Architectural Anthropology and the Study of the Built Environment

By Supakit Yimsrual.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Architecture has long been viewed as the monumental and formal edifices of society. In general, architectural description mostly focuses on the material aspects of the building, which typically concern techniques of construction and types of building, environmental conditions, resources, technology, and some aspects of spatial organization, symbolism, and aesthetic values of the built forms. But relatively little is said about social facts of the people who live inside. In recent decades, many architects and anthropologists have begun to connect architectural works with the development of social and cultural anthropology and coined the term “architectural anthropology” to describe the bridge between the two disciplines. As a result of the interest, this approach has become the subject of a growing literature. Several works written from different perspectives have in common a more holistic focus, emphasizing the theoretical significance of architecture as intellectual, political, and sociological processes. Various systematic techniques in anthropology have been applied to describe the interrelation between men and their built environment. This relation confirms that architecture is determined by socio-cultural factors: man within a specific social complex. Based extensively on historical documents, this paper devotes its attention to the chronological developments of architectural anthropology and aims to illustrate how this approach is important to the study of the interconnection between man and the related built environment.

Keywords: Architectural Anthropology, Built Environment

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.23-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 590.400KB).

Supakit Yimsrual

Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand

My research interests that underpin my work are based on two main strands. The first one is the field that bridges between architectural and anthropological disciplines, and the latter is social participation in architecture. My approach is one that attempts to multiply the relationship between research, teaching and socially engaged practices, and to broaden the scope of architectural discourse by bringing socio-cultural issues to inform the thinking processes in architecture.