The Digital Vernacular: A Model for Socially Sustainable Craft

by Sam Parsons from Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
Tutored by: Steve Coombs

Author comments:

Over time, craft has been elevated from vernacular to luxury. William Morris wrote about his attempts to set up workshops in a way that he felt embodied craft production. He hated “spending life ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich”. “What business have we with art at all unless all can share it?”
The solution may lie in a movement of makers who are promoting open source design so that we can learn as a collective and create designs that wholly fulfil the needs of individuals. This makes production accessible when paired with appropriate technology.
Hence, this project explores opportunities offered by emerging technologies to reconcile craft with the masses. It does this by proposing a model to empower a community through training and the erection of self-build architectures.
A network of new architectures can then continue to develop with the growth of a new vernacular that acts as an alternative to mass-produced homes and luxury facilities.
In this instance, the greatest need within the community of Blaengarw is a new primary school. The design of which, exhibits how emerging technologies can be adopted by a community to create crafted architecture with relative ease.

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