1. This section explores the role of the built environment in human life. How do we shape the world around us in the ways that we build and dwell? And how, in turn, do the buildings we inhabit shape our social lives? Taking as our starting point the central importance of materiality for understanding anthropology, we will consider what the organisation of space reveals about social identity, the way that institutions take physical form, and the spatial dynamics of power. Finally, we will think about what contribution anthropology might be able to make to the architectural design challenges of the 21st century. 

  2. Lecture 1: Buildings and Identity 6 items
    This lecture explores how we can read architecture as expressing symbolic ideas about social life and identity, and what the shape and logic of buildings tells us about the kind of social world people inhabit. A key goal for this lecture is to understand not only how people build houses, but also how houses build people. Starting with Bourdieu’s classic reading of the Kabyle house, we go on to introduce the concept of the ‘house society’, in which the house gives material form to kinship relations. We then think more broadly about the architecture of institutions (such as religious buildings) and how these buildings enable identities to persist over time and navigate social change.
    1. The Kabyle House or the World Reversed - Pierre Bourdieu

      Chapter  Originally printed as, "The Berber house or the world reversed."

    2. Roxana Waterson. 1990. The Living House: An Anthropology of Architecture in South-East Asia. Singapore: Oxford University Press.

      (On order)

  3. Lecture 2: Architecture and Power 6 items
    In what ways does architecture communicate power? How does the built environment control and manage the flow of human life, and how might the organisation of space respond to – and influence – social, economic, and political relationships?
    1. An anthropology of architecture - Victor Buchli 2013

      Book  (esp. Chapter 4)

  4. Lecture 3: Challenges in Contemporary Design, and the Role of Anthropology 6 items
    Drawing on what we have learned so far, this lecture considers how the anthropological toolkit might contribute to the emerging design challenges that contemporary architects face. We will take as our particular focus the challenge of sustainable architecture, and the need to be responsive to environmental transformations in an age of anthropogenic climate change.
All rights reserved ©