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Aesthetics and the Use of Local Resources in the Folk Built Environment of Pernambuco

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Façade Decoration
  • Folk Architecture
  • Folk Design
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Materials and construction techniques are modifying factors of house form and have a considerable effect on the way built environments are shaped (Rapoport: 1969). A distinctive framework for the villages and townships in the folk built environment of inland Pernambuco, Brazil, has been created through the use of local resources (wood, clay, hand-made brick, stone and traditional construction methods of using wattle and daub coloured lime washed walls) together with the aspirations of the people, as they express their lifestyle, ideals and ambitions through the design, colours and decorative elements of façades. This paper discusses the relationship between aesthetics and the use of local materials in the production of the folk built environment of inland Pernambuco, Brazil. The theoretical framework used to establish the process and product characteristics of such built environments is based on Rapoport's attributes for defining vernacular design (1990), such as the identity, intention, purposes and degree of anonymity of designers, nature of the relationship to landscape and site, effectiveness of response to climate, among others. Primary data were obtained from the findings of completed research by the author: Folk Architecture: A Study of Friezed Façades in the Low Income Houses of Inland Pernambuco, which contains an inventory of house types and their decorative elements, as well as a record of the designers' view of their work gathered through field studies carried out in over 100 villages and small towns in the state of Pernambuco.

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