the usual negative perception attached to informal areas. Instead, it tries to attract a stronger engagement of architects and designers in these neighborhoods, with an ultimate aim of calling for governmental awareness to recognize, legalize and integrate these areas as an essential part of the city.

Housing Cairo is not merely about the informal architecture and urbanism in Cairo, it is also about the development of the linguistic expression of the urban informality. Accompanying the expansion of the informal urbanism, the one and only term “informality” cannot be used for everything that wasn’t approved by the authorities. Terminologies and terms describing informal urban expansion should also be developed in a more balanced way. By opening with an “anti-glossary,” Housing Cairo draws attention on the importance of the development of terminologies and terms, and how these terms would contribute to a sustained informal and formal urban expansion in Cairo.