The book, ‘Architecture without architects’, illustrates the vernacular architecture from different parts of the world and strives to acknowledge the ‘not so primitive’ techniques from various areas. Architecture history is not given as much acknowledgement as art history and the book is an attempt in the 1960s America to show the potential and the scope in the field of vernacular architecture by making this book as a compilation of illustrations with brief descriptions about each project. It is evident that the book has certain categories of projects and we decided to make our diagram covering those categories around the world, to have an overall idea about the book and as an initial level of understanding the book. The diagram has a world map as the base and all the projects in the book have been marked according to the categories (with a unique marker, shown in the legend) on the world map. The diagram also has the intent to showcase where are the concentrations of the vernacular projects covered in the book, to understand the scope of the study in it. The QR code at the bottom takes you to the link of the book at the MOMA website for better reach of the book.

Diagram made by Disha Arora and Raffaele Schiavello

The categories we identified in the book are as follows:

  1. Sculptural architecture: Projects depicting the inseparable ideas of architecture, landscape and sculpture.
  2. Troglodytism: Durability and versatility are characteristics of vernacular architecture and living like living in the caves is much more beneficial than what it is assumed.
  3. Nature as an architect and Architectural mimicry: Modifying the natural elements into built and habitable spaces by first imagining them as something new and realizing their potential of transformation.
  4. The choice of site: Many a times, the site of the project defines its characteristics and becomes a major determinant of its identity.
  5. Nomadic architecture: The temporary structures have more to offer than just impermanence, but they provide quick shelter with light and easy structures and also have the potential to offer aesthetics.
  6. Town structures: The various town structure depict the different grains of culture and climatic conditions of the different cities and how the fabric of the towns revolves around different vernacular conditions.
  7. Architectural elements (Arcades, loggia, covered streets & Granaries): Different elements of architecture in the vernacular, offer more than just aesthetics but hold a higher purpose and reflect the human altruism and their respect for his work and nature.
  8. Engineering without engineers: The not so primitive form of architecture has many engineerly driven architecture projects which are done by the local knowledge of the workers and this challenges the modern engineering techniques.