Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Architectural process Print E-mail

ImageThe New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement was the first to be issued under the Resource Management Act. Principle 10 stated that “it is important to maintain biological and physical processes in the coastal environment in as natural a condition as possible, and to recognise their dynamic, complex and interdependent nature.”

The Resource Management Act places great importance on process. A consumer society however sees architecture as product, rather than process.

When architecture is seen as sculptural form architects tend to see buildings as artefacts or objects. The architectural process is seen as the process of producing an object. A brief is seen as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Even urban design is often seen by architects as concerned with cities as artefacts.

The traditional processes of requiring both planning permission and a building permit before beginning to build assume that building should be product oriented rather than process oriented.

A consumerist approach to architecture produces a great deal of waste. Most buildings architects design are discarded within five years.

Life itself is a journey, not a point we arrive at. We may establish directions or goals, but the result will always be different from what we had anticipated. We begin life knowing very little and then we discover and learn as we go along.

Vernacular architecture is an architecture of discovery and exploration.

A National New Zealand Built Environment Policy Statement would recognise the dynamic, complex and interdependent nature of architectural process, and would seek maintain those processes in as natural a condition as possible.

Agenda 21 notes that “All countries should formulate programmes to enhance the utilisation of local materials by the construction sector by expanding technical support and incentive schemes for, increasing the capabilities and economic viability of small scale and informal operatives who make use of these materials and traditional construction techniques.”[7.69 (b)]

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