The comprehensive development of historical neighbourhoods in Cairo has been a major concern lately. This paper relates to the previous notion while researching and investigating the collaboration between painting, social practice and architecture. It is a case study of an interdisciplinary pedagogy approach between painting and architecture students, and how it can initiate a difference in the design process of the development of historical and informal areas, through collaboration, aiming to include artists for innovative solutions and futuristic visions.

It approaches a holistic vision through an interdisciplinary methodology that included interviews with stakeholders, sketching, photography and painting. The paper examines and analyses the workshop Envisioning the Unseen, initiated by the authors in 2015 during the first Egyptian Urban Forum (EUF), in order to question the transformative potential and the pedagogical partnership between painters and architects in the development of historical deteriorated urban areas, with a special focus on Al-Darb al-Ahmar area in Egypt.