A Theory of Nature Architecture through Indigenous Knowledge: Evaluation with Post-Disaster Building Design
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHumans are continuously developing new technologies to transform buildings into comfortable fortresses that are not affected by the outdoor environment. But this modality of environmental control also makes architecture a barrier to the relationship between nature and humans. Although the topic of green architecture or sustainable building is becoming ever more prevalent, the focus tends to primarily be on physical impacts such as energy-reduction and carbon footprint minimization. However, the early and long-standing important relationship between humans and nature is not well considered through these contemporary sustainable architecture practices. This research seeks to develop a built environment theory, identified as Nature Architecture, that focuses on establishing the relationship between humans and nature. This relationship has the capacity to bring humans back to natural systems and help situate human considerations, reflections, and actions for and with nature in the future. Nature Architecture is a metaphorical bridge connecting people directly with nature, rather than a barrier that isolates humans from nature due to technological developments. In order to identify human and nature relationships in architecture, this research analyzes the indigenous architecture from three different geographic regions: Arizona, Alaska, and Taiwan. By comparing and contrasting ancient people's dwellings, which were built with early construction techniques, a symbiotic relationship between indigenous people and the balance of nature for thousands of years is identified. Fundamental defining characteristics are elicited from this symbiotic relationship, including form, material, condition, and space. These foundational aspects are then applied to post-disaster architecture's conceptual design process with three demonstrations that show more connection with nature that improve psychological and physical health for refugees.
Degree ProgramGraduate College