Capturing the essence : designing a cultural center for the coastal and mountain peoples of Taiwan
Designing a cultural center for the coastal and mountain peoples of Taiwan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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The objective of this thesis is to examine how a group of people can retain its cultural integrity when under economic development pressure. I am using design as a point of departure in looking at how to approach and preserve a culture. I begin by a search of indigenous folktales, analysis of traditional living patterns, inquiry about cultural and social taboos, and observing building form, to define phenomena unique to individual cultures. I attempt to design a methodology of study that takes into account culturally specific issues that affect architectural forms. I have designed a cultural identification inquiry, a tool which can be used as the generator of questions leading to understanding the cultural elements of architectural form. FOl·example, the configuration or orientation of a building may be dictated by traditional beliefs. By analyzing cultural phenomena, architects and government agencies can begin to understand the implications of their intervention and prevent further cultural gentrification. The architecture, both traditional and modern, of two Taiwanese tribes, the Yami and the Tayal, is examined for cultural expression. Differences and similarities are found, with recent building design often echoing traditional form. As modern life encroaches, tradition is threatened. Government-built public structures ignore cultural imperatives in building design and use. Both the Yami and the Tayal people desire to protect and promote their culture. This study proposes a communal cultural center for each village where people can congregate and share skills. The complex of buildings includes language classrooms, crafts workshops, and a museum. The design of the center takes into account traditions, beliefs, and cultural needs. The construction employs indigenous people, and some classes and workshops are led by villagers. The cultural identification inquiry-an idea-provoking list of topics for consideration in architectural design- is proposed as a tool for observing and analyzing indigenous culture as expressed through architecture. The list was used to plan the design of the Yami and Tayal cultural centers but has applications for wider use.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1994.Includes bibliographical references (p. 79).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology