Arriere-garde of de-colonization: Critical regionalist research on an Asia-Pacific architecture

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Ever since the early 1980s, when Kenneth Frampton established Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre’s concept critical regionalism, definition of its meanings and principles has been a significant discourse in the discipline of architecture. However, along the ever-popular trends of global ‘wow architecture,’ widely published on the glossy pages of architectural journals, critical regionalism still is not mainstream but rather an underlying stream of thought among a minority of architects, or arrière-garde in Frampton’s words. Moreover, amazingly little architectural research has been conducted in non-Western cultures in regard to critical regionalism, although its critical undertones appear as successful means in creating context-specific architecture and sense of place, as opposing to the international clichés and uniformity of the built environment across the world.Hence, this paper explores some possibilities and manifestations of critical regionalism in one geographic setting,that is, the Asia-Pacific region, by providing examples of its applications to this specific framework, including critical analyses of critical regionalism. This is done by examining contemporary architecture in East Asia and Hawaii in terms of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research. In addition, critical regionalism is discussed as an important and alternative research method of qualitative paradigm in general, and that of emancipatory paradigm in particular. The aim is not only to provide fresh insights into the emerging trends of Asia-Pacific architecture,such as the role of critical regionalism in sustainable design, but also to offer new methods for the research on any culture- and/or context-specific ‘language of architecture’ with the focus of expanding the discipline’s resources both in basic architectural research and design research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 ARCC Spring Research Conference Architectural Research Centers Consortium Considering Research
Subtitle of host publicationReflecting upon current themes in Architectural Research
EditorsP Plowright, B Gamper
Place of PublicationSouthfield
PublisherLawrence Technological University
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-257-32189-6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventArchitectural Research Centers Consortium 2011 Research Conference - Detroit, Detroit, United States
Duration: 20 Apr 201123 Apr 2011


ConferenceArchitectural Research Centers Consortium 2011 Research Conference
Abbreviated titleARCC
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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