Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2016

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Architecture and Community Design

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art & Architecture

First Advisor

Seth L. Wachtel

Second Advisor

Eugene M. Geinzer


Isolated by the Tibetan highlands which frame Yunnan’s northwest fringes, the ethnic minorities who call the region home live in rural settings ranging from rice-terraced fields to tropical forests; lifestyle unchanged for hundreds of years. However, with globalization causing an exposure to western standards of living, in conjunction with the country’s predisposition towards all things foreign, the people of Yunnan have begun forgoing generations of vernacular architecture in favor of modern materials and regionally defunct construction methods. Here, we will seek to address this foible of architectural development by offering theoretical construction methods for housing types found throughout the region, successfully bridging the gap between regional practicality and modern amenity. The goal is to get away from uninformed mimicry, and offer alternative ways for the people of Yunnan to use modern materials, such that they enhance, rather than hinder, their vernacular architecture.