Today I had my first encounter with the concept of post-colonial patterns in architecture. I’m reading the book “ecological architecture” and find the explanation in brief on P30, referencing Frantz Fanon. The idea was that indigenous archi/agri-tectures were considered primitive by colonisers – this being a psycho-social attack – undermining or straight-up destroying the indigenous traditions and architectures. To the extent that even in countries where colonisers later relinquished power of an area, the now independent ruling elites replicate the coloniser architecture, along with social and institutional forms of the coloniser authority even with them gone. This results in the maintaining of dependence on the colonising regime, and continued cultural, and ecological destruction (whilst the indigenous architecture and culture was ecologically harmonious). This is referred to in the book as colonisation in absentia.
I thought straight away of PhD student Nandan Mukherjee of the University of Dundee’s award winning project – Dream homes (see image above) – disaster resilient floating homes – that allow families in developing countries to survive natural disasters while producing food, water, energy and sustainable livelihood options . The Dream Homes concept, is based on the use of vertical gardens, they harvest rainwater for self-sufficiency in drinking water and utilise renewable energy solutions for electricity. They can further utilise modern technologies like aquaponics and poultry rearing for livelihood and waste recycling. But looking at it, the Dream Home has something to say about indigenous materials, skills and aesthetic.
NB look up the work of Frantz Fanon (1960’s) on colonization.