Educational Design
School in the Middle of Nowhere

I have an important question. In my bachelor thesis I am writing a manual for school-building in Afghanistan. I worked there for the relief organisation last year.

This manual consists of some technical chapters and others about design. A school in the Middle of Nowhere!!

Because most of the times 3 or 5 little villages share one school, so it is often situated in the middle. My question is: Are there any books about designing in the Middle of Nowhere? Are there books about Integration on the one and segregation on the other hand between landscape and architecture?

Help would be nice.
Thanks a lot,
Sascha Wieser
School in the Middle of Nowhere
Hi Sascha,

From your picture, the place really looks desolate!

I can only suggest some "greenways" that will connect the school to the communities.

In what part of Aghanistan are you working on? Close to Khyber Pass?

I don't know of any publications about flora in Afghanistan, but I do have one on Pakistan, and that could apply, if we
compare the two regions.

My best to you, good job.
Maria Ayub
School in the Middle of Nowhere
Hello Sascha,

Your involvement in relief work and social strengthening through design and that too in a relatively 'harsh' geographical region, is truly commendable.

If I have understood your query correctly, you may try and probe into the existence of the 'Barefoot College' in India. The college is more of a philosophy that re-emphasizes upon the vernacular ideal of living, learning, working, and building that is under threat in many a parts in India. The landscape and architecture become synonymous while the user and the builder become one. You can try the following link:
Kush Patel
School in the Middle of Nowhere

There cannot be a "school in the middle of nowhere" for an architect. It sounds like a very romantic novel, but may be doesn't hold logic architecturally. Please re-phrase this.

You are talking about a relative context between a dense city versus sparsely populated mountain areas (with little vegetation of course).
Chitradeep Sengupta
School in the Middle of Nowhere

I am also interested in knowing if any of these villages where disrupted by bombing, etc.

How long did you stay there and how was life while there?
Maria Ayub
School in the Middle of Nowhere
Hello Maria,

I spent 4 months in a little village close to Herat. The village where we lived was destroyed partly. But it's hard to tell what caused the destruction. In fact, the Russians bombed Herat. Many inhabitants of Farjahi told us that they have been bombed as well. There are a lot of buildings which are partly ruined, but this may have other reasons as well.

About our life there: It was interesting and even funny sometimes. I mean you need some humour if you work there otherwise it's impossible. But over all it was worth doing it.

Sascha Wieser


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