Interpreting Vernacular Architecture in Asia

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University of Hong Kong (HKU)




Free (certificate fee: USD$ 50, optional)

Available in

English, Chinese


This course discovers the value of traditionally built environments by local peoples in Asia while exploring the ways of conserving them for future generations. It is conducted by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) through edX, a platform for online education.

Instead of the architectural techniques, the course is taught through stories to understand the processes through which people make their building decisions. Asia is chosen as the backdrop for the discussion partly because of its rich heritage and diversity, but also due to the unique complexity that the people in the region face as they go through rapid economic, social, and cultural changes.

Some of the learning objectives of the course are:

  • Effect of climate and the availability of building materials on building decisions
  • Vernacular architecture in rural and urban settings
  • Cultural sustainability and the conservation of the vernacular built environment