The social, cultural and economic life of a society is manifest in its built environment. An analysis of that environment can provide insights about the lives of the people who inhabit its spaces. one difficulty in making such an analysis stems from the fact that the physical environment changes shape at a slower pace than the lived enviroment. It is thus important to assure at the outset that material forms are flexible and adaptable, so that they can serve their users through a long period of time. Architects and planners are some of the many actors who shape the built environment, and the importance of their role becomes evident when thier built work is able to transcend the period and the generation in which it was conceived and constructed.