Papua New Guinea’s Vernacular Architecture, from Relics to Reframing Culture: Kunguma and Tubusereia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Vernacular architecture (VA) research considers the interrelationship of architecture, society and culture, and traditional knowledge embedded in design, so mitigating global trends in cultural uniformity. Earlier studies, associated VA with primitive buildings of preliterate societies, fragile remnants within static timeless space. Latterly, an anthropological lens celebrates its enduring dynamism, responsive to cultural, environmental and technological change.

Considering the altered built environment of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) region of Oceania, the KUK Swamp archaeological site reveals 10,000-year-old dwellings of comparable form to their regional contemporaries. Nevertheless, post-colonial impacts on spiritual, technological and socio-cultural behaviours engendered cultural borrowings and abandonment of some aspects of this built environment.

This chapter discusses the relevance of VA for contemporary planning and architectural practice from the findings of anthropological architectural case studies, (Study Areas 1 and 2 respectively) in PNG: Kunguma Village, Western Highlands Province (WHP) and Tubusereia Village, Central Province.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign and the Vernacular: Interpretations for Contemporary Architectural Practice and Theory
EditorsPaul Memmott, John Ting, Tim O'Rourke, Marcel Vellinga
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781350294325
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2023
EventBook Launch - 193 Boundary Street West End, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 24 Feb 202424 Feb 2024


OtherBook Launch
Internet address


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