April 25th 2015
As part of our series on the studies of indigenous architecture and its contemporary applications around the world, we look at a list architects working in this field. A lot of times, the study of the various facets of indigenous architecture tends to remain just that- a study. It remains confined and limited to the domain of research and academia and there is no further growth of the subject. Negative connotations also get associated with words like ‘indigenous’ and ‘vernacular’ as something that is archaic and not practical in today’s day and age as one cannot see or understand its applications in the contemporary context.
This is where the relationship between academia and practice becomes even more important as academia has to draw from and at the same time refine and give back to on-field practice and vice-versa. They both share a mutually dependent and beneficial symbiotic relationship where the strength on of one is drawn up by the other. Unfortunately today, both schools of thought function in isolation to such an extent that research and studies conducted in academia have no practical purposes and practice seems to lose itself to a quagmire of ground realities. They are two independent bubbles and this is more so true in the Indian architecture circles.
This list is refreshing look at the unlimited possibilities of contemporary applications of indigenous architecture. Indigenous architecture is very rich and sensible architecture around the world always uses some threads and principles of it in whatever context it may be. But for the sake of this class, we are going to look at only the practices that look at the very obvious visual aspects of indigenous architecture i.e. mostly material and technology. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I would just make a note that these are just two of most obvious characteristics of indigenous architecture, one that can be seen and are easy to understand. The subject is very rich and diverse with countless references and nuances.
The architects in this list have been divided continentally with a special emphasis on the developing continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The challenge of building in these regions is multi-fold and here lies also the untapped opportunity to explore, learn, interact, improvise, build and impact. Small changes here are certain to have amplified ramifications. This is where a contemporary intervention is needed and it also where contemporary intervention is possible. That’s why you will find many European Architects building in these developing contexts as building codes and regulations are very strict in the developed world and material diversity scarce. Indian readers will find a lot of similarities with architects from these continents as we all face similar challenges and problem. Moreover this list is certainly not conclusive and is limited by my experience and exposure. Architects here are women, men, young and old, some are dead while some are little known. Yet all of them are beacons of hope in an otherwise bleak and gloomy building environment. Please feel free to suggest additions or subtractions.
- Elora Hardy and John Hardy, Ibuku, Indonesia
- Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan
- Hsieh Ying-Chun, Rural Architecture Studio, Taiwan
- Vo Trong Nghia, Vietnam
- Nader Khalili, Iran/USA
- Eko Prawoto, Indonesia
- H & P Architects, Vietnam
- Hashim Sarkis, Hashim Sarkis Studios, Lebanon/USA
- Hassan Fathy, Egypt
- Francis Kere, Burkina Faso/ Germany
- Kunle Adeyemi, Nigeria
- Peter Rich, South Africa
- Urko Sanchez, Kenya
- Jo Noero, Noero Architects, South Africa
- Luyanda Mpahlwa, Design Space Africa, South Africa
- Oscar Hidalgo, Columbia
- Simon Velez, Columbia
- Alfredo Brillembourg, Urban- Think Tank, Venezuela
- Alejandro Aravena, ELEMENTAL, Chile
- Jorge Mario Jáuregui, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Sergio Fajardo and Alejandro Echeverri, Columbia
- TYIN Architects, Norway
- Anna Heringer, Austria
- Alexander Furunes, Work Shop Architecture, Norway
- Walter Segal, London, United Kingdom
- Santiago Cirugeda, Spain
- BC Architects and Studies, Brussels, Belgium
- Lucien Kroll, Atelier Kroll, Belgium
- James Mitchell, Orkid Studio, Glasgow, United Kingdom
- Simone Sfriso, TAM Associati, Venice, Italy
- Architecture Sans Frontieres, France
- Samuel Mockbee, Rural Studio, Auburn, USA
- Rick Joy, Arizona, USA
- Teddy Cruz, California, USA
- Michael Maltzan, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Los Angeles, California, USA
- Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks, Mass Design Group, Boston, USA
- Wes Janz, One Small Project, USA
- Carmeron Sinclair, Small Works, USA
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Thanks Denver. Yes interesting. Will add.
please add this guy. Camilo. http://www.arquitecturanativa.org/
Hi Yogesh. His work looks good. Will add. Thanks.