|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
This study deals with meeting the future housing needs of Arab Bedouin villagers in northern Israel. In order to improve upon their existing housing situation, it is necessary to know the direction in which to formulate design criterion and housing policies. The exploration of meanings that people invest in their surroundings provides such direction. Techniques employed in this study for exp1icating and analyzing meanings may be applied to any community, as the results may contribute to sensitive development policy and design solutions.
A sample of Arab Bedouin villagers in this region were selected for meanings analysis on two accounts: they are in a transition from a traditional society to a contemporary society, as well as in a political transition, as their settlements have gained official recognition from the government during this study. The possibility of legal construction is significant. There are approximately ninety spontaneous Arab Bedouin settlements in the Galilee, of which fourteen have gained legal status at the time of this study.
Since the villages are spontaneous and unplanned by any municipal authority, the architectural forms and spatial arrangements are a more pure expression of “dwelling” and “home” than planned settlements. The residents design, build and inhabit these dwellings for life. Such architectural forms and spatial arrangements reflect changes in the society over time.
Historically, changes in Arab Bedouin settlement in Israel may be conceived in a continuum from nomadic to urban dwellers, with temporary and permanent villagers in the middle. With each stage toward urbanization, their traditional way of life has diminished. How they used to live is known, so the way they conceptualize their present and future environment was explored.
The objective of the study was to engage in a process of understanding experience and meanings invested in the spatial organization of the dwelling and settlement of this particular sample, and to interpret the responses in terms of future design implications. The understanding of meanings invested in the home environment of communities may influence decisions in planning, design or policy. If particular spatial patterns are made explicit, they may be shared and understood by those outside of the community.
The home environments of Arab Bedouins of Northern Israel was explored by means of several research techniques in combination: documentation of the existing behavioral settings (Barker, 1960), cognitive maps of the home and village, use of the Location Task (Peled, 1976), and the Repertory Grid, (Kelley, 1955)