Vernacular Architecture in Asia

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Vernacular Architecture in Asia by Mind Map: Vernacular Architecture in Asia

1. Levels of meaning

1.1. High level

1.1.1. sacred, cosmologies, world view and philosophy of the community, clan or family

1.2. Middle Level

1.2.1. communicate the community's or the expression of residents' identitiy,status,wealth,power

1.3. Low level

1.3.1. everyday setting (use of setting) e.g. social situations and expected behaviours

2. Globalization

3. Vernacular VS indigenous

4. Conservation is a process that concerns the care and continuing deevelopment of a place

5. Definition

5.1. Visible characteristics

5.1.1. A manner of building shared by the community

5.1.2. A recognisable local or regional character responsive to the environment

5.1.3. Coherence of style, form and appearance, or the use of traditionally established building types

5.1.4. Traditional expertise in design and construction which is transmitted informally

5.1.5. An effective response to functional,social and environmental constraints

5.1.6. The effective application of traditional construction systems and crafts

5.2. Indigenous,tribal,folk,peasant and traditional architecture

6. Relationship with society

6.1. Colonialism,Neo-Colonialism

6.2. Cultural identity and Localism

6.3. Government Policy

6.3.1. Conservation

6.3.2. Sustainability

7. Culture as a form of tradition

7.1. people's influence in culture

7.1.1. visions

7.1.2. belief

7.1.3. cosmos idea (association with the spiritual world)

7.1.4. behaviours

7.1.5. customs and rituals

7.2. Influencing architecture they build

7.2.1. materials used

7.2.2. symbolisation

7.2.3. religious issue e.g. ancestral hall

7.3. "Tradition cannot be inherited, and if you want it, you must obtain it by great labour." by T.S.Eliot

8. Climate

8.1. Affecting the architecture

8.1.1. Air flow

8.1.2. Room temperature

8.1.3. location

8.2. Benefits and Constraints brought by the natural environment and climate

8.2.1. Eight major climatic belts of Asia Montane maritime Japan Subtropical

8.2.2. Topography Altitude of land Orientation of slopes

8.2.3. Temperature

8.2.4. Wind direction

9. Rural vernacular

9.1. Settllement and setting

9.1.1. Settlement is a place where people establish a community consists of more than dwelling houses e.g communal warehouses

9.1.2. Setting is a place in which something, e.g. a group of nomadic people locate their living environment -> More confined to landscape setting May include many things surrounding mountains waterways paddy rice-fields fung-shui graves

9.2. The spiritual side of rural vernacular environment

9.2.1. Most well connected with the cosmos/ sky

9.3. Changing is inevitable?

9.4. Informal settlements and the vernacular

9.4.1. has a strong sense of local community organization

9.4.2. not planned in advance / illegal

9.4.3. exist for historical, political and social reasons

9.4.4. Accommodate and represent people's lives

9.4.5. Types Kinds of land being occupied Tracts of land on the outskirts of cities that are unused / not developed Places within cities for convenience

9.4.6. Purposes People's home Make a living Mingle with neighbors

9.4.7. Outcome Provide another efficient economic network New local ommunity being set up

10. Design is an act of faith in a state of becoming



11. Future of Asia's Vernacular Architecture

11.1. Conservation VS Preservation

11.1.1. special characters TANGIBLE things about the physical content of a place INTANGIBLE Special association with PEOPLE in that community


11.1.3. Preservation is for dead monuments

11.1.4. Conservation involves cultural value to the future generation Without modernity, there won't be tradition Can culture be conserved?

11.1.5. Tradition VS Modernity The "LIVING" Tradition Without a modern world we live in, we will not look back the tradition (past, history) eg. Mid-Autumn Festival PROCESS : buildings are being constructed in traditional ways PROCESS OF TIME AND SPACE Rationalization ? Logic how to rationalize existence Globalization VS Traditional culture Absolute need is looked after

12. Materials, Construction and the Vernacular

12.1. Utilize local materials

12.1.1. grass

12.1.2. timber

12.1.3. animal products

12.1.4. stone

12.1.5. wood

12.1.6. clay

12.1.7. mud ( tower/ cave dwelling)

12.2. Building methods, structural systems

12.2.1. WORKMANSHIP : pass from one generation to next

12.2.2. transcending and sustainability

12.3. Associated rites and rituals

12.3.1. Traditional vernacular architecture is a spiritual body that is housed in a physical built form how the architecture can manifests the spiritual aspect of the place

12.3.2. PROCESS

12.3.3. dimension

12.4. It is a continual process of adaptation/ response to social / environmental constraints

12.5. Homogenization (sameless)

12.5.1. economic

12.5.2. cultural

12.5.3. architectural

13. Vernacular Landscape

13.1. Man-made landscape (cultural landscape)

13.1.1. exists virtually everywhere

13.1.2. displays the human organization of natural elements

13.1.3. created by people based on traditions and customs imbued with spiritual or cultural meanings

13.2. Rural landscape

13.3. involves various scale

13.3.1. Public space VS private space interaction

13.3.2. streets and alleys

14. Urban vernacular

14.1. People living together not in a sporadic or rural setting

14.2. highly concentrated in population

14.3. comes out of multiplicity of purposes serving the daily lives of people.

14.4. evolving over time, both physically and culturally

15. Conservation of the Built Vernacular Heritage

15.1. importance

15.1.1. values Aesthetic and artistic The intellectual historical it may allows us to know more about the past and tradition, and absorb the essence of these traditions scientific and reserach social identity The degree and the way which the vernacular heritage affects the people lives living in that particular community outstanding universal value The value of the heritage may actually be cross country/nations

15.1.2. approach in conservation Paradigm shift Conservation is for the benefit of the future generation based on the interpretations of the values and culture significance of the present society. making refurbishments principles The refurbishment should not affect the cultural values of the structure Whatever new materials are added to the building or any modifications are made, they are supposed not to destroy the original vernacular fabric

16. My Views

16.1. What is your personal definition of vernacular architecture?

16.1.1. Architecture that reveals identity in local culture and history and relationship between local people and the place.

16.2. Write down your own ideas about culture

16.2.1. Human intervention shared in between communities in specific region transmitted and evolved

16.3. Write down your own understanding of the Three Levels of Meaning.

16.3.1. Low-level meaning: basic social behaviors and practices shared by the communities Middle-level meaning: common values involved with more communications,reflecting more background of the community identity and status. High-level meaning: includes broader social interpretation that is generally agreed by the people,and at the same time expressing one's personal identity. I think all vernacular architecture includes the three levels of meanings in a way that it is just a general hierarchy distinguishing different aspects of life.

16.4. What type of climate are you living in? To what extent are the buildings around you designed based on climate, geography, or other factors such as cultural or spiritual reasons? / Why the Japanese House today still adapting paper sliding doors as one of their construction modes.

16.4.1. Japanese people have a tradition of respecting the nature, which can be seen in different aspect such as, cooking, living. In order to have the feeling of being "in one" with the surrounding landscape, the Japanese house still adapting paper sliding doors to create a fine boundary, just enough to protect from the harsh weather. The material - paper, which is handcrafted from wood has also shown that they would like to use natural material as much as possible.

16.5. The dimensioning of the building is considered the most sacred aspect in keeping in touch with the cosmic realm. One cannot understand the cultural aspect of the building without understanding the dimensioning of the building. They are inextricably linked. Your views?

16.5.1. I think it is more about a study on personal feeling of comfortability inside a space,and dimension is just one of the physical representation of the Feng Shui belief. One can actually feel the whole atmosphere inside a space.

16.6. Christopher Alexander (1965) and Amos Rapaport (1969) argues that vernacular built-form is the most obvious and direct means of expression of a people and its culture, without having to go through a self-conscious process of thinking. C. Norberg-Schulz (1975) thinks otherwise. Is the vernacular process a self-conscious or an unself-conscious one?

16.6.1. The vernacular process evolved within a time span. For the short term, it will be self-conscious, as decisions or ideas need to be made and tested. However, in the long run, things become a default, (from being an option), we start to copy things that has been done, hence, it becomes a process of un-self-conscious in the long run.

16.7. Do you believe urbanization transforms informal settlements into formal settlements or the other way around? What leads you to believe this?

16.7.1. I think it depends on the urbanisation development because the process can be vice versa if suburbanization takes place. Due to different factors like the government policy, spatial development, etc, if the process goes too fast that people cannot adapt yet, urbanization may result in informal settlements rather than formal settlement.

16.8. Heritage Conservation is commonly understood to be culturally sustainable. Define the term “cultural sustainability”. What does it entail to? How does it work?

16.8.1. From my point of view, the term "cultural sustainability" has a broad meaning and implication. Sustainability refers to the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely to the future generation. So does this means that the sustainability of a culture imply that the culture can be conserved and exist in the future? However, every culture evolves over time. I think that cultural sustainability has another layer of meaning in which it doesn't really say that the culture could not evolve in the future, but instead the essence or the spirit could be kept in further generation.

16.9. Discuss the term "modern vernacular" and its validity/ application to Kwong Yuen estate.

16.9.1. Rather than discussing about the word "modern vernacular" maybe we can introduce the word "vernacular 2.0". Vernacular is a process and we think that in the Kwong Yuen Estate there is an approach to introduce vernacular elements but not in a very successful way. In the process of globalization, the introduction of external brands may diminish the value of vernacular. For example, the Mc Donalds.

17. Values behind

17.1. Reflects difference in daily lifes

17.2. Perspectives / lifestyle (rural VS CBD)

17.3. Memory in the building ( cultural identity)

17.4. e.g. courtyard housing -> family values in Chinese thinking

17.5. Vernacular : "slavary"meaning in the past

17.6. Verna : slave that are home-grown

17.7. Anything old is not necessarily vernacular