The bungalow, 1600-1980 : a study of the cultural, social, political and economic factors in the production of a global house-type
The research, undertaken within the context of recent studies on the mutual relation between society and its built environment, concerns a particular item in that environment - the specialised dwelling form of the bungalow - and the various historical forces which have produced it. It also explores the meaning of that form for, and its influences on, the society where it exists. The study has two dimensions: 'a cultural history of the bungalow' and a discussion of various themes which the investigation of that history suggests. The bungalow is probably the only house-type which, both in name (from 'bangla', meaning of, or belonging to Bengal) and form exists in almost every continent. In investigating its origins in India, and later development in Britain, North America, Australia, Africa and Europe, the study explores the historical forces which, in producing it, have also shaped the modern world: colonialism, industrialisation, urbanisation and suburbanisation, and the emergence of a global economy and culture. In different historical contexts, the bungalow has been variously peasant's hut, colonial dwelling, specialised vacation house, country retreat, tropical dwelling, and suburban home. In tracing these developments, the chapters discuss the economic. political, cultural, social and other influences on dwelling and urban form; the symbolic function of architecture and environments; the relationship between social form-and built form, ideology and environment, and dwelling type and property ownership. The role of economic and social power in shaping environments is discussed in relation to 'town and country planning' in Britain. Chapters on India and Africa explore, in the context of debates on 'Westernisation' the transfer of values and standards in housing and planning, as part of a larger transformation of material culture. In investigating the social production and meaning of the bungalow, the study attempts a comparative, inter-disciplinary approach to the-historical study of the built. environment, drawing on social and cultural explanations of built form, the political economy of urbanisation and studies of the world system.