With the use of local materials and construction techniques originated purely from that particular place, Vernacular Architecture came into existence. This type of architecture is considered to comprise regional culture which makes it unique for each place.

10 Tips for architects interested in Vernacular architecture - Sheet1
Vernacular Architecture Source: ©www.hisour.com

1. Get to know vernacular to its core

This deals with an in-depth understanding of vernacular architecture as a practice and not just a concept applied in design. Understanding the building and design typologies as well as believing in the firm idea of Vernacular Architecture.

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Adobe Homes of Tataouine Source: ©www.naturalhomes.org

2. Widen your knowledge regarding materials and a variety of practices worldwide; The more the merrier.

Vernacular Architecture as mentioned above varies as per the region and beliefs of each community. Taking the instance of roofs, in a particular state, the roofing pattern may vary from one town to another depending upon their history as well as climatic backgrounds. Vernacular Architecture is one of the sub-branches of this field to have the greatest number of variants within itself.

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Traditional Dry Stone Hut in Haute-Loire, France Source: ©www.naturalhomes.org

3. Grow your chain: Connect with Vernacular Architects

Talking about a world where we constantly strive towards moving forward and making ‘change’ the new normal. There is still a constant effort to retain and revive the thoughtful architectural practices of the past. Various architects have their firms that work purely for projects regarding Vernacular Architectural Designing. Connecting with these architects and working with them would give insight and help you to share your thoughts with the world regarding the same.

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Bamboo Roundhouse by Sidama People of Ethiopia Source: ©www.historum.com

4. Work as an Intern

If there are second thoughts regarding your decision to continue working within this field of architecture, it is always best to work as an intern and get to learn more from the experts. This way you get an overview and seemingly understand your interests in the subject. The whole reason for working as an intern under an experienced vernacular architect would be to know a lot more about the practicality and the work on hand for the future. Well not to forget, the site is nothing like what is mentioned in the studios.

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Earth and Bamboo, Auroville Earth Institute Source: ©www.wordpress.com

5. Use it in your projects

Vernacular Architecture is not just an idea or a concept to apply as and when the project demands, but is a philosophy of designing. Vernacular Architecture is a practice and style of designing. The architects who wish to pursue their career in Vernacular Architecture are advised to use the ideology of vernacular architecture and establish it’s the practice in your works to get a hands-on experience of the challenges. 

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Vernacular Architecture Roof of Kerala Source: ©www.magster.com


There are various courses, be it a semester program or even short period courses such as Summer training where experts of this field gather and conduct workshops as well as brainstorming sessions. These are conducted for students as well as professionals. Some of the renowned universities also conduct courses online which provide you an e-certification for the same. The ideology of these courses and workshops is the exchange and sharing of knowledge. Considering how vast Vernacular Architecture is, the thought of discussion and interaction with various people from different places seems like a boon.

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Brainstorming Sessions Source: ©www.quietrev.com

7. Read

Vernacular Architecture ranges back in history when the people of a particular place figured out architectural methodologies to deal with climatic issues or environmental issues using the locally available materials. These structures have remained intact since then and have continued to be a pioneer of sustainable living. Reading books about the same written during those times and talking about those design ideologies helps us know and understand better.

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Japanese Vernacular Architecture Source: ©www.sciencedirect.com

8. Travel

Since the vernacular is discrete and has a minute change even in the places adjacent to each other, there is a strong need to travel and experience the comfort as well as the environment of these structures. The materials are also unique to each place as per their availability so here traveling can help you feel the essence and the impact of materials.

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Travel and Explore Source: ©www.meandurbug.com

9. Photography / Document

Click or Sketch these structures, their construction techniques, and in fact how the lives have been paved according to them. Document how their routines have influenced the planning of these spaces. Click photographs for a detailed analysis of the same and a record of these details.

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Click while on the go! Source: ©www.goodfreephotos.com

10. Believe in philosophy

Most importantly, treat Vernacular Architecture as a design philosophy and a practice. Believe in the whole ideology of Vernacular Architecture, it’s design and how it impacts the lives of its inhabitants. Till the time you don’t believe in it, you would not be able to imply it further. 

10 Tips for architects interested in Vernacular architecture - Sheet11
Crannog Source: ©www.wikiwand.com

Shivani Singh is an architecture student who has an ardour for reading and writing. She is always on the go, trying to explore and experience the various ingredients in this recipe of life. There is a lot to perceive and not enough time for it, is what she says!