Society for the Promotion of Culture and Art

SPOCA Bangladesh

Housing and Water, The RCSG-Project in BanglaDesh / Sunil Ganguly Centre for Catastrophe and Environment Protection

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By Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch

The term housing can be understood as a wider term for place of residence and includes for example construction techniques using local materials and traditional forms of construction up to Hi-Tech element utilizing alternative technologies, in which concepts of re-cycling (slums and autonomy (self-sufficiency) are implemented.

Extreme climatic and environmental conditions play an important role in housing solutions. The spectrum of construction activities considering these factors extend from steep coasts at and on seas up to those in stone ,ice and sand deserts. Climate independent projects can be implemented at all places, where changing climate plays an important role.

One should not be striving for an ideal type of housing rather considering adaptation of housing solutions to local conditions.

Areas endangered by floods, storms and earthquakes around the globe require special local based solutions.

Under the term “ Closed Systems” we understand projects with completely different environmental conditions, which are not subject to earthly climatic condition and influenced rather by metabolism and production of water and oxygen, for example in space stations.

Such space stations appear at first utopian, however such a model of closed system is interesting when considering global problems created by changing climate and environmental conditions.

An example for housing under extreme environmental and climatic conditions is the German Neumeier-Station the Antarctica. It serves the research, but at the same time points to special construction effort offering permanent experiences.

Natural catastrophes (earthquake in north India) and floods (Indus region) have led to the search for suitable solutions for the affected victims. There is no complete solution available as such but a number of possibilities.

Immediate help from foreign countries and local construction experts are needed and when these are not sufficiently available, integration of construction students into such activity is necessary.

The same is valid for regions with similar natural catastrophes (earthquake in South East India) and flooding affected areas (Ganges/Padma and Brahmaputra/Jamuna).

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 5:10 PM, ,

About the end of handicrafts

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Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch / SPOCA, IPC

I may clarify right in the beginning: There will not be an end as long as the handicraft worker is an expert in his trade and maintains his cultural roots,- without losing the spirit of time.

At this point I may point to Art Nouveau and as one of its excellent example the Palais Stoclet in Brussels; it only proves: Excellence keeps standing!

For everything else is valid: When mass production predominates and the hope is to find consumers, who are less informed and more inclined to snap up anything offered at a super price, in the hope to be able to call something special as their own, then it is surely the rightful end of this article, which was anyway not real but a pseudo handicraft.

It is not a problem to scan and reproduce a unique article with help of CNC. This may sadden, but it is only a matter of getting used to it, like the 2-D copies.Even an experienced buyer cannot differentiate between the copy and the original piece. Only absolute experts with taste, knowledge and money know to appreciate it!

All others remain silent in the spirit of delusion!

The absolute majority vanishes, in the industrial uniformity and run for trade marks, wish for a seeming regular change through fashion and other such actions.

Insofar, this picture depicts not only the situation of handicrafts but also of everything which can be designed, including body products, clothing, internal and external designing up to the whole spectrum of industrially designed products.

Environmental protection and wastage of resources remain stuck at discussion level only.

Conclusion: There is no reason for sadness. In each period of time, only little remained back of cultural heritage; the meaningless taking the transitory path,- like the falling leaves in autumn, which vanish as dirt in the course of the year.

In the course of a human life, the direct relationship between the creator and the created is important and has its special value,- the economic relationship is an income generating measure and a charade. To see through it is left to the future generations!

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:18 PM, ,

Unique Item vs. Industrial Production

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Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch / SPOCA, IPC

As soon as the infrastructure allows it, manufacturing of various items of daily use but also handicrafts are started to be produced through industrial methods.

The argument here is normally: It must be worthwhile to produce the item, this refers to the economic level, which has and must have its short term and short sighted approach to problem resolution. The cultural aspect here is totally ignored, because an evaluation of something neither tangible nor calculable is hardly possible.

This dilemma is clearly visible in the development of share prices. They increase in totality according to general situation, because they represent the industrial production. It does not reflect the destruction of resources and the environmental damage, on which it is based.

As a graphical depiction, the industrial growth can be put in comparison to the loss of resources. Regarding manufacturing of unique pieces and requirement of the customers to purchase something very individual, the comparison would be with the estimated loss of the ability to manufacture the piece of handicraft.

Why should a unique piece be manufactured at a higher cost, if it can be manufactured industrially in a much larger quantity,- so the opinion and expectation of the purchasers.

In the field of the art market, runaways from the artistic scene suggest a demand for the items with unique characteristics. The specialty has a price. Participation in its production creates imitators, so the price continues to slide downward and withy that also the value.

This phenomena is actually not a phenomena but rather a result of the economic oriented approach.
Work places, resources, cultural values are regulated in this way and cause damage in social and political field.

It is remarkable, how little attention is given to the effects and causes. The industrial product with a logo has a higher value as compared to the unique product, especially then, when it is not communicated industrially.

The possibility of marketing unique items and small series is made difficult and obstructed through certification sectors, which in the context of value addition suggest safety, environmental protection and work protection.

Result is, that the unique product gradually falls away from perception for financial reasons through the missing value addition. The special thing is, that the richness of culture of a country gradually disappears.

Innovation and creativity are promoted, but limited due to economic arguments. The connections between climate, environment and culture are lost in the process of globalization. The forgotten and the lost differences however remain.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 6:17 PM, ,

NGOs vs Ltd

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Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch / SPARC-project, IPC, SES

NGO means here socially oriented institutions and Ltd means here economically oriented institutions. The former manufacture something and they are also not dependent upon the market, however the social aspect prevails. The latter , and this is the tragic thing, see only economic growth as their sole purpose.

NGOs can be seen as institutions, which are supposed to subordinate themselves to the existing order of things, in order not to cause any problems.

Due to the given order and organization, eventual disturbace factors are also to be accepted. At the same time creativity and innovation is standardized to an extent, that critical voices rightfully put in question the sense of this order and organization.

Also this will be of no help except working on the effects only and trying to repair them.

The real causes for the multiple problems remain hidden, concealed and are therefore ignored. Should one make an effort to publish them, the basic structure would vanish and whole chain of problems would become visible.

At this place, we must refer to the widespread theory of sinus curves, which represent the reality as as permanent back and forth of repetition. The reality as a consequence is made up of total collapse and a new beginning, as is the case with a tangent curve, as explained impressively and repeatedly by the critical thinker KP Friebe.

Illusory prosperity, a mania for value addition and growth become recognizable as a thing that is wished for but in fact is impossible to achieve. A big crater becomes visible in the seemingly perfectly organized order of things.

It is to be doubted, whether in a new order, an appreciable number of people can be put to use in an active manner.

Ltd's as a metaphor for economic organization, have the ability to engage on an international level. They have long ago recognized the chance for overcoming the fictive and arbitrary boundaries of states and use this opportunity to the fullest. By using the technology and the factor time, they provide for the repeal and ineffectiveness in the political and social fabric.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:07 PM, ,

FPAC Senior Research Fellows 2014-15

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Prof Bashirul Haq / BRAC-University Dhaka and Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch / RUC Alahkie

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:24 PM, ,

Coastal Living

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:21 PM, ,

Down to Earth

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Down to Earth Inc. is a company that promotes earth-bag housing construction in Uganda as a means to foster sustainable housing construction through the use of the earth's most abundant building material; natural soil.
With the ever-growing human population on earth, natural resources are being depleted at an unprecedented rate that threatens life itself.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:24 AM, ,

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