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College of Design

Research + Work

Gondar, Ethiopia (2014)







In May 2014, the University of Minnesota College of Design students traveled to Gondar, Ethiopia for three weeks to study the UNESCO 17th century Royal Palaces Compound and its associated royal facilities.
The team collaborated with local governmental agencies, the University of Gondar, and local conservation practitioners to create a database system for the Fasil Ghebbi Palace compound.
Utilizing fieldwork survey sheets developed by the team as a reporting procedure for their fieldwork, they then designed a digital database on site for the inventory of individual buildings within and beyond the compound. They expanded their documentation data by analyzing the structures’ functions, conditions, construction, materials and current state of the buildings in order to have an up to date database of information that would facilitate discussions about future management plans.
The University of Gondar organized a capacity building workshop which provided a space for collaboration between local conservationists, stakeholders, and government officials to propose conservation guidelines for urban development. This would help ensure the safeguarding of Fasil Ghebbi, and create strategies for historic urban management as a viable option for conservation.

Download the Gondar project summary