Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Bungalow

By Vince Burdi

The Bungalow The production of a Global Culture, was written by Anthony D. King. King investigates the cultural history of the bungalow and its impact on design in India, Britain, North America, Africa, and Australia. King defines a bungalow, as a dwelling form known by the term "bungalow". He readily admits that it is such a vague term, but mentions that because the bungalow has been defined by varied criteria all over the world.

King proposes three factors on why to study the bungalow. First, it is a dwelling type, a form of architecture that can be found on every continent. Every language interprets the word differently. King introduces in later chapters, how the word bungalow to some means one thing and across the pond it means the complete opposite. Second, the bungalow is a distinctive form of dwelling that has evolved and changed over the course of time. The bungalow has been translated into different contextual forms by physical, social, cultural, and geographically means. Different interpretations of form have ultimately affected the design and use of the space. Third, despite the fact that the bungalow is so popular there has been no comprehensive study outlining the history and significance to the structure.

King introduces the 17th century Indian term of "banggolo" which means peasant's hut of rural Bengal. King explains that when Europeans came to India and saw who lived in these types of homes (natives), the word became attached to racial, cultural, and political meaning. It was looked down upon by Europeans. Through the transition of time and place the word evolved in the 19th century to mean a separate house of one story built for leisure or holiday. Many Europeans began to seek housing suitable in the tropic conditions. The term bungalow had been affect by racial, cultural, and geographical means.

The book covers different attempts to explain the evolution of the bungalow. King's approach was to understand the locality of the term, the conditions in which the bungalow was being used, and the conditions. He examines the smaller social, economical, cultural context of the city and by using historical perspective to study urban problems King is able to understand a common culture and its interpretation of the bungalow.

The outline of the book the first three chapters discuss the Westernization of Indian urban life. How Europeans had come over and domesticated trade, living arrangements and other social aspects in accordance to the bungalow. The last seven chapters are ordered geographically and chronologically, outlining large scale suburbanization (historical and contemporary), the phenomenon of dual residence the vacation home, the relationship of capitalism and property ownership, and lastly the global scale affecting urban and residential forms.

King's position and detailed account of the evolution of the bungalow gives insight to how architecture can and may be viewed from future generations. What we think now may not be true tomorrow.

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