|dc.contributor.author||Silva, Kapila Dharmasena||
|dc.identifier.citation||Silva, Kapila Dharmasena. (2011) Resettlement Housing Design: Moving Beyond the Vernacular Imagery.
South Asia Journal for Culture, Special Issue on Built Space: Social Issues in Architecture. Volume 5 & 6, 2011/2012, pp. 117-135.||
|dc.description||This is the published version, made available with the permission of the publisher.||
|dc.description.abstract||Research on resettlement projects for post-disaster recovery efforts or those affected by myriad social, economic and political reasons suggest that, in most cases, the housing solutions given reflect the ideals of the providers (state, donors, and designers) rather than the true needs of the displaced and their culture (I. Davis 2006, Oliver 1986 & 2006). On the part of the state agencies and donors, immediate provision of adequate numbers of shelters has been the imperative. Resettlement projects, provided mostly for underprivileged segments of the society, are undertaken as low-cost constructions, swiftly built to respond to an impending crisis of housing with aims of efficient use of finite resources of land, infrastructure, and finances. The resettlement thus tends be centrally controlled, turning the re-housed community into helpless passive recipients of relief.
On the design front, designers of re-housing projects make efforts to develop settlements that evoke regional and vernacular imagery in its formal and visual appearance, assuming that the new settlements would create a familiar place for the community which is in harmony with its regional environmental identity. Research suggests that simply emulating
forms of local buildings does not provide the desired benefits in resettlement housing (Oliver 1986, Rapoport 2005, Heath 2009). Evaluation of post-tsunami resettlement projects in Sri Lanka indicated that designers often, erroneously, subscribed to the view that rapid provision of housing units would effectively solve the resettlement needs (Silva 2007).
Such misconceptions demand a critical rethinking of the way design and planning of resettlement projects are carried out. The reasons architects tend to capitalize on local building patterns indicate their belief that those vernacular buildings accurately represent what the displaced need. It also indicates the fact that the designers do not possess the
type of knowledge required for handling resettlement planning and a framework of guiding principles. Many such projects have failed purely due to the inaccurate understanding of the vernacular context and its processes of building production (Rapoport 1983, 2005) and due to reducing a culture’s architectural expression to basic physical attributes divorced from
their function and social meaning (Heath 2009). This paper argues that it is an understanding of the attributes of vernacular processes of housing, rather than the formal attributes of local houses, which would truly facilitate the creation of successful re-housing settlements. Based on a review of literature on resettlement housing and vernacular design, it first discusses some key objectives of resettlement programs. Those themes are then connected to the critical attributes of vernacular building processes in order to derive a set of principles that can be followed in re-housing
|dc.publisher||Colombo Institute for the Advanced Study of Society and Culture and the Theertha International Artists' Collective||
|dc.title||Resettlement Housing Design: Moving Beyond the Vernacular Imagery||
|kusw.kuauthor||Silva, Kapila Dharmasena||
|kusw.oanotes||Author obtained permission to share from the publisher:
From: Sasanka Perera <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2013 11:49 AM
To: Silva, Kapila Dharmasena
Cc: Anoma Pieris
Subject: Re: Request to re-publish an essay appeared on SAJC
Please feel free to go ahead. This was always the policy of SAJC. Please ask the magazine edited to note SAJC
as the original source.
On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 10:10 PM, Silva, Kapila Dharmasena <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I am writing to request permission to republish my essay ‘Resettlement Housing Design: Moving beyond the vernacular
imagery ‘, appeared in South Asia Journal for Culture – Built Space: Social Issues in Architecture, vol 5/6, 2011/2012, in a
magazine that will be published by Sri Lankan architects who live/work in Australia. As I understand, this group holds an
annual get‐together and issue a souvenir/magazine to commemorate the occasion. They have requested me to send an
essay for this year’s event. I thought that this would be a good audience for the theme of the essay. Please let me know
if you could give me the permission to send the essay to this event/publication, and whether you need further
Thank you very much.
|kusw.oaversion||Scholarly/refereed, publisher version||
|kusw.oapolicy||This item meets KU Open Access policy criteria.||