IASTE 1994 Conference Description

Value in Tradition
The Utility of Research on Identity and Sustainability

Conference Description
The world of traditional settlements has long demonstrated various patterns of sustainability and a balance between continuity and change. In contrast, the modern world is torn by paradoxes and conflicts born out of the drive for technological advancement, the demand for redistribution of scarce resources, and the need to construct identities in the face of inequitable relationships of power. Accordingly, the fourth conference of the International Association of the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) will focus on the dilemmas of building sustainable environments and analyzing community and ethnic identities in the nations of a global, post-colonial, post-Cold War world. The debate will be centered on whether traditional environments, seen not as the static legacy of the past but as a model for the critical reinterpretation of the present, can provide clues that will help us move beyond the present impasse.

IASTE is dedicated to understanding the wholeness and integrity of traditional environments and their adaptation and response to change. Once again it invites specialists from different cultures and regions in such disciplines as architecture, art history, anthropology, archeology, folklore, geography, history, planning, sociology, urban studies, and other related areas, to propose papers or panels which address the general theme of the utility of research on traditional environments, according to the following topics:


  • Tradition and Identity in Post-Colonial Nation Building
  • Representation of the Notion of Tradition in Nation and Community Building
  • Persistence of Colonialism in Development Practices
  • Reuse and Reinterpretation of Foreign Traditions
  • Effects of Globalization on Traditional Settlements
  • Reenvisiting Traditional Identities in the Aftermath of Disasters


  • Technological Innovations in Traditional Forms
  • The Applicability of Traditional-Environment Research to Issues in Planning and Design.
  • Traditional Environments as Models for Building Alternatives to Contemporary Urban Problems
  • Tourism and its Impact on the Commodification and Demise of Sustainable Traditional Settlements


  • Psychology of Perception and Representation in the Study of Traditional Environments
  • Changing Methodologies in the Field of Traditional-Environment Research
  • Tradition as Ideology in the Physical Environment
  • Tradition as the Critical Reinterpretation of the Past
  • Uses and Misuses: Tradition as a Value-Neutral Activity
  • The Uses of Tradition in Architectural Education

Conference Schedule
Deadline for receipt of abstracts and a C.V.- February 15, 1994
Notification of accepted abstracts for conference presentation– April 15, 1994
Deadline for receipt of completed papers – July 1, 1994
Notification of accepted papers for possible publication in the IASTE Working Papers Series: October 1, 1994
Deadline for receipt of revised papers November 1, 1994.
Conference Committee
Professor Nezar AlSayyad
, Conference Director, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Jean-Paul Bourdier, Conference Directors, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Ali Bousnina, President, University of Tunis
Professor Mohamed El Bahi, Conference Director, ITAAUT
Professor Amor Khodja, ITAAUT

Sessions Committee
Dieter Ackerknecht, Nadia Alhasani, Saleh Al-Hathloul, Tarik Al-Soliman, William Bechhoefer, Hugh Burgess, Pierre Clement, Jefferey Cook, Mohamed El-Sioufi, Mui Ho, Carol Martin-Watts, Michael Kaplan, Heng Chye Kiang, Paul Oliver, Marcela Pizzi, Ahmad Reffat, Manuel Teixeira, Donald Watts.

Conference Sponsors
Center for Environmental Design Research, University of California, Berkeley
Institut Technologique d’Art, d’Architecture, et d’Urbanisme de Tunis (ITAAUT)
University of Tunis II, Ministere de l’Education et des Sciences
Ministere de l’Equipement et de l’Habitat. Tunis
Ministere de l’Environment et de l’Amenegement du Territoire
L’Association des Anciens de l’ITAAUT
Send all inquiries to:
IASTE ’94 Conference
Center for Environmental Design Research
University of California, Berkeley
390 Wurster Hall, #1839
Berkeley, CA 94720-1839
Tel: 510.642.2896
Fax: 510.643.5571