TDSR 18.2 Spring 2007

State Constructs of Ethnicity in the Reinvention of Malay–Indonesian Heritage in Singapore
Imran bin Tajudeen
Hyper-Traditions/Hip Villages: Urbanite villagers of Western Anatolia
Sebnem Yucel Young
Heritage of Disappearance? Shekkipmei and Collective Memory(s) in Post-Handover Hong Kong
Cecilia Chu
[SPECIAL ARTICLE] The Nature of the Courtyard House: A Conceptual Analysis
Amos Rapoport
[VISUAL ESSAY] Urban Funk: Globalization at the Margin
Mary Padua
[FIELD REPORT] Tradition and Thermal Performance: An Investigation of New-Vernacular Dwellings in Campinas, Brazil
Doris C.C.K. Kowaltowski, Vanessa da Rosa Watrin, and Silvia A. Mikami G. Pina


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Volume 18.2

State Constructs of Ethnicity in the Reinvention of Malay–Indonesian Heritage in Singapore
Imran bin Tajudeen
Over the last several decades the Singapore government has attempted to create hyper-traditional environments in two historic, but largely expunged, Malay-Indonesian kampung districts. Tourist-oriented projects in these areas have resorted to generic Malay and Arabian-Islamic imagery and selective concealment and framing of historic settings to portray Malay-Indonesian culture as alternately “rural” and “regal.” This article explores the political-economic basis for these stereotypical re-creations, which have obscured real historic conditions of heterogeneity and severed old interethnic links. It also shows how the rejection, negotiation or appropriation of such spatial-physical impositions reveals the potential of everyday culture to disrupt such essentialist ethnic portrayals.

Hyper-Traditions/Hip Villages: Urbanite villagers of Western Anatolia
Sebnem Yucel Young
This article analyzes the emerging phenomenon of urban migrants to the villages of Western Anatolia — specifically, the case of two villages, Yeni Orhanli and Yagcilar. Also referred to as “urbanite villagers” in the popular media, these urban migrants, like many suburbanites, are searching for healthier, more authentic lives for themselves and their families. In the process, they have created a phenomenon I call “hip villages” — villages with “country” style. However, their standing in these villages is one of isolation and intrusion: isolating themselves to protect class-based distinctions, and intruding whenever they see a need for improvement. In relation to Yeni Orhanli and Yagcilar, hip villages in the making, the article discusses the conflicts and complexities that emerge from the formation/manifestation of class-based identities, and manifestations of colonial discourse and global consumer culture.

Heritage of Disappearance? Shekkipmei and Collective Memory(s) in Post-Handover Hong Kong
Cecilia Chu
This article examines the ways in which visions of working-class life are being reimagined as “collective memory” in Hong Kong’s post-handover period, amidst growing calls to preserve the city’s past. It focuses on changing interpretations of the Shekkipmei Estate and Hong Kong’s public housing program, and on the current proposal to redevelop Shekkipmei while preserving one fragment of it as a housing museum. The analysis aims to unsettle often taken-for-granted assumptions behind the terms “heritage” and “collective memory.” It also questions the role of historic preservation with respect to trajectories of economic development and ongoing political change.

SPECIAL ARTICLE:
The Nature of the Courtyard House: A Conceptual Analysis
Amos Rapoport
There is a need for conceptual clarification of both theoretical and empirical terms in Environment-Behavior Studies. This article does this for the case of the “courtyard house” by developing a number of possible criteria to characterize it as a dwelling form. Many examples from a variety of locales and periods, both of individual units and the resulting urban fabric, are shown and discussed. The study suggests that many dwellings which do not resemble the prototypical courtyard house may be classified as such on the basis of some of the criteria developed. Some implications are briefly discussed.

VISUAL ESSAY:
Urban Funk: Globalization at the Margin
Mary Padua

FIELD REPORT:
Tradition and Thermal Performance: An Investigation of New-Vernacular Dwellings in Campinas, Brazil
Doris C.C.K. Kowaltowski, Vanessa da Rosa Watrin, and Silvia A. Mikami G. Pina
This report is based on an investigation of the thermal performance characteristics of new-vernacular houses in the region of Campinas, Brazil. The study included the administration of a questionnaire to a group of self-builders representing a segment of the local low-income population and an analysis of drawings and photographs of the houses of sample families. On the basis of this work and earlier work in the region by the authors, the report presents a discussion of the meaning of tradition in relation to thermal performance, with special consideration to the verandah as an important design element. The results of the investigation suggest that the meaning of tradition for this population is more related to simple ways of building than to awareness of a particular local vernacular.

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