Whose Tradition? : Discourses on the Built Environment book cover
1st Edition

Whose Tradition?
Discourses on the Built Environment

ISBN 9780367140960
Published January 17, 2019 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

In seeking to answer the question Whose Tradition? this book pursues four themes: Place: Whose Nation, Whose City?; People: Whose Indigeneity?; Colonialism: Whose Architecture?; and Time: Whose Identity?
Following Nezar AlSayyad’s Prologue, contributors addressing the first theme take examples from Indonesia, Myanmar and Brazil to explore how traditions rooted in a particular place can be claimed by various groups whose purposes may be at odds with one another. With examples from Hong Kong, a Santal village in eastern India and the city of Kuala Lumpur, contributors investigate the concept of indigeneity, the second theme, and its changing meaning in an increasingly globalized milieu from colonial to post-colonial times. Contributors to the third theme examine the lingering effects of colonial rule in altering present-day narratives of architectural identity, taking examples from Guam, Brazil, and Portugal and its former colony, Mozambique. Addressing the final theme, contributors take examples from Africa and the United States to demonstrate how traditions construct identities, and in turn how identities inform the interpretation and manipulation of tradition within contexts of socio-cultural transformation in which such identities are in flux and even threatened. The book ends with two reflective pieces: the first drawing a comparison between a sense of ‘home’ and a sense of tradition; the second emphasizing how the very concept of a tradition is an attempt to pin down something that is inherently in flux.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

The Editors and Contributors ix


Whose Tradition?

Nezar AlSayyad

Part I: Place: Whose Nation, Whose City?

1 Tradition and Its Aftermath: Jakarta’s Urban Politics

Abidin Kusno

2 Tradition as an Imposed and Elite Inheritance: Yangon’s Modern


Jayde Lin Roberts

3 Mega-Events, Socio-Spatial Fragmentation, and Extraterritoriality

in the City of Exception: The Case of Pre-Olympic Rio de


Anne-Marie Broudehoux

Part II: People: Whose Indigeneity?

4 Revamping Tradition: Contested Politics of ‘the Indigenous’ in

Postcolonial Hong Kong

Shu-Mei Huang

5 Their Voice or Mine? Debating People’s Agency in the

Construction of Adivasi Architectural Histories

Gauri Bharat

6 Malaysianization, Malayization, Islamization: The Politics of

Tradition in Greater Kuala Lumpur

Tim Bunnell

vi Whose Tradition?

Part III: Colonialism: Whose Architecture?

7 How the Past and the Future Have Influenced the Design of

Guam’s Government House

Marvin Brown

8 The Missing ‘Brazilianness’ of Nineteenth-Century Brazilian

Art and Architecture

Pedro Paulo Palazzo and Ana Amélia de Paula Moura

9 Empire in the City: Politicizing Urban Memorials of

Colonialism in Portugal and Mozambique

Tiago Castela

Part IV: Time: Whose Identity?

10 Whose Neighbourhood? Identity Politics, Community

Organizing, and Historic Preservation in St. Louis

Susanne Cowan

11 Cosmopolitan Architects and Discourses of Tradition and

Modernity in Post-Independence Africa

Jennifer Gaugler

12 New Traditions of Placemaking in West-Central Africa

Mark Gillem and Lyndsey Deaton


13 The Agency of Belonging: Identifying and Inhabiting Tradition

Mike Robinson

14 Process and Polemic

Dell Upton

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Nezar AlSayyad, President of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, is Professor of Architecture, Planning, Urban Design and Urban History, at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Mark Gillem, Professor at the University of Oregon, USA teaches architecture and urban design through a joint appointment in the Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

David Moffat is an architect and planner in Berkeley, California, USA. He is currently Managing Editor of Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review.