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Title: The vernacular as a model for design : design studies for the contemporary Welsh house
Author: Day, Heidi
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis tests Amos Rapoport’s theory of ‘vernacular design as a model system’ through research by design, in order to develop and refine a model for contemporary design. The vernacular buildings in Wales are used as a foundation for the exploration. The research aim is to develop and demonstrate a design method by which buildings may be distinctive to place. A further aim is to develop a model that may be transferable to other geographical contexts. The research builds on Rapoport’s approach of ‘learning through analysis’ rather than literally reproducing the past, through abstracting and adapting principles from tradition for contemporary design. A model for design is developed and tested through a series of sequential and linked designs, based on traditional housing typologies relevant to current affordable housing need in Wales and elsewhere in the UK. Supported by literature, contextual and precedent studies they are used to inform, interrogate and refine the model. The primary objective of these investigations is to examine the applicability and appropriateness of a model for use by architects and designers. The research demonstrates that the vernacular as a model for design as proposed by Rapoport in its redefined form can offer an effective tool to guide design. It reveals that some aspects of the framework are strong such as siting, form, materials and construction, whereas others were found to be much weaker, such as cultural and experiential aspects of tradition. These elements are harder to uncover and are concerned with the subjective as opposed to the objective. The research establishes that these elements of the model are critical to the development of a design process that promotes connection to place.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: NA Architecture