Humane Architecture, Human Rights, Equality, Design, Meaning, Representation.


Architecture | Business | Engineering | Life Sciences


The United Nations defines the Human Rights as the rights of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, language, religion, nationality, or any other status. These rights include all claims to live freely, to educate and work in equality, and to inhabit humanistic urban and architectural spaces. Throughout the history of architecture, civilisations have generated different perspectives towards respecting the human rights. Temples of Ancient Egyptian Architecture crushed the human scale to introduce religious experiences to their visitors. Tibetan temples over mountains enforced people to make anti-humanistic journeys to reach them. After thousands of years, the mega-scale palaces and cathedrals in the Gothic era underestimated the human scale due to the powerful rule of Church in Europe. On contrary, pioneers of Renaissance Era made an intellectual revolution to respect humanism through humane proportions. After a while, the Industrial Revolution employed all materials, machines, and sciences to serve humanism. Architectural projects therefore fulfilled the physical without covering the spiritual and emotional human needs. This remained until 1960s when the postmodern architecture emerged. Nowadays, several architectural projects have unfortunately neglected achieving equality for all categories of users. Critics, such as Jane Jacobs 2000, have pointed out that a number of starchitects - pioneers of the architectural world - have designed anti-humanistic spaces. Within the onslaught of digitization, deconstruction, and free forms, some architects have celebrated the power of building technology in designing non-traditional compositions, disregarding the humane essence. These uncanny forms have missed the feeling of humane dimension. This research aims to investigate the relationship between architecture and human rights, trying to propose a new architectural manifestation putting the human rights as the first priority. In order to achieve this aim, the paper followed scientific methods, starting by literature review defining the meaning of human rights, its values, and its relation to the humane architecture. To collect this data, the authors depended on desk research and reviewed previous readings to highlight the examples that put the humane factor at the first place as the main design-concept. A deep analysis for two case studies has been conducted, based on observations, photos, and documentation. Authors experienced these two projects during personal site visits. The analysis detected the architectural representations of humane design in both projects. A comparison between the case studies presented the most important elements and features that their architects were keen to apply. The research concludes that architecture and human rights are inseparable, and the design of human space needs a symphony of multiple tasks and elements including specific materials, meaningful spaces, and advanced technology.

Author ORCID Identifier

Ibtihal Y. El Bastawissi - https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3561-1114 , Maged Youssef - https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9923-6659





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