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Vernacular Transformations

Modernisation and Vernacular House Architecture in Australasia and Oceania

Deadline: 20 June 2019
Image: Rumah Matop, near Betong, Sarawak, John Ting, 2012, reprinted with permission

Guest Editor

Professor Paul Memmott

Director, Aboriginal Environments Research Centre and Indigenous Design Place, School of Architecture, University of Queensland


Table of Contents for Fabrications. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: Routledge

Visit Journal Articles

Paul Oliver’s 1997 ‘Encyclopaedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World’ was the first comprehensive compilation of Australasia and Oceania’s vernacular houses, and work on the second edition has been under way since 2015. It continues the outstanding scholarship on the region’s rich and diverse vernacular house architecture highlighting its distinctiveness and relationships with social and cultural structures. However, conservative architectural historiographies on Australasia and Oceania often frame vernacular architecture in opposition to modern architecture. Vernacular architecture is not considered dynamic, multi-faceted and progressive, but relatively static, resistant to change and lacking modern relevance. The many theoretical advances in the global field of vernacular architecture studies is not reflected in regional scholarship.

Postcolonial methodologies dispel the myth that of the processes of modernisation as singular trajectory and argue that contemporary and historical relationships between vernacular and modern result from complex social, cultural and political negotiations between disparate fields and interests. Rapid political, economic, technological, social and environmental changes have transformed vernacular house architectures in Australasia and Oceania, initially brought on by the twentieth century formation of independent ex-colonial nations. Increasing globalization, characterised by increasingly permeable national boundaries, exchanges of people, finances and material culture items, information flows and digital technologies, impact and transform architectural expressions in the region.

This Fabrications issue seeks to expand the Encyclopedia’s discourse with higher-level reflection and regional theorisation of these transformations. It seeks to understand the cultural change tensions brought about by mobility, modernisation and politicisation, and how these tensions impact on vernacular house architectures. How have vernacular architecture and construction approaches been appropriated in the development of ubiquitous Southeast Asian typologies like shophouses? What is the effect of Australian and New Zealand’s seasonal employment schemes on vernacular house developments in employees’ home countries? Can ethnographic research methodologies establish distinctive cross-cultural approaches to indigenous social housing? How have vernacular house forms been used to argue for postcolonial modernisation and nation-building? What is sustainability’s role in the context of the use of increasingly-scarce vernacular architecture materials for the middle-class, tourism and the state typologies in archipelagic Southeast Asia? What is the relationship between modern aspirational vernacular architecture and cultural heritage traditions such as the Malay house?

We call for papers to reflect and explore one or several of these questions through the Encyclopedia’s vernacular house types in Australasia and Oceania, across the precolonial, colonial and/or postcolonial periods, with the aim of expanding and broadening conventional understandings of vernacular architecture in the region.

Submission guidelines

Papers due by 20 June 2019

Papers should be submitted online at  www.edmgr.com/rfab.

The Editors consider essays of 7000 to 9000 words (including endnotes). Papers should be submitted as Word documents. Authors should use the footnote function of Word, but no automatic referencing programs (such as Endnote). Papers should be submitted with an abstract (200 words) at the beginning of the paper and a brief author biography (80 words), images and image captions. Abstracts are published at the beginning of papers. All papers published in Fabrications are blind peer-refereed by two readers.

Full Instructions for Authors can be found on the Fabrications website.

Image Specifications

For the refereeing process, please add a list of captions at the end of the text document, but also submit low-resolution images of illustrations as separate files {or embedded in a separate pdf file with captions} (72dpi jpeg files).  Once a paper is accepted for publication, high-resolution images should be submitted as 300 dpi tiff files, at a minimum of 100mm wide with a separate list of captions indicating permissions.

Authors are responsible for securing all permissions and paying all fees to reproduce images in Fabrications. Authors must meet UK copyright regulations. For information, see: http://journalauthors.tandf.co.uk/preparation/permission.asp