chapter  14
17 Pages

The Cultural Revolution in Architecture

WithSusan Kent

The sometimes-subtle relationship between architecture and culture has been a focus of Amos Rapoport's research. The cultural revolution in architectural and use of space research that began with and was promoted by Rapoport changed the study of the built environment. One revolutionary aspect of Rapoport's work is his cross-cultural perspective of the built environment. The Navajo and other cross-cultural studies implicate culture as the most influential variable that structures and explains the built environment, regardless of the society, time period, or ecology of the region. Societies use architecture to mediate between human needs and climate, yet how that mediation is achieved is completely cultural. Rapoport, encouraging interdisciplinary research through example, documented that neither interdisciplinary nor cross-cultural research need be superficial. Architects of the twenty-first century need to incorporate the study of culture and cross-cultural inquiry in all facets of their research.