MAKLI: INTBAU (International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism) Pakistan’s three-day conference spread of five sessions began here bright and early in the morning, with delegates coming in bus-fulls to ZC3, the venue of the conference for the first two days, and with many others having stayed the previous night at Makli.
With the bamboo structure of the Zero Carbon Centre colourfully decorated in green and blue the guests arriving for the first time at the venue were taken aback by the impressive arrangements made in the middle of an erstwhile beggars’ village – especially by the mud and bamboo living accommodations made for over 80 delegates and 40 students who stayed overnight.
The master of ceremonies for the entire conference, joint secretary INTBAU Pakistan, Shanaz Ramzi formally began the session with recitation from the Holy Quran by a student. Murad Jamil, Honarary Secretary, INTBAU Pakistan then welcomed all the delegates. Mr Sardar Ali Shah, Minister for Culture, Government of Sindh then addressed the gathering and appreciated the efforts of INTBAU Pakistan in making this international conference possible and highlighting Makli in the process.
The speakers lined up for the third session included James Green of Richard Griffiths Architects who spoke about Zero Carbon ateliers. Lisa Skillen, a ceramist from Australia spoke about glazed ceramics and terracotta ateliers, while Celeste Sangster of World Habitat briefed delegates about Pakistan Chulah and the award it won, Dr Gwynn Jenkins from Malaysia spoke about heritage safeguarding while Sadia Fazli (Registrar PCATP) spoke about the engagement of students in such activities.
The next few hours were spent in demonstrations by artisans and hands-on work learning the techniques being adopted by the trained village folk to do kashi work, and working with bamboo and earth, as well as restoration work at 17th c. tomb of Munir Maghfoori.