Courses in Desert Architecture are offered in the framework of the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, an interdisciplinary program leading to an M.Sc. degree in Desert Studies.
Conferences and Workshops
- December 2008 - The Jeffrey Cook Workshop on Desert Architecture. On December 14-18, 2008 the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), under the auspices of the UN/UNESCO hosted at the Sede Boqer Campus the 2nd International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification, sponsored by a number of national and international institutions and bodies. Within the greater framework of the conference a two-session workshop was held on December 15, focusing on matters of planning and design in deserts. The Workshop included presentations by local and overseas researchers and architects, and included the presentation of the first Jeffrey Cook Award for lifetime achievement in Desert Architecture. The prize was presented to Professor Baruch Givoni, a pioneer in energy-efficient building research and author of the seminal 1969 book Man, Climate and Architecture.
- March 2008 - Green Architecture and Sustainable Design: Concepts, Strategies, Standards. Originally organized as a regional one-day event, this meeting developed into a national conference touching on matters of green architecture and standards, energy consumption and conservation, public health, and recent case studies. Sponsored by the Environmental Unit, Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Department of Man in the Desert of BIDR/BGU, at the Sede Boqer Campus.
- February 2007 - Sede Boqer Workshop on Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). Is BIPV indeed sustainable and viable? Are there technical, legal, or feasibility barriers that should be addressed? These and related questions were addressed by researchers and architects, decision makers and government officials who met in conjunction with the 14th Sede Boqer Symposium on Solar Electricity Production at the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center at the Sede Boqer Campus, co-sponsored by the Department of Man in the Desert.
- March 2006 - Conference on Building in the Desert. A three-day conference evolving around the planning, design and construction of the Sede Boqer Campus, which was undertaken by a number of well-known architects with the participation of researchers. The conference dealt with historical, technical, climatic and organizational aspects of building in Israel's arid south, and deserts in general, from the "trial-and-error" experimentation of the early years to the systematic scientific research of today. The speakers represented all of the Israeli schools of architecture. Hosted by the Dept. of Man in the Desert and the Negev Interdisciplinary Center, at the Sede Boqer Campus.
- The 11th PLEA International Conference: Architecture of the Extremes was organized by the Desert Architecture Staff in 1994 and held at the Dead Sea, Israel, a distinctive geographic and climatic location. The Conference was attended by academics and design professionals from around the world, who presented papers on topics related to Passive and Low-Energy Architecture in regions of climatic extremes (ranging from cold-arctic to hot-arid and hot-humid).
- The Negev Design and Construction Workshop operated between 1988-1992 and included ten workshops, each focusing on a specific topic related to desert architecture. The workshop series functioned as a discussion panel for academics, decision makers, and design professionals from the Negev settlements and the relevant planning and settling authorities.
- A Symposium on Energy Aspects of Design in Arid Zones was sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and held in Tel Aviv. The Symposium presentations dealt with topics related to a range of planning and design scales, and to the different climatic subregions of the Israeli deserts.
- A Conference on Planning and Construction in the Dead Sea Region - Challenges and Design Strategies - was organized to address the pressing ecological issues surrounding development in the area of the Dead Sea.
Professional Consulting The Desert Architecture staff provides professional consultation on bioclimatic and energy-related issues for projects ranging from single buildings to master plans. Consulting services have been provided to architectural firms as well as local authorities and public institutions, including:
- The Israel Ministry of Construction and Housing
- The Israel Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure
- The Jewish Agency
- TAKAM - The United Kibbutz Movement
- The Negev Tourism AdministrationThe staff has been involved in the preparation of masterplans for new and existing settlements including Arad, Beer-Ora, Beer-Sheva, Dimona, Elat, Maale Adumim, Netivot and Sderot and others.
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