Although one might argue that the traditional concept of “community” is rapidly breaking down in its physical cohesiveness because of the internet, still we see the rise of cyber communities that are not restricted by geographical boundaries but show evidence of the same qualities of the traditional community (shared interest, shared values, interaction, etc.) However in consideration of the physical and emotional needs of man, the community that shared a common geographical location will never go extinct; and therefore in spite of the icy internet the village and the city will continue ad infinitum as long as mankind survives.
The city is the ultimate expression of civilisation; it is mankind’s foremost product as a community embodying the highest intellectual, aesthetic, technological and philosophical achievements of man. The village, on the other hand, is the resource base full of raw produce and crude human energy which provides the sustenance for the city; when the city crumbled and fell, the village was always there to supply the raw material for the rise of another city. It is a universal principle that demonstrates the intimate relationship between the village, the city and the community; all three are living entities coexisting in harmony; and what expresses the supreme achievements of man in the form of village and city is their architecture.
In that sense architecture is for all; and conversely, if it is not for all, then it is not architecture. It is the intention of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects to showcase the architects’ role in creating the city for the community while looking at the new issues confronting the architects in fulfilling their task of giving expression to the values and aspirations of the community. This is a wide area that includes among other aspects; past achievements in community architecture, development of architectural philosophies that shaped neighbourhoods, towns and cities for the enjoyment of all, emerging issues needing creative approaches in design and technology, emerging trends in architecture as a response to changing circumstances and formulation of research themes or propositions that could widen the scope of the architects’ role in community architecture.