Workshop + Exhibition


Mapping Patterns and Photographic Documentation

The 5-day workshop engaged 10 children from Ard El Lewa and 6 Architecture students in producing local patterns and maps for their community, while registering their stories and needs by using geo-tagged photography and cognitive mapping.

The workshop was co-organized by the University of Waterloo and the American University in Cairo, in collaboration with CLUSTER, Artellewa, Save the Children and Schaduf.

Three urban conditions in Ard El Lewa were studied: urban x urban, formal [in]formal border, and endangered edge. Specifically, workshop participants documented building and rooftop typologies and mapped urban voids, incomplete structures, informal transportation, spatial and temporal appropriations, and informal vendors. Exploring possible futures for Ard El Lewa, workshop participants came up with strategies and in-situ design solutions to optimize their patterns with their own hands. To visualize the strategies, participants optimized the Save the Children rooftop with the few available resources. On the last day of the workshop, a micro urban farm, donated by Schaduf, was installed on the Save the Children rooftop and handed over to the community.

The workshop ended with a 3-day exhibition in Artellewa showcasing community-produced patterns, maps and photographs. The exhibition, sponsored by University of Waterloo and the Architecture Association (AA) at the American University in Cairo, also displayed all pattern templates generated by architecture students.

Workshop participants heading to photography + mapping tours

Framing patterns

Documenting building typologies

Geo-tagging patterns

Documenting patterns through cognitive mapping

Construction of library shelves and a seating corner with recycled wood palettes, tires and fruit boxes

Exhibition in Artellewa: Children updating maps and pattern matrices with new information

Children filling speech bubbles with their needs and urban narratives


Local Partners