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TRADITIONAL DWELLINGS AND SETTLEMENTS REVIEW

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Volume 1.1

TRADITION AND MODERNITY IN THE FACE OF TIME
Bruno Queysanne

MYTH, SYMBOL AND FUNCTION OF THE TORAJA HOUSE
Eric Crystal
Sequestered in the highlands of the southwest peninsula of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, the Sa’dan Toraja continue to maintain an ancient ceremonial system, indigenous forms of artistic expression, and a vital traditional architecture anchored in a unique dwelling design.  This paper discusses traditional concepts of ritual performance and belief which are invested in Toraja living space.  It notes the extent to which the Toraja house has become both a symbol and a sign of minority identity in Indonesia.  As a postscript, it makes note of contemporary adaptations of traditional house forms in structures ranging from Christian churches to government offices and tourist hotels, and it comments on the vitality of traditional, transitional and contemporary Toraja architectural design.

DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE AND THE OCCUPANT’S LIFE CYCLE: SUDAN
Natalie Tobert
Based on a case study of the matrifocal Zaghawa blacksmith/potter village of Kireyka in Darfur Province, Sudan, this paper highlights the social significance of material artifacts and gives insight into the evolution, development and modification of dwellings over the lives of their inhabitants.  It emphasizes the need for architects, administrators and others responsible for Third World aid to design spaces that can be modified according to their inhabitants’ customs and stages in the life cycle.  The paper documents the high degree of correlation between women at different stages of the life cycle and their dwellings and material artifacts.  It explains how a distinct pattern of house development exists during a family’s life cycle.

PROCESSION AND URBAN FORM IN A SRI LANKAN VILLAGE
William B. Bechhoefer
This paper describes the traditional, religious, social and economic conditions present in the organization of the village of Embekke in Sri Lanka. It outlines the role of processions in the daily life of the village, and it shows how the most important procession of the year, the Perhera, has been of primary significance in shaping the village. Traditionally, the temple controlled the entire village and gave use of homes and fields in return for services to it, but today the temple’s holdings have been greatly reduced, and few villagers assist in its operation. Nevertheless, the spatial organization of the village has remained intact, as has its aesthetic impact. Embekke today demonstrates a balance of religious, social and economic principles which is different from centuries past, but which is not less clear in expression. Embekke shows how coherent urban form can be based on both traditional and contemporary institutions.

SAFRANBOLU: AN ANATOLIAN TOWN WITH ROOTS AND URBAN FORM
M. Bilgi Denel
The last inhabitants of Anatolia, the Turks, produced a unique vernacular architecture.  Working within the spirit of a distant nomadic life, they developed a highly versatile, functional, and visually exciting house-form that became acceptable to a diverse group of people with various ethnic backgrounds and religious preferences.  The small eighteenth-century town of Safranbolu provides a good case study of this architecture.  Vernacular architecture in Safranbolu became the root of urban form, as houses related to streets as a way of life.  The strength of the architecture of Safranbolu lies in a dedication to house design as cultural expression based on certain maxims and construction traditions.  One aspect of this cultural expression is a belief that the needs of the community should take precedence over the needs of the individual in the creation of public space.  Another is the belief in a self-sufficient private and secular house-form.  The architecture of Safranbolu provides a beacon of hope for the future.

IDENTITY AND GIOVE: HILL TOWNS ARE ALIVE AND WELL IN UMBRIA
Francis Violich
Identity has been a major factor in establishing and maintaining traditional forms of dwellings and settlements.  Today this connection between people and place has been fragmented because of social, economic and technological forces.  An examination of the hill town of Giove in 1987 revealed how twentieth-century people can identify with places built long ago.  The author’s “reading” of Giove and similar hill towns in the area revealed several key points: each hill town should be experienced as an integrated whole rather than as a series of architectural elements; adaptability to influences today is favorable when compared with earlier incremental changes of traditional urban form and is facilitated by modern communication and technology; the unique spatial settings of hill towns are of broad appeal and benefit to a diverse population; the contrast between the deteriorated environment of today’s massive metropolitan areas and the clean air, quiet, human contact and opportunities for fresh identities in hill towns has become a viable resource for sustained vitality; the conformity of architectural traditions among towns is offset by a great diversity of morphology; a regional framework is essential to understanding the quality of individual places, their sources of identity, and current or potential vitality; and the experiential, intuitive method of analysis can create new opportunities for user identity in contemporary urban design and restoration.

ANALYZING AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS OF TRADITIONAL MAROON SETTLEMENTS
Anne Hublin
Compared to cartographic maps used by geographers or site-planning schemes produced by architects, aerial photographs seem to provide an appropriate tool for the analysis of traditional settlements. The tool was found to be very effective in studying the Maroon settlements of French Guiana, as this paper demonstrates. The resulting comparative examination of the traditional rain forest villages and the semi-traditional suburban migrant settlements revealed commonalities which identify a unique “Maroon” pattern. This pattern contains a mixture of semi circular and linear arrangements of dwelling units combined with a reticulated structure of paths and open spaces. But while the traditional village appeared in a secondary forest in various stages of agricultural exploitation, the suburban settlement contained some element of artificial patterning like the large houses and the French-imposed circulation grids. Like all techniques used in field research, aerial photo interpretation can only be significant if it is coupled with other culturally-based approaches.