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Taking Note

Part 2 Project 2023
Charlotte Ward
University of Sheffield | UK
Taking Note is a neighbourhood scale archive which responds to the government threat to eradicate informal Cairo. Cultural documentation is re-imagined to help locals be heard amidst the noisy, chaotic megalopolis. To kick start conservation, a digital manifesto and inclusive methodologies were developed.

A personal interest in wellbeing inspired auditory exploration. Asking residents to make their biggest and best sounds sparked joy and identified a love of noise but inability to control it.

Architecture alone cannot resolve deep rooted social issues, but it can gift choice. Taking Note reflects Cairo’s emotional past, haphazard present and rises to debate the future. Tools aid the community to action how they want to remember, record and amplify their legacy.

Taking Note complements but also challenges the vernacular. Passive environmental strategies recognise the tendency for self-organisation, and the patchwork surroundings made integration key. However, the implied courtyard is pivotal. Space is protected to allow conservationists to overlook community activity and skylights create intrigue in movement below.

A Sensory Street celebrates artefacts alongside their supporting narratives in a controlled but contextually stimulating environment, formed from the aggregates of government demolition; and a discreet exhibition in the basement archive promotes the agenda to combat the silencing.

Charlotte Ward

Simon Baker
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