How do we deal with the challenges and threats to vernacular architecture and make sure that it is sustained in this modern urbanized world? This is the key question we will try to answer in this course.
This architecture course takes you on a journey of understanding and appreciating the value of our everyday built environment. In the first two modules, we will explore the deeper socio-cultural meaning of rural vernacular architecture and look at the urban vernacular and challenges of people migrating from villages to live in cities; in module 3, we will focus on what we call ‘informal settlements’ in Asian cities; and in the final two modules, we will explore answers to a few questions that are very relevant to the current status and future development of vernacular architecture, such as:
● How can we conserve and sustain our vernacular cultural heritage?
● How can we reconcile tradition with modernity and originality?
We will also cast our eyes into the future, and discuss how the field of vernacular architecture might evolve and develop in the years to come.
Ultimately, the goal of this 5-week course is to help you establish your own viewpoints about the more complex or even contradictory issues in vernacular architecture, so you can make informed decisions regarding the protection and conservation of your local vernacular environments.
Special note: This course can be taken independently from The Search of Vernacular Architecture of Asia, Part 1.
● Deepen your appreciation of the values and meanings of vernacular architecture in your local environments
● Establish your personal perspectives on the more complex issues in vernacular architecture, such as self-conscious or un-self-conscious way of building, informal settlements, and cultural sustainability
● Generate your own ideas of how to protect and preserve your local vernacular built environment
Week 1: The Rural Vernacular
In this episode, we will focus on the different aspects of the rural vernacular environment in Asia, and the ways in which these environments communicate meaning.
Week 2: Urban Vernacular
Cities are also places of the vernacular. In this episode, we shall advance to examine broader and more complex issues in dealing with people living in cities.
Week 3: Informal Settlements and the Vernacular
We continue to observe the urban phenomenon by probing into the so-called “informal settlements”, adding another dimension of complexity in our discussion of urban vernacular.
Week 4: Architectural Conservation of the Built Vernacular Heritage
We explore the cultural significance of vernacular heritage, and consider ways to make it physically and culturally sustainable.
Week 5: The Future of Asia’s Vernacular Architecture
We examine the question of identity and tradition which are embedded in each local community over time, and discuss the future of vernacular architecture of Asia.
David P. Y. Lung
Professor of Architecture
University of Hong Kong
Professor of Architecture
University of Oregon