Architectural Anthropology

Developing a methodological framework for Indigenous wellbeing

Authored by: Angela Kreutz , Paul Memmott

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Anthropology

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138782877
eBook ISBN: 9781315768946
Adobe ISBN: 9781317667964


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Architectural anthropology considers the inseparable relationships between people, culture, and the built environment. Drawing on social and cultural anthropology and environment–behaviour studies in architecture, architectural anthropology not only seeks to produce theoretical outcomes, but also applied research findings to assist people to evolve, adapt, and change (or resist change) in their environments. In this chapter, we argue that a transactional focus in architectural anthropology provides a developing methodological framework for addressing Indigenous wellbeing. ‘Wellbeing’ is a term with both many meanings and without any one universal meaning, but within the context of this chapter, it generally suggests a good (or at least satisfactory) condition of existence. In our view, a transactional approach guides research that seeks to improve the degree of congruence between Indigenous people and their built environment. People–environment congruence is a prerequisite for achieving wellbeing and for architects, planners, and policy makers it involves striving for an inclusive community design. Inclusive community design is about meeting the needs of all people in society and their environment and reconciling cross-cultural conflicts of values about environmental properties and uses.

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