Earthen architecture, tradition and modernity: Local self construction through building tradition and technological innovation opportunities in Chiapas, MexicoKarla Sánchez Torres
, 2015, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Earthen architecture represents a long building tradition of numerous indigenous communities in Mexico, in particular in the state of Chiapas, where a significant number of examples represent a rich historical tradition of earthen architecture and a valuable source of information, hence a fertile ground for a deeper investigation on its potential significance and, more broadly, for a greater understanding of sustainable building today.
Despite the fact that the relevance of earthen architecture is widespread all over the world, traditional earthen architecture in Chiapas is scarcely documented, it lacks systematic research projects aimed at preserving this important tradition of these indigenous groups who often live in precarious conditions. Hence, this research highlights not only the widespread employment of earth as a traditional building material for the indigenous groups of Chiapas, but also its additional function as being an authentic expression of the architectural legacy of indigenous culture and thus a key potential factor for the development of the self construction.
The first part of the dissertation introduces a general overview and prevailing knowledge on earthen architecture, mainly through investigating the bibliographic, historical and technical sources as well as the particular studies on earthen architecture in Mexico. The second part discusses the results of the field studies related to the specific conditions of earthen architecture in Chiapas through sampling, testing, photographic reference and interviews.
On analysing the results of the field studies it can be established that the local population has shown a particular interest in the continuity of the earthen building tradition, in spite of this period of far-reaching globalisation building trends.
For this reason the final part of dissertation propooses the manual. The main objective of the manual is to improve the traditional earthen building system by introducing a number of minor variations to the building technologies and new sustainable suggestions for the management of the living space, without sacrificing the flair and simplicity found within the local building tradition, thus giving new opportunities for the development of local populations through the preservation of the earthen building tradition.
Keywords: earthen architecture, indigenous, self-construction, manual, tradition, local communities
Published in RUNG: 01.12.2015; Views: 4609; Downloads: 147
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