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

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

The Human House - Architecture NZ Print E-mail

ImageTony Watkins has been a singular identity on the architectural scene for almost 40 years – part Pan, part Diogenes, part Francis of Assisi.


A long time teacher at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland, he demonstrated a strong and early interest in a range of issues that now are all the rage – sustainable design, affordable housing, urban design – and a commitment to causes – peace and social justice – that are timeless in their importance. This book is a compilation of Tony’s articles on “the human house” that appeared in the old Auckland Star in – amazingly enough – the period 1975-1979. The full panoply of Tony’s enthusiasms (building, vernacular architecture, nature, anarchism, Karaka Bay and his own extraordinary house) and traits (anthropomorphism, rebelliousness, generosity and a fondness for epigrammatic expression) are revealed in writing that is both of its time and for our time. JW


Published in Architecture NZ 4.2009 


In case you were wondering....

Diogenes (c400 –c325 BC) Greek philosopher. The most famous of the Cynics, he live ascetically in Athens (according to legend he lived in a tub) and was accordingly nicknamed Kuon (‘the dog’) from which the Cynics derived their name. He emphasised self-sufficiency and the need for natural, uninhibited behaviour, regardless of social conventions.

Pan Greek mythology a god of flocks and herds. His sudden appearance was supposed to cause terror similar to that of a frightened and stampeding herd, and the word panic is derived from his name.

anthropomorphism the attribution of human characteristics to a god, animal or object.

epigrammatic concise, clever and amusing

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