Architecture, Power, and National Identity Essay examples

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Having a sense of belonging is one of several fundamental human needs and national identity refers to a person’s sense of belonging to one country with its history, values and traditions. Since achieving independence in 1957, the issue of Malaysia’s national identity has been in the spotlight due to its strong social, political and economical factors implication. As a multi-cultural country, the search for a national identity is not an easy undertaking as Malaysians consist of different ethnics such as Malay, Chinese and Indian. Each ethnic group contributes their own unique culture and religion, hence making it difficult to form a Malaysian identity. In fact, in September 2010, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the 1 Malaysia …show more content…
The term, vernacular architecture, was first used by architectural theorists to describe buildings that seemed not to have been ‘consciously’ designed and affected by the intellectual and artistic currents of the Renaissance (Dell Upton, 1983).

With the growing presence of globalization and modernization, the pre-industrial building heritage is indeed under threat with modern methods prevailing. In that vein, we are seeing how the “designs, use and meanings of these traditions change within the concepts of the contemporary processes” in a globalized world (Lindsay Asquit, Marcel Vellinga, 2006).

The societal effects are evident in the negotiation of identity, and the definition and value of key concepts like tradition, modernity and place (Lindsay Asquit, Marcel Vellinga, 2006). One of the most engaging aspects that is relevant to the discourse of how vernacular architecture is tradition. It has been a major theme in writings on vernacular architecture (Al Sayyad, 2004). According to the values Victor Papanek exposed in his theory that “vernacular architecture is the result of multiple causation”, tradition as practiced in vernacular architecture can be displayed via a cultural explanation: In a traditional setting, there are many that determine an auspicious date before starting construction, by way
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