Synopses & Reviews
.."". an elegant and lyrical work.... It opens up our understanding of space and built environments in new and exciting ways."" -- Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review
""The book offers marvellous drawings of complex patterns of structure, design and object, coupled with connections to the daily lives of the inhabitants. In itself, this book is an essential addition to what Indiana University Press has aptly described as 'the understanding of vernacular architecture'."" -- West Africa
.."". a magnificent achievement; [the authors] set an objective and a standard in vernacular architecture research which is without parallel. The text is clear and careful, sensitive to the cultures yet quietly rigorous. The drawings are outstanding and have been exceptionally well reproduced in a book whose quality of production matches that of the content."" -- Paul Oliver
.."". a lasting monument to African architectures.... a fine creation, a collage of marvelous graphic images, earnest research, good writing, careful thinking."" -- Henry Glassie
""Scholars are realizing how important it is to provide a rich, thick cultural and social setting when they attempt to explore art.... This book does that for architecture."" -- Patrick R. McNaughton
.."". will be regarded as an important contribution to the understanding of vernacular architecture."" -- Berkeley Tri-City Post
.."". a stunning piece of work... An important contribution to architecture..."" -- FIST, Afrocentric On-line Magazine
""The photographs and drawings are fascinating. "" -- The New Brunswick Reader
Architect Jean-Paul Bourdier and cultural critic and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha take us into the traditionally built dwellings of African society in this richly illustrated book. Through this ""life-in-architecture"" we see material evidence of a culture, its socio-economic and cosmological organization, its way of living, and its world view.
This exquisitely illustrated study takes us into the traditionally built dwellings of African society. This ""life-in-architecture"" material culture reveals the socioeconomic and cosmological organization and the world views of these societies. Bourdier and Trinh connect structural patterns - setting, design, decoration, orientation - to factors such as kinship, gender, history, religion, poetry, and oral traditions. The authors focus on a variety of African peoples, including the Fulbe, Tokolor, Sereer, Joola, Soninke, Mandingo, Jaxanke, and Bassari. Through photographs, beautifully detailed drawings, and theoretical reflections, Bourdier and Trinh challenge the common perception that traditional dwellings are static artifacts.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 295-306) and index.