Starting from 1973, within the framework of a governmental programme of regional development, the Development Workshop group set in 1974 upon constructing schools, health clinics, hammams, habitation complexes and other necessary urban facilities in the Lorestan region of Iran. The major aim was to demonstrate how the mobilization of human resources, natural resources, materials and technology, and cultural and value systems could generate a process of socio-economic development within the district and meet the communities basic needs. In keeping with this objective, the building section developed a strategy for enhancing the district's capacity to meet its own settlement and shelter needs.
The strategy consisted of:
Construction of essential buildings. such as schools, clinics.harnmams etc., in a way that demonstrated the use of improved indigenous methods as well as trained people in these methods;
Establishment of local building materials industries to make the district self reliant in its required materials;
Research and development on local resources and training local builders capable of designing and constructing most of the buildings required in the area; and
Utilisation of the data derived from vernacular and traditional architecture, adapted by its forms, technology and materials to the economy and culture of the region.
The constructions are functional, simple, well adapted and welcomed by the inhabitants, who gain access to equipment and facilities of which they were deprived. Building teams were trained. The provision of community services included roads, bridges, water supply, rural clinics, public baths, schools, as well as the creation of employment opportunities through small scale industry development related to local needs building materials, weaving, wood working etc. All activities were based on community participation.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Villages in the Selseleh Region, Alashtar Basin, Alashtar, Lorestan Province