Virtual Cairo: An Urban Design History
Written, produced, and directed by: Nezar AlSayyad
A short video documentary built around a computer simulation of medieval Cairo. It begins with “fly-overs” and ” walk- throughs” of the city in its twelfth-century incarnation as a royal compound. The video then traces the spatial development and morphological transformation of the historic core of Cairo up to the sixteenth century. Computer visualization technology, which has been used primarily by the entertainment industry, is now making it possible to tell the urban history of Cairo and view its growth and evolution.
At Home With Mother Earth “Akkiwan”
Written by: Nezar AlSayyad
Produced and directed by: Morteza Rezvani and David Weisman
A video documentary that looks at the ancient tradition of buildings with mud within a global context and analyzes the prejudices that marginalize its use in contemporary time. The travails and passions of early pioneers are chronicled along with current innovative approaches of present-day earth builders like Hassan Fathy from Egypt, Nader Khalili from Iran, David Easton from California, and the CRATerre group from France. The video Presents the pros and cons of the so-called “Earth Architecture” and provides insight into the dilemmas it poses to architects, builders, and building code officials in both the developed and the developing worlds. It also exposes the attitudes of the construction industry regarding innovation and change, and questions the industrial and governmental commitments to the development of environmentally sustainable and ecologically sound building processes.
This video documentary has been funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for Arts and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.