Fair Conditioning Ecological Impacts of Historical Civilizations – Fair Conditioning

Ecological Impacts of Historical Civilizations


History of Architecture

Academic Year

2'nd Year


3'rd Year

Complexity Level


Content tags

Architectural Practice


Environmental Impact of Architecture

Activity Type


Activity duration

2 weeks


2-3 weeks


To study a few historical civilizations and map the environmental events or destruction during that time caused by the civilization itself.


To help students understand the negative environmental impacts of civilizations to inform their work as professional architects in the future.




Knowledge of historical civilizations and the biophysical components and building structures that were part of the civilization.


Step 1: Determine a civilization that the class wants to explore together by asking students to vote.

Step 2: Unite students into groups of 5 and ask each group to pick one biophysical or building structure based component of the civilization they would like to research on e.g. an iconic building, a river, water harvesting system, a forest area, etc.

Step 3: Inform students to research about the socio-ecological impacts of the component they have chosen i.e. what social and ecological factors contributed to and/or impacted to the state of the component e.g. where was the material to construct an iconic building extracted from, what influenced the decision to construct a given water harvesting system, etc. and vice versa i.e. how did the component or state of the component impact the social and ecological factors of the civilization e.g. did the extraction of the construction material deplete forest based food resources for certain members of the civilization?, did the construction of water harvesting systems contribute to the communities overall well being?

Step 4: Ask students to conduct the research in groups and prepare a presentation of the same. Give them a time span of two weeks to work on the presentation.

Step 5 : On the day of the presentation after students have presented their research findings and inferences, conduct a discussion on the ‘socio-ecological impacts of historical civilizations that can inform the architectural practices of the present’. 



Source of Idea

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