|M.Sc Student||Slomiansky Adriana|
|Subject||Use Patterns in Public Housing Jewish Arab Population Haifa|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Dr. Michael Meyer Brodnitz|
Over the past 20 years a new area of research has developed, focusing on the study of the interaction between man and his environment. This area embraces the analysis of the built-up environment, through which one can discover significant human decisions and to understand the values on which society was based at different periods. The objective is to define “what to design” and “why” and to determine the criteria for design that will be based upon the understanding of the interaction between man and his environment. Apartment buildings are the immediate environment of humans and were defined in this research as the reflection of the relationships between man, environment and culture. In this context and as a result of the heterogenic structure the Israeli society, one of the key issues to study is the influence of cultural values on the process of adapting the housing environment.
The purpose of this research is to broaden the knowledge of user’s needs- and the influence of cultural values in the adaptation of apartment buildings in public housing, in order to find a sounder base for future planning policies.
This research examined 29 apartments that were built in the frame of public building in Haifa. The sample was divided into 10 Jewish families and 19 non Jewish families. For the collection of the information we used two methods: questionnaire - using data collecting about the research population, opinions and impressions of family members towards the apartment — and mapping of diagram of alterations, activity patterns, furniture and equipment, etc.
The research findings point to certain differences between the population groups. We found activity patterns that- question the normal standard in public building, and a large number of alterations that were executed by the tenants, in order to adapt the- apartment to their needs. Not always were we successful in finding the source of these differences. Yet, it is possible to sum up the differences by saying that they are the direct result of different cultural backgrounds of this research population.
One of the - main conclusions of this research is that the adaptations of the apartment in a public housing project is in a way a process of adjustment and compromise. We should put aside prejudices and stereotypes and conduct additional research in order to find new meaning in the functions of architects and designers: not to dictate how other people should live but enable the end users to have a say, according to their understanding, regarding the use and essence of the house.