Over recent years, participatory design processes have been gaining momentum in the architecture field. This research analyzes the past experiences of the participatory design processes from literature and case studies to apply it on an ongoing sustainable development initiative for creating a dates pack-house in the Western Desert Oasis of El-Heiz. The aim of the development project of the dates pack-house at El-Heiz is to help achieve a more sustainable community economy. The research is done through understanding past intervention in the area, mapping the whole participatory design process (while being a design participant) in its various stages, and finally analyzing the outcomes. The methodology for mapping the process entails qualitative and quantitative assessments by being a participant observer documenting the whole process through observation, interviews, participatory action research and gathering numerical data. The project applies a triple bottom line sustainability analysis, and a critical assessment of the practicality of the building design for the operational process. This includes users’ feedback, modifications performed on the building, and the community impact. The study specifically answers questions -and raises others- about participatory design approach in architecture, while analyzing the potential of architecture in creating sustainable community economies in Egypt, especially through participatory design processes. This thesis also seeks to offer some recommendations for participatory sustainable design of community based commercial facilities.

Degree Name

MS in Sustainable Development

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2019

First Advisor

Abdel Kawy, Amr

Committee Member 1

Gabr, Hisham

Committee Member 2

Botros, Ashraf


92 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item