I will start by describing staying over night in a Bedouin tent. I live in Saudi Arabia and believe it or not camping in the desert is one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. People often camp at spring, of course camping in the summer considered a death wish. You wake up exactly at sunrise; I can’t even describe the view, its so rewarding. Inside the tent, there is a place for the fire and the rest is filled with traditional hand made rugs and mattresses with a small height. You might eat on the ground, or set near the fire on the ground, so everything in its basic form. Everyone is active during the daylight but at sundown, everyone gather for the supper, which often include a camel milk, yogurts, and cheese everything is freshly made, if you have a life stock. After finishing the supper, everyone turn to their bag sleeps, some choose to sleep under the stars when the weather is fine.
I chose to talk about Bedouin tents as a built environment because with the little knowledge I have about sustainability, I saw the Bedouin tents as a perfect example for a sustainable life style that I personally experienced. Now Bedouin tents are taking different modern styles, they have the same shape of the old Bedouin tent but with variation.
First opposition: Man and the physical environment:
Bedouin tents HOLD ON desert’s hells. The tents are totally adaptive to the topography of the desert.
Second Opposition: climate and enclosure.
Bediwen tent have a fabric sections that cut the tent in different enclosed spaces. Those sections are removable, so they create an outside inside experience. When it get cold, the tent would be closed completely in response to the weather and opened as early as the sunrise.
Third Opposition: Gravity and movement.
Columns are obviously used as a response to gravitational force.
The movement is horizontally only, Tents never made in two stories or with stairs; it is basically wide horizontal spaces that allow horizontal movement only.
Fourth Opposition: Permanence and entropy.
The Bedouin tents toke their shape and design because they were made for movement. Bedouins with the change of seasons fellow natural resources, so the tents were made as a movable built environment.
Fifth Opposition: Mass and Form.
The Bedouin tents are more of a form than a mass. They are not structured heavily in the ground. The tents were shaped for wind protection and rain.
Six Opposition: Material and tool.
The material used to make a Bedouin tent is primarly goat’s hair. The tools used to make a tent are mainly the hands, the women in the tribe create the texture of the tent and the men raise it up on columns.
Thus, in my point of view, the Bedouin lifestyle support sustainable environment. Now a days, people in my country are living a much different life style that evolves clearing the topography of the land, the maximum use of conditioners in the summer and heaters in the winter, support vertical and horizontal movement, creating built environment that emphasis mass, and all sorts of materials and tools are used daily. I think if we kept moving forward but yet enforcing and using the Bedouins tent strategies, we would be able to contribute in a sustainable environment.