Testing the veracity of the informal dwelling as vernacular architecture

Whelan, Deborah (2014) Testing the veracity of the informal dwelling as vernacular architecture. In: Versus 2014, 11-13 September 2014, Valencia, Spain.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


The informal dwelling could be considered a cultural universal in its global replication as a
means of immediate shelter spurred on by modernism and modernisation. Simultaneously, it could be argued
that such buildings are of vernacular construction since most are built of found materials and in a manner
which satisfies the variant definitions of vernacular architecture. Interrogating the interface between the informal
dwelling and traditional or vernacular accommodation could assist in disentangling the position of the
informal dwelling as vernacular.
This paper will present preliminary thoughts, in which the archetypal Zulu beehive dwelling or iqhugwane is
situated against informal dwellings constructed on urban peripheries in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Using
spatial anthropology and architectural analysis, comparative linkages between the traditional and the contemporary
could aid in positioning the informal dwelling within the discourse of the architectural vernacular, and
suggest a prognosis as to its architectural and cultural sustainability.

Keywords:vernacular, informal dwellings, traditional environments
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K190 Architecture not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:29080
Deposited On:02 Nov 2017 15:23

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