Group Title: syntactic analysis of spatial configuration towards the understanding of continuity and change in vernacular living space
Title: A syntactic analysis of spatial configuration towards the understanding of continuity and change in vernacular living space
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Title: A syntactic analysis of spatial configuration towards the understanding of continuity and change in vernacular living space a case study in the upper northeast of Thailand
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Language: English
Creator: Nopadon Thungsakul
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date: 2001
Copyright Date: 2001
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Subject: Architecture thesis, Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Architecture -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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Summary: ABSTRACT: In the last few decades vernacular houses in Thailand have changed as people are becoming physically and socially more integrated with the outside world. Vernacular houses being built now differ radically from traditional houses in many aspects, from their material and structure to style and appearance. Because of foreign influences from global modernization, vernacular houses being built in most areas of Thailand are becoming less influenced by existing traditions and more influenced by popular trends. This study aims to examine spatial patterns modified by the design of vernacular houses. It is hypothesized that while newer houses are more modern looking than those built in the past, the internal organization of both house types remains similar. The main questions for the investigation are how vernacular houses have developed their patterns to support the change of lifestyle, and how these patterns have been carried on. Syntactical studies were used to investigate changes regarding the spatial and functional organization of house samples. Forty-one houses were selected chronologically. The analysis of spatial configuration was based on two procedures: space syntax and cognitive research methods. Space syntax was applied to examine patterns established among samples through diagrams of house floor plans. Cognitive research methods revealed patterns of domestic experience regarding space-use patterns categorized by inhabitants. Data were grouped into nine primary spaces and analyzed for change: under floor, outdoor yard, toilet and bathing, food preparation, multiple uses, verandah, sleeping, eating and household services.
Summary: ABSTRACT (cont.): The changes over time in spatial configuration and underlying functional structures were identified. The analysis of spatial configuration indicates a continuous transition of space-use pattern in accordance with the change of lifestyle, while the information from cultural content suggests the shift from familism to individualism. Spatial patterns from various house types not only illustrate different domestic experience but also identify the impact of physical transformation by the process of urbanization. Several suggestions for spatial alteration are given based on the examination of spatial patterns and domestic experience in order to develop design guidelines for a supportive housing design in the study area.
Summary: KEYWORDS: configurational analysis, vernacular house, Thailand, spatial analysis
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 202-207).
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Statement of Responsibility: by Nopadon Thungsakul.
General Note: Title from first page of PDF file.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains xiii, 208 p.; also contains graphics.
General Note: Vita.
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A SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS OF SPATIAL CONFIGURATION TOWARDS
THE UNDERSTANDING OF CONTINUITY AND CHANGE
IN VERNACULAR LIVING SPACE:
A CASE STUDY IN THE UPPER NORTHEAST OF THAILAND















By

NOPADON THUNGSAKUL


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2001




























Copyright 2001

by

Nopadon Thungsakul


























I dedicate this study to my family with love and gratitude and to my professors with
profound respect. Completing this dissertation is truly beneficial to me, and I feel
privileged to have been given this opportunity.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to a number of people who

have been helpful in contributing to the completion of this dissertation.

My chairperson, Wayne Drummond, Professor of Architecture, University of

Nebraska-Lincoln, has generously shared his knowledge and experience in directing this

research and provided valuable advice.

My cochairperson, Dr. Diana H. Bitz, Associate, Professor of Architecture, and

my committee members: Dr. H. Russell Bernard, Professor of Anthropology,

Maelee T. Foster, Professor Emerita of Architecture, and Peter E. Prugh, Associate

Professor of Architecture, inspired me in different ways. Their encouragement and

support have made my school years a truly enjoyable experience. The opportunity to

work with them and to benefit from their deep knowledge and varied viewpoints has been

a valuable experience in my academic career.

I am grateful to the Thai Government for generous financial support throughout

the years of my graduate studies. Having the opportunity to study abroad has been a

memorable learning experience and a wonderful period in my life.

These acknowledgments would not be complete without mention of the Faculty of

Architecture, Khon Kaen University where my teachers, colleagues and students have

supported and encouraged me since my initial proposal through my research and analysis

until my investigation was completed. Special gratitude is given to my consulting

professors in Thailand, Associate Professor Dhiti Hengrasamee and Dr. Monsicha









Bejranada, for their guidance during the preparation of this study. I greatly appreciate the

assistance and advocacy of my friends, Tawat Charoenwutthitham and Chumnan

Boonyaputthipong, to whom I am intellectually indebted for their informative

conversation on my work. The companionship of Pattravadee Chancham, Wang Li, and

David Ogoli gave me a supportive and stimulating atmosphere for study. I also thank my

editors, Gerald W. Rock who read the first draft of this dissertation and Jeanne

Weismantel who helped me through the writing process.

Many thanks are extended to the field research crews and to all the Ban Khwao

villagers who dedicated their time to participate in this work and always warmly

welcomed my visits in their daily life during the field study.

Finally, I give credit to my parents who have provided me with ideal life support,

always believing in my search for knowledge and understanding of the people and places

of my country. Their care and commitment have made my completion of this study

possible.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES .............. ......... ......................... ..... ...... ix

LIST OF FIGURES ............................... .... ...... ... ................. .x

A B STR A CT ............................... ....................................... ..... ......... xii

CHAPTERS

1. IN TROD U CTION ................... .. ...............................

Purpose of Study ..................................... ................................ ......... 2
V ernacular in Transition ........................................................... ... ....... .... 3
V ernacular and M odern D esign ......................................................................... ... 3
Consequences of Universal Design Concept........................................................... 5
The Impacts of Urbanization Process .................................................. .................. 7
R research Questions ................. .... .................... ............ 9
Significant ce of R research ..................................................................................... 10

2. LITERA TU RE REV IEW ......................................................................... ............... 12

Consideration of the Idea of Culture in Built Form .................................................... 12
Spatial Study ..................................... .................................. ........ 14
Space and Social R relations ............................................... .......................... ...... 16
Architecture, Activity Systems and the Use of Space ............................................... 20

3. RESEARCH SITE .............. .................. ............................ .... ..... 24

Scope of R research .................................. .................... .. ................ .. ................ 24
Thailand Profile.............................. ........... .............. 26
The C ase Study .............................................................................. 27
Khon Kaen: The Province and Its Region .......................................................... 27
B an K hw ao: The V illage......................................................... .......................... 29

4. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY ............................... ...............34

S tu d y A re a .................................................................................................................... 3 4









page

Sam pling Procedure ............ ............... ............ .. ...... .................. 35
D ata C collection .................................................... 35
F ie ld S u rv ey ............................................................................................... 3 5
Archival Research......................................... .............. 39
Questionnaire Design ..... ........... ........ .......... ........40
M ethod of Analysis ................................................................... .. .. ........ ............... 45
Space Syntax M methodology ............................................................................. 45
Conceptual Approach of Space Syntax..... .................... .............. 46
Syntactic Analysis of Spatial Configuration.......................................... 48
Previous Research Applied Space Syntax as Analysis Methodology................... 54
Domestic Experience from Cognitive Research Methodology............. ............. 59
M ultidim ensional Scaling (M D S) .................................... ......................... ......... 61
Property Fitting (PR O FIT) .................................................................... .............. 62
Classification of House Group by Age Category............... ................... ............... 63

5. RESULTS, DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION...................................................65

D om estic Space U se ..... .... .................................. ........ 65
Under Floor Space .. ................. ............................ .. .......... .. 65
M multipurpose Space.................... .................................... .. .. .......... .. .............. 66
Verandah Space............................................ .......... 66
Sleeping Space ..................................................................... ........ 70
Y ard and O outdoor Space ........................................................................ 70
Toilet and B thing Space ......................................................................... .. 70
Food Preparation Space .. ............................................................ .............. 71
E eating Space ..................................................................... .......... 71
H household Service Space..................... ..................................... .......................... 73
Syntactic A analysis of Sam ples..................................................................................... 74
Pattern of Integration .................. ............................. ........ .. .......... 75
P attern of D epth .................. ....... ........ ........... .............................. .............. 7 8
The Correlation of Integration and D epth............................................ ... ................. 80
Spatial Pattern from Occupant's Experience .... .......... ...................................... 83
D discussion of Spatial Configuration ................................... .......................... ......... 86
S p atial G en oty p e .............................................. ..................... ............... 8 8
Spatial Types by A ge Category ........................................ ..................... ..... 91
Spatial Configuration and Social Change ......................................... ...... .............. 100
Configurational Properties: The Relations of Physical and Behavioral Patterns........ 103
C conclusions ............................................................... .... ...... ........ 106

6. CONSIDERATIONS BEYOND SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS ...................................109

Socio-dem graphic C characteristics ....................... ..... ................... ................ .... 109
Household Income .. ................. .......................... .. .......... .. 109
Educational Level ......... ................... ... .. .. ....... .......... 111
F am ily T ype ............. ........................................................... ...... 111










page

Type of O w nership .................. ..................................... .. .......... .. 112
Physical Characteristics of Spaces..................................... ........................... ........ 115
Expansion of D om estic Spaces........................................................ ... ......... 115
Construction Dates and Categorization of Styles ..................................... ......... 115
Summary: Continuity and Change of Vernacular Living Spaces............................ 117

7. RECOMMENDATION FOR FURTHER STUDY................................122

C om parative Spatial Study................................................................ .................... 123
Inclusion of Environment-Behavioral Research............................ 123
M meaning and V alue ...... .... .......................................... ........ 124
M material and Building Resources.......................................................... ......... .... 125

APPENDICES

A. EXAM PLE OF FIELD SKETCHES ............................................. ............... 131

B Q U E ST IO N N A IR E S ...................................................................... ..................... 137

C. EXAMPLE OF THAI QUESTIONNAIRE ........... ...........................146

D. FLOOR PLANS, SITE PLAN, CONVEX SPACES, AND ACCESSIBILITY
DIAGRAM OF HOUSE SAM PLES ........................................ .......................... 148

E. SYNTACTIC DATA OF HOUSE SAMPLES ............................... ................190

F. EXAMPLE OF THE ORIGINAL ANTROPAC OUTPUT .................................... 194

G. DESCRIPTION OF HOUSE STYLES............. ..............................................196

Traditional Style..................... ......................................... .. .. ............ .. .............. 196
B angkok H igh Style .................. ...................................... .. .......... .. 197
Shop H house ...................................................................... .......... 197
Institutional Style .................................... .............................. ......... 198
Contemporary Style ............................................. ............ .. 198

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ........................................................................ ...................202

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. ............... 208
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1. Example of the calculation of syntactic data from the accessibility diagram of the
hou se num ber H -03 ........................... ......................................... .................... 53

5-1. Syntactic values of mean RRA and integration values by age category and domestic
sp aces. .......................................... .................... .......... ...... 76

5-2. Syntactic values of mean depth by age category and domestic spaces ................ 76

5-3. Summary of syntactic values by space-use pattern. ............................................ 79

5.4. Spearman correlations among spaces by pair of housing group............................ 82

5-5. Grouping of domestic spaces by syntactic values. ................................................... 87

5-6. Order of space-use pattern in 41 house samples........................................... 89

5-7. Number of cases found in the sample by mean RRA values.............................. 91

5-8. G enotypes of house sam ples................................................................................... 92

5-9. The comparison of physical features among three house groups.................... 103

5-10. The summary of spatial configuration............................................. 104

6-1. Comparison of number of occurrence among three house groups................ 113

E-1. Syntactic data of the house samples........... ......... .................... 190

E-2. Summary of mean RRA values by space-use pattern. ........................................ 191

E-3. Summary of mean depth by space-use pattern ....................................... 192
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

3-1. M ap of study location. ......................................................................... ....................28

3-2. The location of Mancha Khiri district and Ban Khwao village................................ 30

3-3. Part of Ban Khwao from aerial photograph in 1976 shows a new grid expansion and
a spontaneous housing layout of older neighborhoods within the grid block............30

3-4 Overview of the village environments...............................................................33

4-1. Aerial map of Ban Khwao showing the location of house samples. ...........................36

4-2. Illustration of the transformation from house floor plans to diagram of architectural
m orphology ........................................................ ................. 49

4-3. Conceptual approach for configurational relationship in an accessibility diagram......50

4-4. The illustration of an overview of research methodology. ................. ....................62

5-1. The use of under floor space......... ...................................................... ............... 67

5-2. M ultipurpose space for family living. ........................................ ....................... 68

5-3. Verandah space looking through the open terrace adjacent to a separate kitchen with
covered drinking-w after jars ............. .................................................................. 68

5-4. Sleeping area in traditional house ...... ............................................................ 69

5-5. H house yard and outdoor space ........... .................. ......... ............... ............... 69

5-6. H house yard and outbuildings. ............................................................. .....................72

5-7. Kitchen located between open terrace and verandah space .......................................72

5-8. Household service quarters in popular house. .................................... .................73









Figure page

5-9. Comparison of syntactic values of space use pattern by age groups. .................. 77

5-10. The correlation of integration and mean depth................................................ 80

5-11. MDS map shows the similarities among nine primary spaces............................ 84

5-12. The judgment of similarities by front-back dimension......................... ......... 84

5-13. The comparison of verandah space in the floor plans of traditional and popular
house. ............................................................ 99

6-1. Household income of the sample in three age categories.......................... ... 110

6-2. The expansion of domestic spaces in three house categories.............................. 114

6-3. House styles associated with different construction dates................................... 114

6-4. Diagram of stylistic development through timeline. ............................................ 116















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

A SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS OF SPATIAL CONFIGURATION TOWARDS
THE UNDERSTANDING OF CONTINUITY AND CHANGE
IN VERNACULAR LIVING SPACE:
A CASE STUDY IN THE UPPER NORTHEAST OF THAILAND

By

Nopadon Thungsakul

August 2001


Chairman: Professor R. Wayne Drummond
Major Department: Architecture

In the last few decades vernacular houses in Thailand have changed as people are

becoming physically and socially more integrated with the outside world. Vernacular

houses being built now differ radically from traditional houses in many aspects, from

their material and structure to style and appearance. Because of foreign influences from

global modernization, vernacular houses being built in most areas of Thailand are

becoming less influenced by existing traditions and more influenced by popular trends.

This study aims to examine spatial patterns modified by the design of vernacular houses.

It is hypothesized that while newer houses are more modem looking than those built in

the past, the internal organization of both house types remains similar. The main

questions for the investigation are how vernacular houses have developed their patterns to

support the change of lifestyle, and how these patterns have been carried on.









Syntactical studies were used to investigate changes regarding the spatial and

functional organization of house samples. Forty-one houses were selected

chronologically. The analysis of spatial configuration was based on two procedures:

space syntax and cognitive research methods. Space syntax was applied to examine

patterns established among samples through diagrams of house floor plans. Cognitive

research methods revealed patterns of domestic experience regarding space-use patterns

categorized by inhabitants. Data were grouped into nine primary spaces and analyzed for

change: under floor, outdoor yard, toilet and bathing, food preparation, multiple uses,

verandah, sleeping, eating and household services. The changes over time in spatial

configuration and underlying functional structures were identified.

The analysis of spatial configuration indicates a continuous transition of space-use

pattern in accordance with the change of lifestyle, while the information from cultural

content suggests the shift from familism to individualism. Spatial patterns from various

house types not only illustrate different domestic experience but also identify the impact

of physical transformation by the process of urbanization. Several suggestions for spatial

alteration are given based on the examination of spatial patterns and domestic experience

in order to develop design guidelines for a supportive housing design in the study area.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Vernacular houses customarily derive pattern and style from many factors, such

as physical setting, topological climate, social, culture, symbolic meaning and lifestyles.

Found in areas around the world, most of vernacular houses reflect the basic needs in a

particular locality. Both physical and socio-cultural factors that shape vernacular houses

have been changed and modified over time. In recent years, a global phenomenon has

overwhelmingly influenced the transition of local contexts from traditional vernacular to

modem housing by introducing new processes of construction and technology. The

houses that once were built by their occupants have recently been created by teams of

professional designers. Factors that determine cultural change in vernacular houses

become more complex since there are various ways to explore the relationship between

cultural content and the design of built spaces, as in technology, economics, symbolism

and sociopolitical aspects, and they are based on different value systems.

The design of vernacular houses is a direct expression of changing values, images,

perceptions and ways of life. This study focuses on the physical transformation of

vernacular living spaces as a way to define the connection and the understanding of the

relations between built spaces and culture. The investigation of architectural evolution

by tracing the development of spatial pattern over time indicates culturally linked

phenomena among the housing patterns and helps to identify the problems of consistency

and transformation of pattern. The change of house style may influence the arrangement

of space and, consequently, may affect social and cultural content. The main intent of









this research is to investigate the change of physical alterations in vernacular houses in

Thailand.

Purpose of Study

The primary goal of this study is to examine whether the change of physical

features resulting different house styles influences spatial arrangement and patterns of

daily activity. Objectives of the study are as follows:

1. To reveal the underlying patterns of vernacular living spaces that have been

changed over periods of time.

2. To identify the similarity and the difference of spatial configuration according

to an examination of the house floor plans from various construction dates.

3. To examine how existing spatial patterns embedded in various house styles

and appearances are different from those categorized by users according to

their viewpoints and experience regarding the use of domestic space.


The interdisciplinary approach from architectural theory and anthropological

research applies as theoretical concept and methodology for the analysis of vernacular

design and its spatial configuration. The analysis is based on theory and applications

from two procedures-space syntax methodology and cognitive research. Regardless of

any changes in house appearance, two spatial patterns were examined, from the physical

organization established among the sample of vernacular houses and from the pattern of

domestic experience perceived by the house's inhabitants. The recent changes seen in

new environments, which are now partly traditional and partly modem in character, may

involve various aspects from physical and socio-cultural factors. This research focuses

on the arrangement of physical characteristics by considering the transformation of









spatial pattern across time. The intent of this study was to examine the transition of

spatial configuration from traditional patterns to popular houses and to define how spatial

layout is shaped by the local way of life.

Vernacular in Transition

Vernacular1 and Modem Design

The study of vernacular architecture not only provides information and

understanding of how built form and its settings interrelate, but also enhances the

meaning of how people see themselves through built form. Many research projects

investigating the relation between built environment and culture have been conducted by

researchers from different disciplines with various perspectives, looking at how housing

meeting social, psychological and functional needs. Vernacular architecture, which is

designed and built by people who live in it, has been referred to as the design archetype

that responds properly to basic needs (Rapoport 1999, Turan 1990, Oliver 1987 and

Rudofsky 1964).

Since the design profession was established, most buildings have been designed

and built for customers. The role traditionally played by the building user has shifted

from being a creator to a client who lives in the building. Such adoption of the design

approach became the culture of the modem movement, which ultimately has influenced

worldwide architecture. As part of the modernization process, most houses that recently

have been built are architect-designed; while some are designed and built locally. Both

design processes are evidently different in terms of construction system, variety of uses,



1 Paul Oliver defines vernacular as local or regional dialect, which is the common speech of building.
Vernacular architecture is defined as owner or community-built, utilizing traditional technologies, while the
formal architect-designed architecture is termed as popular architecture (Oliver 1997: xxi-xxii). This
dissertation also uses the mentioned and related terms as working definition throughout the manuscript.









layers of meaning and cultural complexity. However, the majority of people still live,

work and worship in vernacular buildings. In such diverse conditions, it is possible to

question whether there is a trend toward consideration of vernacular design. Some argue

that the new patterns will eventually replace traditional patterns, while others say that the

new and the traditional will blend together (Choi 1999).

In addition, from a preservation viewpoint, the adoption of popular house styles in

specified areas is regarded as one of the most important factors in the diminution of

traditional houses. New materials and appearances have changed people's attitudes,

because they represent the look of modem lifestyles that reflect a new way of living and

symbolize a higher social status and quality of life. In recent situations, from urban to

local environments, there is no sign of awareness in the value of local heritage (Eiam-

Anan 1997). On the contrary, those changes incline toward an acceptance and

appreciation of popular taste. Overwhelmed by such development, only a small number

of vernacular houses survive to stand as models for the purposes of architectural

education. As a result, the study of vernacular design in Thailand is critical in order that

the information can be available as a fundamental basis for future research approaches

and architectural design. Thai vernacular houses have been studied extensively;

however, research is recently beginning only about ten years ago. Most studies attempt

to document existing conditions such as proportion and style, but none examines the

domestic level of spatial organization. Spatial analysis is an approach beyond building

materials, structure, style and meaning; it is an important contribution to our

understanding of architectural evolution.









Consequences of Universal Design Concept

In the past, the fundamental principle of vernacular architectural design was the

houses were not part of fashion cycles but were built to serve only their functional

purposes. The worldwide development of economic and social structure is leading the

process of architectural design to change in accordance with modern society. The

universal approach that represents the new ideology of design through the

communication world is widely becoming a main driving force. Influenced by the

attitudes of those in worldwide development, the Third World countries have accepted

the modern approach to housing design as a model applying to their societies (Kalia

1987). The adoption of modernization becomes an important paradigm of development.

People shift to modern aspect, and they abandon the traditions expressed an achievement

and model of the past. The new Western style, with physical and spatial arrangements

that are different from the indigenous, is applied globally and then becomes the main

approach for today's architectural trend for local contexts.

Some researchers state that the universal concept of architecture, which does not

derive design ideas from its physical and cultural settings, is an inappropriate and

irrelevant model to domestic habits (Abel 1996, Theoharris 1983 and Brolin 1976).

Many structures are designed following models developed to express aspects of the

accepted worldview, which suggests that most living spaces would look alike because

they respond to basic needs arising the functional purpose. This idea has been applied to

house design in different places even though the environmental settings and users' habits

are not the same. Because meanings and cultural norms are different, design from a

universal approach, by professionals, does not work as expected in local contexts. In

places where people choose to accept architectural design as what they visually prefer









rather than what they need for living, a misconception of applying universal approach to

local contexts by an imitation of style is a simple way that people easily perceive as a

new way of life. As a result, the conflict between the need for appearance and lifestyle

has become obvious, because a designed space may not well accommodate the

requirement for domestic activity. Designers need to know how people utilize space in

built form and how the design of space influences people's behavior.

In the context of transition from the traditional to the popular style, the response

of the user to existing environments can vary depending on what people already own and

how they actually occupy those spaces. The acquisition of new houses does not imply

that existing spaces among these houses appropriately accommodate the user's daily

activities, since new spatial patterns are not necessarily based on the users' values nor

were they created to meet the needs of local lifestyle. Studies that address the

effectiveness of user-environment interaction support creating a desirable built

environment for occupants (Sanoff 1992, Langl987, Sommer 1983 and Zeisel 1981).

Lifestyle, cultural values and norms influence the use of space and reinforce each other if

properly addressed. Therefore, the interrelation between physical conditions and

domestic experience of people who occupy the building plays an important role in the

study of vernacular living spaces.

Vernacular houses serve various daily routines. When the way of life changes, a

vernacular house is inevitably adapted to a new set of requirements, or in reverse, when

the house style has changed, people adapt their lifestyle responding to a new pattern of

design. The change of architectural style affects the arrangement of space and this

change influences daily activity; therefore, the inhabitant's behavior may be influenced









by the design of spatial arrangement. Activity and physical settings interrelate with each

other and either can modify the other (Rapoport 1990). Rapoport suggests that the

interpretation of the activity setting helps to predict behavioral and social patterns.

This study focuses on the arrangement of architectural space as a main feature to

examine vernacular living spaces from the existing physical features and from

inhabitant's experience. Different patterns of domestic spaces that have been built and

occupied over time are expected to reveal how traditional patterns move towards new

forms of popular taste; the patterns may be accepted, blended or rejected.


The Impacts of Urbanization Process

The design of vernacular space is created basically to accommodate people's

needs; it changes from time to time in order to correspond with a new lifestyle and

contextual settings. Indigenous design judged as being the best and the most efficient

response to topographic, climatic and economic constraints has been influenced by a

global phenomenon. Because the urbanization process affects traditional culture, the

impact of these changes becomes physically evident, particularly in most rural

settlements and vernacular houses in Thailand. The new design of vernacular houses

influenced by the architecture of urban areas has been adopted by the new generation of

local inhabitants. A new appearance has been introduced, and a new spatial pattern

results from the new architectural style being used by local inhabitants.

As in many Third World countries, the transition of house styles in Thailand from

traditional patterns to what is considered as essentially different from existing local

patterns is a significant turning point in the development of living pattern. Without any

adaptations to local ways, new house styles and spatial patterns that have originally been









developed and designed by professionals to accommodate the urban lifestyle, following

the same principles around the world, have been widely duplicated in many regions in

Thailand. Such transitions have been mentioned by many scholars as unsuccessful and

responsible for shortcomings (Brolin 1976 and Lang 1987). It is argued that the

transition is not smooth and successful because both house patterns do not support the

same lifestyle and cultural content. As indicated in many housing studies, Le Corbusier's

design of Chandigarh in India (Kalia 1987), the resettlement of Cappadocia cave dwellers

in Turkey to subsidized housing provided by the government (Emge 1992) and the urban

housing projects in African countries (Potash 1985) are a few among a large number of

examples that point out the problems of transitional process resulting from the differences

in spatial design. Following the same path of architectural evolution, significant

alteration in vernacular living space in Thailand creates a wide gap between those

designed by outsiders and those built and lived in by insiders or its occupants.

There are many external factors driving regional development, such as modern

culture, political systems, social and family structure corresponding with global

phenomena. Architectural evolution has also reflected these trends. In Thailand, the

transition has been causing a discrepancy between the traditional lifestyle and modern

housing design. Along with the new appearance of popular house styles, a concurrent

attitude towards the urban lifestyle has developed in local places. The transition from the

traditional house form and space is a sudden shift, including the adoption of new style

and materials that appear to transform spatial and cultural aspects of houses. Newly

acquired house styles, associated with patterns unfamiliar in local contexts, reveal a

profound adaptation of the interior arrangement and user's domestic routines.









This study seeks to understand the role of domestic spaces in shaping the house

design as it underlies spatial organization. The relation between house spaces and

activity pattern evolving over time is a significant acknowledgment of how people create

or constantly modify existing environments. The unique characteristics of the case study

are undertaken from the investigation established through perceivable language and

methods. The study of house design from the organization of space aims for a better

understanding of large and complex cultural phenomena and discusses the relationship

between built spaces and social life. Since there are numerous variables that influence

house design and its spatial pattern, this study has an integral part in creating a more

complete understanding of domestic structure as it appears among vernacular living

spaces.

Research Questions

The study involves questions concerning spatial and domestic activity patterns in

vernacular houses. Different dates of construction not only result in difference of styles

but also influence house design at the level of spatial configuration. It is hypothesized

that spatial configurations in older houses are different from newer ones. The following

questions are starting points for the examination of spatial patterns according to syntactic

properties and the use of domestic spaces.

Is there any change during the transition fromtraditional to popular houses in

terms of spatial configuration? If there is a difference, can spatial types

underlying those arrangements be identified?

How do different spatial configurations influence the distribution of domestic

activity among vernacular houses in study area?









Does variation in existing patterns correspond to the morphology of domestic

experience regarding inhabitants' perceptions?

The study concerns daily activities occurring in and among domestic spaces and

adjacent activity areas within the household property rather than in other settings such as

workplace, agricultural fields and public places. The design of architectural partition and

furniture arrangement, which separates each space and influences the inhabitant's

activity, is included in the analysis. In order to verify the existence of underlying

principles of spatial patterns, syntactic properties from space syntax methodology and

domestic experience of inhabitants are applied as essential models of the analysis.


Significance of Research

This study intends to provide a way to trace the transition of spatial configuration

and to reveal prototypes of vernacular houses built over periods of time. The analysis of

a certain characteristic of vernacular design by focusing on features such as spatial

pattern and domestic activities produces the knowledge that helps to understand the

domestic experience of space in differing conditions and the development of social and

functional logic through spatial configuration. The field research on building

documentation and ethnographic data detailing the use of space is essential for an

understanding of the relationship and the development of reliable, predictive models that

help to adapt useful guidelines for practicing designers. Moreover, the results also

provide baseline data that may be used for analysis from different perspectives in the

same site.

From the methodological perspective, all information collected from this study

can further be transformed into a relationship diagram of space and activity that may be









applied to the design process through a diagramming approach. Systematic approach and

application not only enhance the advancement of architectural theory and practice by

incorporating research methodology to the context of design process, but also contribute

to the interest in vernacular design for contemporary building.

Beyond the findings from this study, it is worthwhile to adapt an approach that

can be applied and developed for architectural design of similar context or conditions.

This study benefits an approach to establish appropriate methods for producing a unique

architecture for its particular environment, while acknowledging the idea of self-identity

searching, particularly in the situation of a traditional-moder paradigm. The design of

contemporary building based on vernacular design is now a critical issue in architectural

design and education in many countries.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter reviews previous studies that provide background for the study of

spatial organization. The review emphasizes the relation of architectural space, its

patterning and domestic spatial uses. This study aims to comprehend spatial

configuration through architectural evolution according to the theoretical understanding

that there is a series of underlying principles governing the arrangement of spaces and the

use of spaces.



Consideration of the Idea of Culture in Built Form

Rapoport states that culture has two main characteristics, one as an abstract theory

and the other as a global set of ideational concepts. An approach to understanding the

notion of culture is to consider a concrete component of culture, including worldviews,

values, lifestyle and activity systems (Rapoport 1969). Kent agrees that culture is

ambiguous and includes many aspects. She suggests that parts of culture influence

architecture and the use of space (Kent 1990). Edward T. Hall sees culture as a series of

activities that are interrelated in many ways (Hall 1981), while Low and Chambers

(1989) argue that culture can be defined as a cognitive structure which is a set of rules

that are in the mind, encoded in language, serving as a template of cultural ideas.

Different cultures structure the hierarchy of values through specific design in people's

minds. However, most scholars agree that culture is influenced by social factors and

human relations.









Because culture is a broad and vague domain, in order to make an interpretation

of culture in built form, it is necessary to limit the focal point by emphasizing one

attribute over another. Although there are several ways to explore culture, it becomes

more understandable when the study focuses on the interpretation of the relationship

between built form and human relations. Since both attributes are considered as an

expression of culture, the study of housing design is a direct way to explore cultural

contexts that influence built form and its occupants.

Several studies on the topic of space and its relation to social contexts suggest that

pattern in built environments is a reflection of the social and cultural order of a certain

society. In order to understand the connection between architectural space and society,

the investigation needs to focus on a culture-specific study. The study of domestic spatial

use and its physical setting is an approach that directly addresses the impacts of social

phenomena in built form. In fact, the change of social structure is a reflection of cultural

change that may lead to the compromise of behavioral pattern and the transformation of

spatial pattern. Meanwhile, many scholars have considered spatial pattern as an account

of cultural attributes that reflects social norms.

In general, house styles and arrangements have developed across time in order to

accommodate new requirements based on the change of lifestyle and attitudes. The new

house style design and spatial arrangement influence physical alterations, which

consequently affect the interactions among occupants and their daily routines. The way

domestic space organizes in built form is the way in which people manipulate spaces,

select their choices and adapt an existing design to support personal preference and their

behavior. This study intends to examine how the change of spatial organization accounts









for the way it is used, particularly in the place where both traditional and popular patterns

are merging.



Spatial Study

Space has meaning (Rapoport 1982). Built form is created through a sequence of

design decisions, whether made by a professional or a builder. The arrangement of space

associates with a logical process because it must at least serve the functional objective

(Sander 1990 and Hillier and Hanson 1984). The pattern of space in built forms is

explored in order to understand the link between the design of built spaces and its cultural

consequences. Many studies illustrate the complexity of built forms by interpreting the

messages from the spatial structure.

In general, spatial study can be conducted in two ways, from the observation of

buildings tracing back to the experience of users or builders, or from the living

experience of built space followed by speculation about how spaces are created

(Cuisenier 1997). Cuisenier defines the first type of spatial approach as morphological,

focusing on the arrangement of spaces, and the other approach as phenomenological,

referring to the actual experience of people living in that space. The recent study of

vernacular architecture from a spatial viewpoint has focused on an approach to describing

spatial experience and movement by its users. The analysis concerns the interpretation of

architectural space from different patterns of interior circulation that are formed

regarding daily life experience. In order to create a supportive built space, the

arrangement of space depends on the nature of activity, users, cultural values and norms.

Such a range of physical conditions is not randomly structured; therefore, spatial study

from a configurational aspect relies on assumptions from both functional and social logic.









The configurational approach of spatial arrangement is based on the theoretical concept

that if built space is composed of organizational units, it is because they are responding to

precise living patterns. The way space is organized by its inhabitants gives a deeper

understanding of experience taking into account a social system. It is therefore necessary

to examine those patterns in order to understand the organizational principles underlying

the built spaces.

The development of a methodological approach to exploring spatial configuration

is continuously established. The publications of Architectural Morphology by Steadman

(1983) and The Social Logic of Space by Hillier and Hanson (1984) have introduced the

analyses of domestic space configuration through architectural morphology. It has since

become a tool applied around the world in a variety of research disciplines and design

applications. According to Steadman spatial study begins with the investigation of a

morphological diagram that is based on the building floor plan. Shape and the

arrangement of spaces provide information for an explanation of spatial relations in a

systematic manner. Hillier and Hanson's approach acknowledges spatial study by

developing the analysis method from configurational measurements that later are known

as the space syntax approach. Spatial layout is used as an architectural variable to reveal

social and behavioral patterns.

Spatial organization interrelates with the concept of social pattern such as gender,

family structure and mode of privacy. Moreover it can identify more abstract meanings

including values and belief systems. Spatial properties and their arrangements are

culturally and behaviorally formulated. The study of spatial configuration is an approach

that reveals the social order embedded in spatial pattern. An analysis of the house floor

plans as artifacts and existing elements can identify social and cultural consequences









associated with the design of the house. Archaeologists, geographers and architects have

adopted spatial study to examine the logic of cultural attributes from the relationships

between spatial and social patterns. Several research studies have built a theoretical

understanding of spatial pattern, aiming both to establish a relationship between spatial

properties and functions and to explore design possibility and behavioral conditions.

Spatial studies by Lawrence and Boschetti reveal the different social and cultural

consequences from generation to generation. Boschetti concludes that personal values

and meanings are associated with the house spaces (Boschetti 1990), while Lawrence

concludes that the study of spatial transformation from house samples in the same

environmental setting is one way to explore cultural values and meaning with which

domestic space is endowed (Lawrence 1981). Focusing on the change through the

physical arrangement of household spaces contributes to and reinforces our

understanding of the phenomenon of how spatial pattern influences domestic activities,

social and cultural content.



Space and Social Relations

Many researchers have explored a specific characteristic of attributes in order to

get a more accurate explanation of culture. Hall's study provides a conceptual work on

the subject of space and social relations. He points out that every culture has its

definition of activities which vary depending on the way spaces are occupied (Hall 1981).

His cross-cultural observation on the distance between people while engaging in social

interaction, specified as proxemics, reveals a great variability. People's interaction

appears to interconnect with social meanings, which therefore influence spatial use and

its design. Based on the proxemics, the relation between architectural space and human









behavior has taken a psychological approach into account when conducting a built-

environment and behavioral study. The design of built spaces must provide an

appropriate distance for users in a particular culture. According to Hall's findings, spatial

design directly influences people and their behavior. Therefore, properties of space not

only describe behavioral conditions but also reflect cultural dimensions of social

phenomena. From an anthropological perspective, architectural space is discussed in

terms of material culture and artifacts, including cosmological and ritual beliefs. The

study of the Lao house by Charpentier indicates that housing layout and settlement

correspond to social structure and belief systems (Charpentier 1989). The similar results

from Clement's study also suggest that the organization of space in the Lao house is

structured from cultural orders such as orientation system, hierarchy of access and rules

related to conceptual ideas (Clement 1982). Architectural researches have later

introduced the research methodology applied in anthropological studies to spatial study in

order to examine the mechanism that arranges and organizes space. By means of various

theoretical approaches, some researches are specifically concerned with the relationship

between built spaces and social structure. The studies of northern Indian housing by

Sinha and the African house by Potash support ideas that the change of house form

influences social structure, lifestyle and habit. The transition from the traditional

dwelling to western style housing, which is provided by the government, has changed the

mode of privacy, family structure and the role of women within the family (Potash 1985

and Sinha 1990). Both studies point out that spatial arrangement is culturally ordered and

such ordering has meaning.

The use of space varies from culture to culture because each culture has different

values and social norms. The spatial layout created by interior arrangement and a









partitioning system is an important factor that has control over the inhabitant's activity.

It is a controlling factor that reflects social interaction between family members and the

relations among domestic spaces in the household. In Boschetti's historical study of

farmhouses in Kansas, the arrangement of the floor plan suggests that different patterns

of interior spaces directly connect to social and personal values of house design across

generations of family members. The transformation of interior space uses and their

orientation involves the family's experience and corresponds to the change of technology

and concurrent social impacts (Boschetti 1990). The cross-cultural study of domestic

space by Kent reveals that architectural partitioning reflects some cultural aspects in

terms of socio-cultural dimension. The use of walls, curtains and other partitions is based

on the perceived gender, activity, function and lifestyle. These elements become

important factors that predict the change occurring in spatial and social orders. A society

with more political complexity tends to have the more segmented architectural spaces as

well as the more complex use of space (Kent 1991). Hillier and Hanson note that socio-

cultural factors influence the arrangement of building. Social orders exist and express

themselves through architectural space following the same rules that govern the relations

among its occupants. They suggest that to understand cultural orders it is necessary to

examine how space configures in the design of spatial layout. Therefore, the examination

of space by physical appearances such as shape, scale and proportion, may not be able to

reveal underlying dimensions influenced by occupant's lifestyle and social norms.

Pader suggests that domestic spaces are fundamentally intertwined with the

conception of ethnic identity. Her study of Mexican houses in Mexico and in the United

States focuses on the use of domestic space occupied by the same ethnic group. The

results indicate that the adaptation of living environments by users connects to the









relationships among the house design, domestic space use and social contents. By

analyzing the socio-spatial relation of the house in both locations, it is apparent that the

change of physical environment influences the social change of living pattern as well as

reflects an attitude of Mexican owners which ultimately results in the alterations of their

housing (Pader 1993). Domestic spaces in the Unites States appear to place an emphasis

on privacy and the individual, while the Mexican spatial system emphasizes the sharing

and close daily interconnection among occupants. The change of conception from

familism to individualism affects the user's attitude, daily activities and the relation

between guest and family member.

Another cross-cultural study of Turkish and Italian vernacular houses by Baskaya

and Symes (1992) reveals the interrelationship between socio-cultural dimensions and

spatial pattern. The open spaces of traditional houses in both cultures have been

transformed into part of an enclosed interior space in order to satisfy the need for privacy

and security as well as to accommodate the new functional need and social changes.

Moreover, the differences and similarities between these cultures can be identified by

studying their spatial organization. The impacts of spatial design not only physically

correspond to global culture, but also reflect social conditions such as changes of

religious aspects, gender relationships and family structure (Baskaya and Symes 1992).

Later the study by Kirsan and Cagdas concerns a similar analysis of the change among

spatial patterns, but their focus shifts to the relation between space and historical

contents. They conclude that different spatial patterns show the diversity of the

occupants. The arrangement of space reflects a specific group of users who played

important roles during the period of construction and built a particular type of building

pattern to accommodate their needs (Kirsan and Cagdas 1998). Their study supports the









idea that spatial form, process of construction and pattern of alteration are not only an

indication of social changes that reflect in the house floor plans but also represent the

identity of a subgroup in a particular culture.

The review of previous studies suggests that social contents associate closely with

spatial organization. The study of the associations is one way to develop the

understandable connection of culture, social relation and the expression of both patterns

through the design and arrangement of spaces.



Architecture, Activity Systems and the Use of Space

The analysis spatial organization and the use of space has structured and

developed over a number of years for both research and design. Architectural space-

activity relation is associated with the disciplines of architecture and behavioral-

environmental psychology and involves archaeological and anthropological research.

According to social scientists, the way space is used varies by culture. Many

works related to this topic consider architectural space by applying different approaches

to describe the concept and the direction of interests in their own terms. In recent studies

environmental designers focused on the use of space by addressing the issue of how

design is culturally responsive, while archaeologists discussed an extant interpretation of

architectural space and artifacts in order to enhance an understanding of the past. In an

ethnoarchaeological study architectural space and its patterning is interpreted by

comparing contemporary building use with artifactual records and by interrelating the

relationships among archaeological sites. Most implications and analysis methods

fundamentally focus on the consideration of the relationship between spatial structure and









contextual setting as well as the meanings of these patterns (Fletcher 1977 and O'Connell,

Hawkes, and Jones 1991).

Since built spaces directly influence behavior, in order to understand the

interaction between people and environments, the design of spaces and user's occupancy

are main factors to be concerned. Mercer supports an idea to study built spaces from

their arrangements. He notes that spatial organization is an indicator of cultural

background and identity. A certain type of behavior seems to occur in a certain type of

space, therefore, a physical setting can identify a user's identity and social relations

(Mercer 1975). According to Padar, Baskaya and Symes, spatial organization reflects

and influences social structure. The study of spatial organization is recommended as an

approach to identifying the conception and principle of how cultural order is constructed

in house form. Despite many investigations of the relationship between culture and the

use of space, Lawrence has argued that to focus only on the physical pattern of space may

not be adequate for understanding how idea and meaning in specific socio-cultural

context are employed. The cross-cultural study of English and Australian housing in

terms of cultural meaning and the use of space indicates a significant difference for each

country when considering domestic activities associated within a spatial system. Even

though functional components are similar, the ways that people classify and organize

spatial structure are different. The findings suggest that the organization of activities in

house space, their use, and meaning are based on a complex system of social codes,

rituals and controlling of roles rather than physical components (Lawrence 1981). His

study shows that cultural meaning is embedded in the social and spatial dimension of

built space. The relationship between space and activities is a mutual factor that provides

an explanation of the properties and the use of domestic facilities. In order to develop the









understanding of the cultural context, it is important to employ the underlying

relationship between space and activities. An insightful framework that reveals the

interdependence of both attributes provides the means to discover associated solutions

from the design of domestic spaces and its diverse ways of organization.

As previously mentioned, built environment, activities and settings are

interrelated. An activity system is a form of cultural and social expression of each

society. It occurs in two types of space setting: fixed-feature elements (architectural

space and partitioning) and semi-fixed-feature elements (furniture and interior

arrangement). The organization of both elements influences activities and reflects the

meaning of socio-cultural activity. The way domestic spaces are organized and

structured has strong influences on social and functional conditions. In Rapoport's study,

the use of space is examined in terms of the relationship between architecture and

activity. He suggests that activity involves four components- activity itself, how it is

carried out, the associated activities and the meaning of activity (Rapoport 1990). Setting

is a milieu that defines a situation for occupants to act appropriately. Instead of looking

at a single activity, the relationship between activity and spatial setting must consider the

systems that are relevant to each other. Rapoport suggests that the physical elements

within space, such as walls or partitions, function as physical cues that express the

structure of spatial organization. He concludes that built form is the representation of the

use of space, which in turn is the direct expression of culture. Kent and Rapoport's

studies agree, to some extent, that to make an interpretation of cultural phenomena in

built space, the relation between design possibility of spatial arrangement and behavioral

conditions is an intrinsic tool for spatial analysis. While Hillier, Hanson and Lawrence









suggest that the investigation of a building's users reflected in the spatial layout expresses

the relations among members of the household and visitors.

In order to expand the understanding of spatial organization, this study aims to

establish the underlying principles within the spatial pattern and the use of space with

regard to the relationship between spatial and functional properties. The impacts from

the change of physical alteration among different spatial patterns, domestic activity and

social order are explored. The analysis of physical pattern as reflected in the house floor

plan and activity pattern as embedded in domestic experience concerns a set of

systematic approaches from architectural theory utilizing the space syntax model and

from cognitive research methods.














CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH SITE



Scope of Research

This investigation emphasizes the change of physical features and spatial

configuration resulting from the building's age. The study focuses on living spaces at the

domestic level in the northeast region of Thailand, a rural area, where various house

styles influenced by different groups of builder are available for investigation. The

conceptual approach is to examine spatial patterns of existing buildings and to analyze

patterns of domestic activity performed by inhabitants. The way that people use and

organize their house spaces developing through a period of time is a major feature of this

dissertation.

The study is involved with 2 sets of analyses, the physical arrangement of spaces

and domestic experience from the inhabitants' viewpoint. The first considers on the

relations among domestic spaces in which all other spaces are taken into account, and the

second deals with a group of activities that are performed in those spaces as perceived by

inhabitants. To identify the difference of spatial configuration, the analysis considers an

examination of arrangements of the house floor plan and the establishment of domestic

activity. In order to identify spatial patterns among the house samples from different

periods, 41 houses are selected by a variance of construction dates. Spatial organization

of vernacular houses that have been shaped by the results from the changes, alterations,

adaptation of lifestyle for more than a century may reveal how domestic spaces are









influenced and interpreted by occupants. Furthermore, observing the distribution of

space and activities within different settings helps to identify the knowledge of how

social life and cultural content have developed through the system of functional logic.

The analysis includes a discussion of the findings and the suggestion of possible future

studies that place the focus on different perspectives in order to obtain a completely

fruitful knowledge about spatial study.

In order to achieve dissertation goals, field research was conducted at Ban Khwao

village, part of Khon Kaen province, where unique characteristics of vernacular living

space meet research requirements. Data of household, activities and artifacts were

collected by interviews, photographs, observations and drawing using multiple sets of

questionnaires.

The selection of Ban Khwao village as the main focus of the study follows these

criteria:

* The area offers a representation of diverse types of house styles that have been

created in different periods as the site development in occurred.

* The site must have an adequate number of both traditional and popular houses

available for analysis.

* The area must present a uniform and homogeneous picture of how daily lifestyles are

performed.

* Supporting data of study area must be accessible and available to the researcher.

Ban Khwao is currently mentioned by many scholars as a site that can still be

referred to as one of a few in this region that has maintained examples of the best

preserved traditional houses along with the changing conditions of existing environments









(Srisuro 1998 and Hengrasmee et al. 1992). Today the settlement pattern and living

spaces in the village have consistently changed under a series of regional development

programs. While some older houses have been destroyed, modified or rebuilt, others

retain their unique styles from the past. With distinct characteristics that correspond with

study purposes, Ban Khwao was selected as an area for the study.



Thailand Profile

The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It occupies an area

of 514,000 square kilometers, about the size of the state of Texas, and shares borders with

Myanmar (formerly the Union of Burma) to the west and north, the Laos People's

Democratic Republic to the north and northeast, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to

the south. The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, a city with a population of about 7

million. Geographically, in the north there is a mountainous area, a semi-arid plateau in

the northeast, a peninsula in the south and a lowland plain in the central part of the

country.

Thailand has a population of about 60 million (Bureau of the Census of

Population 1999). The majority are ethnic Thais and some may appear similar to Mon,

Khmer, Burmese, Lao, Malay, Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese ancestors1. People

culturally and socially share a rich ethnic diversity which has become the Thai way of

life. Because of its geographical location among many Southeast Asian countries,





1 In Thai history there are various ethnic Thai migrated from different areas, Thai Yai from Burma, Thai
Lue from Yunnan and Thai Song Dam from Vietnam (Tourism Authority of Thailand -TAT 2000). For
more details on vernacular designs from diverse ethnic Thai groups- styles and living spaces including a
brief background of each ethnic consults Oliver (1997).









Thailand is regarded as a cultural melting pot. Buddhism plays an important role in

building and melding Thai society. With the exception of hilltribe groups, all speak the

same Thai language with regional dialects.

The national religion is Thevarada Buddhism. More than 90 percent of Thais

practice Buddhism. The remainder of the population adheres to Islam, Christianity and

Hinduism. Buddhism has a strong influence on the Thai's daily life. Temple or Wat is

not only a center of local social and religious life, but also a place for spiritual relief and

molding morality. In small communities temples have served as a village hostelry,

information center, a school, a hospital and a community center.



The Case Study

Khon Kaen: The Province and Its Region

The northeast of Thailand, known in Thai as Isan, comprises nineteen provinces.

Bordered on the north and east by the Mekong river and Laos and on the south by

Cambodia, Isan is the largest of the country's five major topological regions. It is largely

a semi-arid plateau with forested mountains in the northwest. The economy in this region

is based almost entirely on agriculture. People pursue an agrarian lifestyle, which

changes with the seasons according to the annual cycle of farming. Most people in Isan

speak local dialects with various accents from region to region. Because the area has

great interests in rural customs, and its history dates back to the prehistoric period, Isan is

regarded as having a better-preserved cultural tradition than anywhere else in Thailand.

Located in the heart of Isan, Khon Kaen is the third largest province in the

northeast plateau. The provincial capital is 449 kilometers northeast of Bangkok (Figure

3-1). The province covers an area of 10,886 square kilometers, parts of which contain












/..--.....* :
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"W Nj


UDORNTHANI


Ban Khwao
KHONKAEN,
THAILAND


/
NAKMON FMLTCHASIMA


Source: Mapquest Home Page and Report of Tourism Authority of Thailand for Northeastern Region.


Figure 3-1. Map of study location.









national and forest parks. Khon Kaen was officially established in 1783. The majority of

population is Lao-Isan descendants. Various ethnic groups, indigenous Isan people and

those who migrated from neighboring countries, including Lao, Khmer and Yao, have

influenced the traditional culture of the region. Khon Kaen today, with a population of

nearly 2 million, is not only a center of commerce and government of the northeast, but

also hosts the largest university in the region, Khon Kaen University. As a major

regional development center, it has experienced one of the fastest growth rates in

Thailand until the countrywide economic crisis in 1997. However, it has continued to

develop, following the government plans as the export center for trading among Indo-

China countries. Khon Kaen has expanded economically, but most traditional crafts have

largely flourished and merged closely to preserve rural customs and lifestyles.

Ban Khwao: The Village

Ban Khwao is one of 105 villages in the Mancha Khiri district. It is located

approximately 58 kilometers southwest of Khon Kaen City and 1.5 kilometers from the

district center (Figure 3-2). The geography of Ban Khwao is mainly lowlands of the

central plain around Khon Kaen province. Most of the plain surrounds the village where

cultivated areas of orchards and rice fields are located. To the north is the district

highway which leads to Mancha Khiri's local administrative and market center and to the

southeast is the village reservoir which supplies most water for daily use.

The history of present Ban Khwao began with the arrival of the Lao immigrants.

Around 170 years ago, a group of settlers seems to have been exiled from Laos (Laos

People's Democratic Republic) to Thailand. These people settled in scattered

communities along the Mekong River. After a decade of trading around the region, the

site




























Figure 3-2. The location ofMancha Khiri district and Ban Khwao village.


















Source: The Military Department of Thai Army for the Interior Defense:
Division of Aerial Map Collection


Figure 3-3. Part of Ban Khwao from aerial photograph in 1976 shows a new grid
expansion and a spontaneous housing layout of older neighborhoods within the grid
block.









was selected by the first group of inhabitants to begin the settlement. A village has been

established since 18492. Before the program of national plans for economic and social

development occurred in 1958 very little information had been documented about the site

and its inhabitants. However, records of early explorers show that the discovery of this

site began because it was situated on the trading route to and from Mekong settlements.

In 1939 the first unpaved road was planned and used as a means for transporting people

and merchandise. Since there was the development of a main access road joining the

village to the nearby district center in 1940, easy access has brought new house types and

social groups into the area.

Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants have always been an integral part of the

history of the northeast region. Chinese from the central region and urban center have

expanded shopping and trading activities in rural areas. Followed by the Chinese,

Vietnamese migrated across the Mekong River leaving their home country during the

period of French colonial rule. Both ethnic groups have played a major role in the

development of national industry and commerce. In accordance with their economic

orientation, their houses are mainly urban and located in the center of the settlement.

From 1939 to 1969 the development of shop houses, adopted from Chinese culture, has

largely become a part of village settlement and appears to blend with the local way of

living. Since new living patterns have been introduced to the traditional lifestyle, they

have had a great influence on the present architectural configuration of Thai form and

spaces.

After the first national plan for economic and social development launched in

1978, most regions have continued to be developed in a similar pattern, emphasizing a


2 Information acquires from private interview with Mr. Guyn Pongsa, held at his home, June 16 1998.









technology-based and convenience-oriented community. The expansion of infrastructure

to the northeast regions began to impact existing patterns of most village settlements.

The scale of the community has been developed aiming for an adequate accessibility to

nearby urban centers. Now that convenient transportation connects most parts of the

country, new construction technology and materials have been introduced and used along

with the traditional methods. Road construction and supply of electricity are often

exogenous forces that result in the loss of vernacular houses (Eiam-Anan 1997: 294).

During the past few decades, the area has changed significantly under the rapid growth

policy encouraged by national development plans.

Ban Khwao today has convenient access to nearby districts. With various choices

of local transportation: riding buffaloes, bicycles, carts, motorcycles or bus, people can

reach the district center in only minutes. The village population is about 523. Around 95

percent of its population work in agriculture-based activities, while the rest work as

employees in nearby towns or own craft shops and light industries, including cotton and

silk weaving and cupboard making. Similar to people in Khon Kaen and other provinces

in the northeast, Ban Khwao has diverse ethnicity with Isan descendants in the

population. The majorities are the Lao-Isan and Lao. There are very few Chinese and

Vietnamese living in the village. People mainly speak in the Isan dialect; however, the

official language for communication is in what is termed the central Thai format.

Ban Khwao is divided into 2 sections. There are 225 households in 2

subdivisions with neighborhoods in each. Streets in the older neighborhoods are narrow,

unpaved, and have a spontaneous layout, whereas the new expansions are structured in a

grid pattern (Figure 3-3). The main street, where most local businesses and shop houses












are located, runs through the village center and directly links to the regional highway in


the north (Figure 3-4).


-._
~


Figure 3-4 Overview of the village environments.
a) Along the main concrete paved street; b) Two house types from different period of
construction are juxtaposed to each other.


L


-.do














CHAPTER 4
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

As the research objectives indicate, this study aims to investigate the difference of

spatial configuration among vernacular houses built during various periods of

construction. Since the house floor plan is a key variable, most of the information about

the arrangement of physical conditions and the use of space relies was obtained from the

field research. There are several techniques used to obtain data concerning basic

information about a building, its inhabitants and domestic routines. This chapter presents

the research strategy used for this investigation, including a brief description of

procedures carried out during the field survey.



Study Area

In order to carry out the investigation it was necessary to locate an area which

would be experiencing development and yet still have enough traditional houses left to

provide needed design information. To study the continuity and change as design moved

from traditional to popular, there had to be a variety of patterns of spatial configurations

from different house styles. In order to obtain several house types as representative

samples, the selected area had to be physically under development and get an adequate

number of houses with different construction dates. Initial selections of study areas that

met the criteria were recommended by scholars involved in previous research on the

northeastern house in Thailand. After a visual survey of potential sites, Ban Khwao in









Khon Kaen province was selected as the area to study because quantity and variety of

village houses met requirements for the research established prior to collecting data.


Sampling Procedure

The study focuses on all the existing houses that were available during the field

research. In order to control variations of potential exaggeration among the samples,

only the houses that were inhabited as residential or residential-commercial occupancies

were selected from the population of households in the village. The main purpose of

sampling is to obtain a wide range of house types from different periods of construction.

Systematic random sampling1 was conducted as a procedure to provide the best

representative households. Regardless of the physical appearance, all houses in the

village were placed in order according to construction dates, from the oldest to the newest

or the most recently built. The first house was selected to start the sampling, and then

every 5th house was chosen from the chronological list of houses in the sampling frame.

Forty-two houses were selected initially but one was dropped because the house was

demolished during the process of data collection. The final investigation of 41

households includes on-site observation and personal interviews (Figure 4-1).



Data Collection

Field Survey

Most information in this study was acquired through various types of household

data from field research. Different techniques for gathering data were used ranging from

direct documentation, socio-demographic information and observation of daily routines.


1 See Bernard (1995) for more details under the field condition.























































Source: Based map acquired from The Military Department of Thai Army for the Interior Defense:
Division of Aerial Map Collection.


Figure 4-1. Aerial map of Ban Khwao showing the location of house samples.









The graphic data of physical features were acquired from the measurement and drawing

of architectural floor plans, while socio-demographic data basically came from the

interviews with household members. In addition to interviewing, observation during the

house visit provided information on the use of domestic space and daily activities.


Survey team and field research administration

The survey team was composed of six members including the researcher. The

members were recruited from the Faculty of Architecture, Khon Kaen University who

were students and the researcher's colleagues, and consequently, were very familiar with

the area of study. The team members were trained intensively and clearly instructed on

the process of data collection prior to the field survey. In order to establish similar

responses with questionnaires and to follow the instructions as given, the team members

practiced with the researcher several times before visiting the respondents. Team

members were divided into three groups. Each group contained an interviewer and an

assistant. The interviewer asked respondents the questions in the questionnaires and

wrote down the responses. During the interview in progress the assistant sketched the

house floor plans and furniture arrangement in each room. After the interview was

completed, both members measured the house plan and discussed the interview to correct

any mistakes or supply missing answers.

The researcher assigned the house locations or addresses to the team members

before they performed the tasks. After the survey was completed, team members turned

in the completed questionnaires to the researcher, who then checked for any errors and

misunderstanding of the questions. The survey team met and discussed any discrepancies

at the end of the survey day.









Interviewing process

Two types of interviewing procedures were used in the process of data gathering:

semi-structured and structured. The selection of the interview procedure depended on its

potential and limitations. At the early stage of field research, the semi-structured

interview was to collect overall information about daily routines of the village residents

as well as a brief background of the house population. Subsequently, the structured

interview was carried out to focus on details of the selected house samples. Household

information on the use of domestic spaces and daily activities was provided by the

household members. The respondents were asked to identify activities usually performed

in a specific location in the house spaces.

The interviewing process was conducted in the home of selected households and

carried out according to the instructions provided in the questionnaires. The survey team

visited respondents at home and asked for permission to do the interview. If the team

members met more than one person in the same household, the interviewer chose to

interview a family member who had the most information about the building and its

history. The interviews were conducted at different times of the day, from early morning

to late evening, in order to include a variety of respondents. Every selected household

was visited at least two times within a period of sixteen months. The interviewer asked

the respondents questions and then wrote down the responses on the space provided in

the questionnaires. The interview normally lasted about 30 to 45 minutes but the

observation took a longer amount of time.









On-site observation

Since existing graphic resources were not available, most floor plans of the

houses were sketched and measured during the visit. The survey team recorded the

location of both architectural features and temporary partitions created by furniture

arrangement in each space, including leftover artifacts which might hold clues as to

where domestic activities were taking places. An annoted plan2 (Zeisel 1981) was used

to describe the physical traces in words and a diagram in order to understand details in

the floor plan sketches. The interviewer also used the table of space-activity checklist

(see Appendix B) from part of the questionnaire to record how people occupied spaces.

Where it was possible, photographs of physical traces were taken to record the position of

furniture and the possible use of spaces. Photographs provide an intensive observation of

the inhabitant's activity in the house settings (Collier 1989).


Archival Research

In this study primary sources of information about the research site were obtained

from the municipal records and the annual report of provincial development plans

prepared by governmental institutions. Aerial photographs provided by The Military

Department of Thai Army for the Interior Defense, Division of Aerial Maps Collection in

Bangkok, were used as a reference for field research. An overall view of the research site

was obtained from topographical maps supplied by the Department of National

Development and Planning. In addition to archival research data, municipal officials and

Ban Khwao's villagers were interviewed for inquiries about the history and background



2 The annoted plan is a technique for presenting behavior information together with design drawings,
written in words for an easy understanding of the relation between the planned environment and behavior.
See Zeisel (1981: 42).









of the study area. Some of the socio-cultural information about Thailand was acquired

from The Tourism Authority of Thailand documents.

After information from the techniques mentioned above was gathered, two groups

of data were organized by the researcher, graphic information from house floor plans and

responses from the interview questionnaires. There were two statistical packages used as

tools for the analysis of data; otherwise, the responses were tabulated manually.


Questionnaire Design

The purpose of the questionnaires was to obtain data from various types of

graphic documentation, the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and

household information, including the use of domestic spaces and building backgrounds.

Four different sets of questionnaires were used for data gathering. In this study

questionnaires were designed to generate patterns for the investigation rather than to test

the significance of the variables. A primary set of questionnaires was modified from

questions previously developed in similar research studies.


Pilot study

At the early stage of field research, a pilot study was conducted to test the

research plan and to get feedback from respondents regarding their understanding of the

study. Five houses were selected for an overview observation of domestic activities and

the design of spatial layouts. After interviewing the respondents, it appeared that there

were a number of activities performed in outdoor spaces while others were carried out at

the outside boundary of households. Women were house-caretakers during daytime.

Therefore timing to conduct research would influence the information given by

respondents. Additional observations obtained in interviews, the length and the









conclusiveness of the questionnaires were dominant factors during the discussion with

respondents. In accordance with the sample respondent's comments, critiques and

suggestions, the questions were revised for a final set of questionnaires. The

questionnaires were written in Thai so as to communicate with the Thai respondents.

However they were later translated to English for documentation of the research.

Since there were no records on the date of construction and the daily routine of

inhabitants, it was necessary to rely on the respondent's interview for information. In the

first questionnaire, a semi-structured interviewing was conducted in most households. A

list of questions about vernacular houses and the occupant's daily activities was used as a

guideline for discussion topics. Additional information about the background of the

study area was noted. Data from the first questionnaire were used as information in order

to specify a representative sample among the house population. The data were also used

as guidelines to develop research instruments for the structured interviews and detailed

observations.


Space-use grouping

In the preliminary trial of the questionnaire, researcher found that there were a

large number of daily activities performed by household members. In order to obtain

practical information for further field research and data analysis, domestic activities were

classified following modified principles from the review of previous studies3. After the

first questionnaire was conducted, fifty activities found in the household routine were

grouped into nine primary functions of space-activity patterns in the following categories:


3 See Lawrence (1981), Amorim (1997) and Monteiro (1997) for more details about activity grouping.









1. Under floor space (UDF)

Receiving guests and neighbors

Daytime activities: caring for children, relaxing, making handicrafts

Buying and selling goods

Vehicle parking

2. House yard and outdoor space (YRD)

Household gardening and planting

Domestic animal keeping

Agricultural-related activities

3. Verandah4 (VD)

Receiving guests

Family living area

Working and relaxing

4. Household service space (HSV)

Laundering: washing, ironing, drying and folding clothes

Storing

Dishes washing

5. Food preparation (KIT)

Cooking

6. Eating space (E)


4 Verandah is space with a roof along on outside wall of the house. Its size and location in the floor plan
may vary but in general it locates next to an enclosed sleeping area. Verandah is one of the dominant
elements of most of traditional houses in Thailand because the design appropriately responds with the
tradition of Thai lifestyle and beliefs. Traditional houses contain a large area of verandah for various
activities during daytime.









7. Toilet and bathing space (WC)

8. Multiple use area5 (MU)

Praying

Studying

Evening relaxing and watching television

9. Sleeping space (SLP)

Sleeping

Dressing

Space-activity grouping was done prior to the field research in order to avoid

some confusion in applying a primary function of activities found during the interview

and on-site observation. Some activities occurred in more than one space; therefore, the

same room may break into several convex spaces because of the overlapping of different

activities. Along with a set of questions, the sketch floor plan provides a description for

specific use of space (see Appendix D).

The second questionnaire was designed to obtain in-depth information on the

selected houses. The interviewer who administered the questionnaire asked the

respondents to identify the location and types of activities that they usually perform in the

household. A set of questions provided basic information about socio-demographic

status, domestic activities, primary use of house spaces as well as the history of the house

and its additions and renovations. A table of activities and primary spaces was prepared

as a checklist for both features in each household in order to locate specifically where the




5 Multiple use area is an enclosed space for family living and some household services. In most traditional
houses it serves only family members and uses as a place where both genders meet.









activities are performed. In addition to the questions, floor plans of each house were

sketched and measured during the visit. Furniture arrangement and description of

individual space uses were recorded.

The purpose of the third and fourth questionnaires was to obtain the occupant's

responses on the primary function of domestic spaces. The main objective was to

understand what the occupants think about those spaces and how they organize the

patterns according to their views. Both questionnaires were developed from data

gathering techniques derived from research in cognitive anthropology. The third

questionnaire applied the triads6 test technique, aiming to find the similarities among

spaces. Nine primary spaces were randomly arranged into a group of three spaces for

each triadic question. Each question asked respondents to choose one space that did not

fit with the other two. The answers for all triadic questions identified which spaces in the

household were more similar to each other than to others depending on the respondents'

viewpoints. The fourth questionnaire specifically asked the same group of respondents to

rate the degree to which household space must be located in the house. Each question

contained a 5-point scale of front-back location for rating nine primary spaces: one is

located to the back of the house and five is in the front.

The questionnaires were pre-tested on 5 colleagues of the researcher. Two of

them were asked to examine the wording of the questions, while three reviewed the

format of the instrument. The final questionnaires (Appendix B) were revised to

incorporate comments and suggestions obtained from the pretest.


6 A triad questionnaire consists of a series of triples of items. For each triad or question, the respondent is
asked to indicate which pair of items is most similar, or alternatively, which one item is the most different
(Borgatti 1996: 13).









Method of Analysis

The study involves the methodology of two major procedures. The first

procedure aims to investigate the difference of spatial configuration among vernacular

houses across time, from the traditional to popular design. Traditional houses may have

been altered over time, while the new design of popular houses may indicate the different

types of spatial arrangements. The change of physical characteristics influences spatial

configuration and the use of domestic spaces. It is hypothesized that the houses built

from various periods are not only physically dissimilar but their spatial arrangements are

also different. Syntactic data from the space syntax model were applied as an effective

tool to study underlying patterns of the physical changes.

The second procedure concerns the pattern of domestic activities as perceived

through the inhabitant's experience. The investigation is based on cognitive research

methods. The analysis intends to discover the embedded relationship among household

spaces, which ultimately reveals a general tendency of space use among the vernacular

houses in the study area.



Space Syntax Methodology

Space syntax7 was originally developed by Bill Hillier, Julienne Hanson and their

colleagues at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London. This

technique is applied to the study of building and settlements in many disciplines. The

development of space syntax provides a new approach for the study of intellectual



7 Space syntax is a set of techniques for representation, quantification and interpretation of spatial
configuration in building and settlements (Hillier, Hanson, and Graham 1987: 363). It has been used to
treat spatial configuration as a variable in a variety of studies of the social functions, cultural significance
and behavioral implications of layout (Peponis 2000: 1).









conceptions that underlie the creation of built forms. This idea is based on function and

meaning in architecture and urban forms that seem to be a significant aspect of cultural

and identity. Living spaces of houses across the world may serve similar purposes based

on their functions, but it is possible that spatial arrangements are different (Oliver 1987).

The arrangement of physical conditions combines to create supportive built spaces. The

design of the spatial layout depends on the nature of the activity, users, cultural values

and norms. This empirical finding identifies social patterns that are intimately linked to

spatial parameters. Therefore, by analyzing spatial patterns one can answer the questions

of how social and cultural content are embedded in spatial patterns as well as how built

spaces shape social relations. Space-social relation is described by Hillier and Hanson in

terms of the social logic of space. The way spaces organize social interaction, among

inhabitants-visitors, male-female, family members and so forth, can be interpreted in

many ways from an abstract to a systematic approach (Hillier and Hanson 1984). The

analysis of spatial configuration is a systematic approach to understanding the relation

between space and society.

In this study the applications from space syntax were used as a tool for the

analysis of spatial configuration. An examination of the change in vernacular houses was

based on syntactic properties that resulted from the relation among spaces in the

household system.


Conceptual Approach of Space Syntax

Spatial layout has two kinds of property: intrinsic properties, such as shape, scale

and proportion, and extrinsic properties, the relation of one space to other spaces and

overall location in a layout (Wineman 1998). Intrinsic properties are perceived directly,









while extrinsic properties are perceived indirectly by the experience of moving through a

design layout in a structure. The arrangement of each space is critically affected by its

position and accessibility to other spaces. Space syntax fundamentally aims to reflect the

functional logic of spatial system through configurational measures. According to Hillier

and Hanson, the organization of space is arranged in response to precise living patterns

for a specific society. In order to understand the organizational principles underlying

built spaces it is necessary to analyze spatial structure, which in turn reflects social

rational through spatial design.

Architectural language is an analogous to linguistics on dealing with two

directions: syntax and semantics. Ferguson (1996) suggested that the syntax of

architectural forms and arrangements can be read like text, and their contexts have

meanings. The underlying message defined as a non-verbal communication from space

is interpreted in terms of its characteristics. The basic theoretical concept of space syntax

is space has a social logic, and the interpretation of spatial organization can reveal social

messages (Veregge 1996).

Space syntax is used to describe the pattern of architectural space by embodying

the variation that exists in spatial morphology: the closed /open pattern, hierarchical /non-

hierarchical organization, and dispersed /aggregated forms. Each space is formed by

architectural partitioning and interior elements. These features not only define the

different functions and internal accessibility, but also identify the interface both between

the inhabitants of the house and between the inhabitants and visitors. By using spatial

separation to define a controlling system of social categories, a building's inhabitants are

related to their neighbors both spatially and conceptually. Space and social contents are









both conceptualized languages from a set of entities ordered into different arrangements

referred to as syntax. The physical features of architecture are conveyed through

diagrams or patterns representing the inhabitants' interaction with spaces.


Syntactic Analysis of Spatial Configuration

Space syntax emphasizes the interpretation of spatial configuration, which is the

primary principle in the analysis of the internal structure of a building. Spatial

configuration is defined as the relations between two or more spaces that take into

account all other spaces in the system (Hillier 1987: 363). The configurational analysis is

based on architectural morphology which concerns every space and its accessibility.

There are two key elements of spatial layout, convex space8 and its access.

Convex space is a single space which corresponds to the experience of people in space,

while access is a successful movement from one space to the other by its occupants.

Both elements indicate the inhabitant's movement and interaction. The analysis of

spatial configuration deals directly with building layout. Floor plans are transformed into

morphological diagram in order to illustrate the relations among spaces. Every interior of

cell or its subdivision is conceptualized as a point, and a line is a link from one cell to the

other which represents the accessibility of each cell. Every space in the building is

assigned a depth value according to the minimum number of movements that must be

taken to get from one space into another space. A root space or original space is selected

to represent the depth level of spaces in the system. All spaces and their accessibility in




8 The early analysis of space syntax uses partitions as divided factors to analyze the individual space. In
recent studies, researchers have discovered that not only partitions influence the accessibility of each space
but furniture arrangement also affects domestic activities in the household. It is possible that within the
same room two types of activities are performed simultaneously or occur in different periods of time.































N
o 1 2 4m.


w


sto
FWC

E


TS


ts-

YRD


K
HSV






P



ext


ext
(c)
Figure 4-2. Illustration of the transformation from house floor plans to diagram of
architectural morphology.
a) House floor plan; b) Convex spaces; c) Accessibility diagram














C C
(A) (B)











Source: Julienne Hanson, Decoding homes and houses
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998 : 23).

Note: a, b = cell or convex space
c = root space


Figure 4-3. Conceptual approach for configurational relationship in an accessibility
diagram.



the system are represented by circles and lines, respectively. All spaces at the same depth

level are arranged horizontally (Figure 4-2).

Depth and accessibility from one space to another are basic properties for a

calculation of syntactic values. In this study, the analysis of configuration applies two

syntactic values provided by mathematical formulas, integration value and depth level,

for the interpretation of spatial configuration.

Figure 4-3 illustrates the relation between internal space a and b and exterior

space c. The gaps in floor plans represent access, allowing movement from one space to

the other spaces. Figure 4-3 shows the different morphological diagrams even though

their floor plans appear in similar spatial layouts. The relations among all spaces in the









system are a fundamental concept of space configuration. From this principle, by

providing empirically observable models, spatial configuration can be analyzed.

Figure 4-3 shows that an accessibility diagram graphically illustrates the types of

space. Depth and ring from the diagram indicate the configurational property of the

whole system. Depth is defined as the step or change of movement from one space to

any other space, whereas ring indicates the property of choice or alternative route to

move from one space to others. In an accessibility diagram, all spaces in the system are

represented by circles and the access between spaces is indicated by lines. A particular

space, which normally is an exterior space, will be selected as a root space and all other

spaces will be applied for the depth level from root space. Therefore the level of root is

defined as zero, while the depth level of each space in the diagram corresponds to the

steps taken to move from the root to that particular space. Figure 4-3 (A) and (B) are

accessibility diagrams that have c as the root space. Hence, in Figure 4-3 (A), a and b are

at level 1 since they can be directly accessed from space c. On the other hand, Figure 4-3

(B) shows that b is at level 1, while a is at depth level 2 since to move from c to a, it is

necessary to pass through b.

Depth is used to determine integration. The measure of mean depth (MD)9 takes

into account the depth of all other spaces in the system. The transformation of MD by

measuring the relative depth of a particular space to all other spaces is defined as Relative





9 Depth level is designated by an access from building entrance to all other spaces in the accessibility
diagram. The value indicates structural property of space such as the flexibility and control of user's
movement. The mean depth can be calculated by
MD = Zn ni*di / k-1
When n is the number of spaces in the level i, d is the depth of the level, i and k is a total number
of spaces in the system









Asymmetry (RA)10. RA is the measure of spatial integration. If the analysis compares

systems that have a different number of spaces, the RA value must be adjusted in order to

control the effect of sizes. Hence, RA is transformed to Real Relative Asymmetry

(RRA)1. Integration values can be calculated from the reverse value of RRA or 1/RRA.

Integration zero is a maximum integration or no depth. The higher integration values

indicate the relatively deeper level of a particular space among all spaces (Figure 4-4).

The integration value of space measures how deep a space is from all other spaces within

the house. The deeper the space is, the less accessible it is and thus, the more isolated it

is with regard to other spaces within the house. The shallower the space is, the more

accessible it will be and thus, the more integrated it is, with regard to other spaces. The

numbers of integration values describe the location of the position of a space relative to

other spaces. In other words, it describes spatially-determined opportunities for social

encounters among residents and between residents and visitors. For example, Table 4-1

illustrates the syntactic values of external and transitional space. External space shows a

higher RRA value than transitional space or it means that external space has a lower

integration value, compared with transitional space. Therefore, occupants of H-03 are

likely to encounter each other and interact in transitional space rather than in external

space.





10 RA determines integration values. It is a relative depth of particular space to other spaces. RA indicates
how deep or shallow the system is from a particular point. RA value is calculated by the following
formula:
RA = 2 (MD-1) / (k-2)
When MD is mean depth and k is the total number of spaces in the system. Relative asymmetry
(RA) is the measurement of spatial integration.
" RRA is calculated by:
RRA= RA/Dk
When Dk is the D- value fork spaces.









Table 4-1. Example of the calculation of syntactic data from the accessibility diagram of
the house number H-03.


Dk value for 22 spaces


=0.47


MD = Sum/ (k-l) 3 ts5, YRD, tsl, MU, 3x5 = 15
VD
RA = 2 (MD-1)/ (k-2) 4 yrd3, yrd2, K, E, ts3, 4x6 = 24
mul
RRA =RA/ Dk 5 HSV, ts4,slpl, SLP 5x4 = 20
6 WC 6x = 6
Sum 74
Mean Depth 3.52
RA 0.252
RRA 0.533
6 TS i EXT, ts6, p, yrdl, ix5 5
ts2
42 Ts5, YRD, tsl, 2x5 = 10
23 MU, VD
1 3 Yrd3, yrd2, K, E, 3x6 = 18
ext ts3, mul
4 Slpl, HSV, ts4, 4x4= 16
SLP
5 WC 5x= 5
Sum 54
Mean Depth 2.57
RA 0.157
RRA 0.328


An accessibility diagram shows a visual difference, while the integration value of

each space numerically expresses a key characteristic of how space is embedded in the

system. The interpretation of configurational repetition from syntactic values expresses

cultural and social relations. As Hillier and Hanson describe,


2x4 = 8


ts6. D. vrdl. ts2









... different functions or activities in a dwelling are usually assigned to
space which integrate the complex to differing degrees ... If these
numerical differences in functions are in a consistent order across a
sample, then we can say that a cultural pattern exists, one which can be
detected in things, rather thanjust in the way it is interpreted by minds
(1984: 364).

Each space in each system has a different integration value. A mean integration

suggests a crucial difference among house spaces. Consequently, the order of the

integration value of different spaces is used to examine a certain pattern of function in the

selected samples. Different functions are systematically assigned to spaces, and

integrated with the house samples in different degrees. Where these numerical

differences are in a consistent order across the sample of the plan from a specified social

group, then a cultural pattern appears to exist. This type of consistency is a genotype of a

housing sample (Hanson 1994: 32). The measurement of some relevant dimensions from

the accessibility diagram, such as relative depth of spaces and the degree of integration/

segregation, is a possible way to classify type of spatial configuration. The results from

syntactic values will help to make statements about space and its relation according to

social and cultural contexts.


Previous Research Applied Space Syntax as Analysis Methodology

The space syntax technique has been used in fields as diverse as archaeology,

urban and human geography and anthropology. In architectural research, many scholars

apply space syntax to describe the use of space and meaning in built forms and human

settlements. In architecture, the analysis of configurational properties from a syntactic

approach supports spatial study to describe architectural space and its evolution in a

different way. The early approaches of space syntax address the issues of social structure

and cultural order in built spaces. In recent studies, researchers have searched for









characteristics of space that define the inherent meanings and domestic experience. The

following are only a few selections of case studies that applied space syntax to the

exploration of spatial properties embedded in built spaces.

In their study of Normandy vernacular farmhouses in France, Hillier and his

colleagues applied syntactic values from space syntax methodology to investigate the

underlying pattern regarding spatial-functional tendencies. They separated the house

samples into two different groups, which corresponded to integration values. One group

has living and communal space as a house center and the other has transitional space or

hall space (Hillier, Hanson, and Graham 1987). The rank of integration from all spaces

among the samples suggests that the two types of spatial configuration indicate different

lifestyles and social relations, including gender role and family structure. The former

pattern that organizes around the dominant function of the house, communal space,

suggests a female-centered structure, while the latter associates with a male view. In this

study, applications of space syntax provide access to significant information about social

patterns that assist researchers in speculating on the contents of cultural ideas from the

remains of archaeological records.

Kirsan and Cagdas (1998) investigated 19th century row houses in order to reveal

the transformation of houses' layouts during the western movement in Istanbul, Turkey.

They used both syntactic values and morphological diagrams to distinguish patterns

among the spatial structures of the row houses. The different arrangements of layout and

spatial pattern show a strong relationship between the development of floor plan and style

of row houses in Istanbul history. Different morphologies of spatial structure reflect

different influences from the varied occupants. The use of the diagram from an









abstraction of the floor plan represents social characteristics, which are readable from

morphological examination. From the analysis of spatial pattern, it was found that some

particular properties reflect the unique characteristics of a specific group of users,

builders, ethnicity and land ownership (Kirsan and Cagdas 1998). This study

distinguishes the identity of sub-groups in the same culture through the analysis of

diagram and the interpretation of syntactic data.

The study of spatial types by Orhun applied space syntax to categorize genotypes

in traditional Turkish houses. The main purpose was to identify the spatial characteristic

of individual space by household activities. After the analysis of integration values

among the main functions of the sample, two spatial genotypes were identified: one has

the sofa or transitional space as the most integrated space, and the other is centered on the

external courtyard. Two types of space support different living patterns for various

groups of occupants and distinctively indicate the way of receiving a guest into the house.

To this extent, the results reflect the openness of Turkish society to outside influence.

The houses created during the period of western acculturation indicate a spatial

configuration different from that of the traditional ones. The attitude of occupants is also

suggested by the house pattern. The deep and shallow integration cores reflect centripetal

and centrifugal social forces (Orhun, Hillier, and Hanson 1995).

Hanson (1994) studied four houses designed by architects Mario Botta, Richard

Meier, John Hejduk and Adolf Loos. The study compared morphological properties of

the house and revealed the relations between the basic composition of design and the

configuration of domestic space. The results show that morphological properties of the

houses are different even though they have similar simple cubic forms and a comparable









number of domestic spaces. Botta's design is shallow but tree-like; Meier's is shallow

and ringy. Hejduk's house is deep and tree-like, while Loos's is deep and ringy (Hanson

1994). The integration values indicate the different design of functional organization.

Syntactic data show that the house design is configured from different lifestyles and

socially shaped by the experience of space for different occupants. Social interfaces

between men and women, young and old, hosts and guests, owner and servants, are

structured through the design of spatial layout. Four architects designed houses with a

similar set of spaces, but the configuration of spatial design is different in each house.

Architects may choose different design criteria for form-making to create the design

following their own styles and approaches to decision making for the functional

categorization of each space.

Luiz Amorim (1997) explored different approaches of spatial characteristics. The

investigation focused on how the functional-oriented approach of the modem movement

was established in architectural design. It was hypothesized that design and process

should be based on concepts including the form of spatial systems. Functional

characteristics of spaces among 140 modern houses in Recife were examined. Amorim

divided household functions into four sectors; social, services, private and mediator or

transitional sector. Groups of activities performed in the house were considered as basic

elements to reveal how the spatial system is hierarchically structured.

The results from depth analysis indicate consistent pattern; social and service

sectors are the shallowest functional sectors in every diagram, while the private sector is

the deepest one. The mediator sector lies between either the social and private sector or

service and private sector. It acts as transitional space that controls access between









sectors. The integration clearly suggests that the highly integrated groups are social and

service sectors, whereas the highly segregated group is in the private sector. From

integration values, genotypes of spatial pattern among the samples show that service and

social sectors can interchange with each other. On the other hand, the private sector is

the only function that is isolated. The results confirm that only some patterns found

among a vast number of possible arrangements in floor plan are constantly reproduced

(Amorim 1997). In conclusion, Amorim's study demonstrates that sectors are an idea

that architects use as a paradigm of the design method to solve the function of spatial

arrangement in modem Recife residences. Despite the variety of forms, spatial pattern

seems to carry the information that not only reveals social dimension, but also shows how

architectural ideas and design procedures are developed by architects.

This review of previous studies shows the possibilities for exploring cultural order

in built spaces. Space syntax provides an approach to understanding the relationship

between people and buildings by establishing the formal spatial properties of building.

The analysis of internal structure can reflect social relations underlying the configuration

of space. In this study, space syntax methodology was the first set of data used to

identify spatial patterns and its consistency among the house samples across time so that

the transition of internal structure could reveal the changes in housing design and in

social and cultural orders. The second methodology is employed in this study which

aims to explore spatial pattern from people's experience. The arrangement of domestic

space perceived by the house's inhabitant provides an informative examination of

configurational study from an insider's viewpoint.









This research explores spatially and behaviorally significant properties of space in

order to investigate the change of spatial patterns among vernacular houses, how the

patterns have been developed to support the change of lifestyle and carried on from the

traditional to recent design.



Domestic Experience from Cognitive Research Methodology

In this study the analysis of spatial configuration deals with two different sets of

data: one takes on spatial investigation from the relations among domestic spaces in the

house floor plans, the other aims to reveal spatial pattern from the morphology of

domestic experience. The latter set of data involves the analysis of spatial configuration

as perceived by spatial occupants. By considering the analysis process from the user's

view beyond the architectural morphology, additional information from the occupant can

expand understanding of domestic experience from the human dimensions.

The analysis procedures are based on fundamental principles from cognitive

research which is acknowledged within social sciences studies, such as anthropology,

sociology and psychology. The main concept is to study the relation between human

society and their thoughts. Cognitive study helps in understanding how people organize

and use knowledge. This study explores cultural knowledge which is embedded in the

arrangement of domestic spaces. In order to discover underlying pattern among

household spaces, it is necessary to find which spaces could go together and which

should be kept apart, or in other words, to define the pattern of proximity.

Basic information about domestic experiences is acquired from field research

through the interviewing process. Four questionnaires were used for gathering data.

Questionnaire-1 identifies people's pattern of daily activities. Nine primary activities









chose to label individual space in the floor plan of house samples. While conducting an

interview at respondent's house, the use of each space was directly observed. All objects

and furniture, which might hold clues as to where domestic activities perform, were

recorded. To collect proximity data is to ask respondents which spaces are more similar

to each other than to others. Questionnaire-3 was used to measure the perceived

similarities among a set of primary spaces. A questionnaire contained a series of triple

spaces (see Appendix B). For each question, a respondent was asked to choose which

pair of spaces was most similar, or alternatively, which space was the most different. By

choosing one space as the most different, the answer for each question is a vote for the

similarity of the other two. A similar judgment by this technique is mentioned as a

Triads test.12 A similarity map of spatial pattern is produced according to the

respondent's answers. The visual representation of a similarity pattern is a

Multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS). The relationship among spaces obtained from

respondents is grouped by various underlying dimensions, including front /back, clean/

dirty, private /public and so on. As mentioned earlier, the study of spatial configuration

by space syntax considers the movement from the house entrance to all other space in the

system as a fundamental approach for the analysis. Parallel to the space syntax

technique, in questionnaire-4 the primary spaces were investigated in terms of front-back

dimension. The questions basically asked respondents to rate the degree of location of

each space in the household. Nine primary spaces were considered on the scale 1 to 5: 1

was the choice for the space which was most likely located to the back of the house,


12 For a full description of triads test and other techniques in cognitive anthropology see Bernard (1995),
Borgatti (1996) and D'Andrade (1995). The random order of spaces in triads questions are created with
ANTROPAC 4.0. The software assists the process of data input and produces a similarity map among
spaces perceived by respondent's answers.









while 5 was most likely to group in the front. The answers, based on the respondent's

judgment, were the basic information in the search for the front-back dimension in the

similarity map produced earlier from the triads test responses. A method of testing a

specific dimension which influences people's judgment of similarity among items is

Property Fitting (PROFIT).


Multidimensional Scaling (MDS)

MDS is a multivariate analysis13 that is used to find the similarities among items.

In this study, MDS provides a visual representation of spatial patterns which indicate

distances among spaces in the MDS map. The underlying relationships of spaces identify

by distances from one space to others in the system or dimensionality.14 The

dimensionality in the MDS map is a device for scaling people's perception. The numbers

are assigned to the respondent's attitude about domestic spaces in order to illustrate the

similarity judgment. Therefore, the mental distances from cognitive data aim for a

graphic display of the relations among spaces rather than a purpose of quantifiable

numbers since they are non-metric data. The numbers of dimensionality among spaces in

MDS map are the similarity of their relationship. The lower the correlation, the higher

the distance, and consequently, a particular space is likely to appear far apart from others.





13 Multivariate analysis provides an explanation about the relationship among a set of items. The study of
these items may generate by a large number of factors; therefore, analysis procedure involves a complex set
of statistical methods.
14 Dimensionality indicates mental distance that visualizes the relationship between one obj ect to all others.
In the MDS map, the similarities or the correlation among a set of items is converted into graphic distance.
Between two items, there is one distance, or one dimension, and for three items, it is considered as two
dimensions. For more than four items, the relations among items are more complex. The graphic
representation of dimensionality becomes difficult since there is only 2 dimensions that can illustrate in
paper space in order to get the correct proportion of similarity distances. This study chooses to illustrate
the MDS of spaces in 2 dimensions.











Household data from field research


Physical preferences


Houses basic information
Define the samples

Details of the sample with
interior arrangements


Questionnaire-1
Semi-structured
(Freelisting)

Questionnaire-2
Structured-interview and
observation


Questionnaire-3
(Triads)


Questionnaire-4
(Ratings)


Figure 4-4. The illustration of an overview of research methodology.



Property Fitting (PROFIT)

Profit is a method used to reveal underlying dimensions of people's judgment of

similarities. The MDS map of similarities among items may be produced from a

different set of criteria. To search for a specific dimension used in making judgments, a


Behavioral preferences


List of daily activities


Activity & Space sorting




Similarities of spaces



Dome stic
Experience

By
Front-Back Location









Spatial pattern from o n,
inhabitant's view a>
o
CC
_0










nO
0 ^









0
C)


Houses floor plan
CI

Accessibility Diagram
5 5(

spatial cpnfiguration from t


CO
Spatial patterns of the _
house samples U o
CL 0/3









precise property of an item is assigned onto the MDS map. Profit helps to understand the

criteria that respondents used to assess similarity. In this study, nine primary spaces were

examined regarding the front-back dimension. A regression line for the front-back

criterion was produced from the rating questionnaire or questionnaire-4. The direction of

cosines identified the precise direction of front-back dimension increases and how a

particular space is perceived as a front-back criterion. In other words, in order to

interpret the results, the location of intersections between perpendicular lines from each

space onto the front-back's regression line indicated the judgment of respondents.

The analysis of data from cognitive research procedures reveals the morphology

of domestic experience underlying people's perception, including which spaces are

perceived as compatible and which incompatible and how the patterns of domestic space

are distributed within the house samples.



Classification of House Group by Age Category

Since the house samples were selected by the construction dates, the factors to

identify and categorize the differences of house types vary, from appearances, materials

and construction technology to social values and lifestyles. Some houses have been

transformed by adding new spaces, while others adapted interior partitioning systems in

order to create appropriate built spaces. Most traditional houses are altered over time and

therefore, existing house plans may not represent the original design of the earliest

characteristics. On the other hand, new houses may be built in contemporary forms and

materials, but occupants do not use spaces as designed for the new lifestyle. Hence,

instead of categorizing which house is traditional or popular from its appearance and

spatial design, the house samples are grouped by period of construction. Grouping of









house samples is classified according to the history of housing development, which can

help to identify the continuity and change in the study area. A significant development of

the village environments from an early stage to recent contexts is regarded as a factor in

determining a different type of house grouping.

As mentioned in chapters 3, Ban Khwao has developed under three distinct

phases: 1) before the development of infrastructure (1939 or earlier), 2) the immigration

of outsiders and industrialization movement (1940-1984) and 3) urbanization period

(1985 to today). Vernacular houses of the first phase are locally built and mainly

constructed of wood. The main floor is raised above the ground. In the second phase,

most of the houses were influenced by various groups of designers and builders, and, at

the same time, new materials and construction technology were introduced. New houses

in the third phase resulted from the design of suburban housing projects and provincial

government offices, which are normally designed and built by a construction company.

By following the criteria of construction dates, the house samples were

categorized into three groups; they were specified as, traditional, intermediate and

popular, from the earliest to the newest, respectively. A total of forty-two houses were

selected from Ban Khwao. Of these nine houses were assigned to the traditional group

60 years or older. Eighteen houses, ranging in age from 16 to 59 years were categorized

as the intermediate group, while fifteen houses of 15 years of age or less were designated

as the popular group.














CHAPTER 5
RESULTS, DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

This chapter discusses the results of spatial configuration from syntactic

properties of the house samples and from domestic experience by inhabitants. The

investigation of both patterns was carried out in order to analyze the difference of spatial

configurations and to establish the physical transformation of spatial arrangements over

time found among a set of domestic spaces.



Domestic Space Use

Under Floor Space

Since daytime activities take place at the ground level, under floor space is one of

the most important spaces for daily routines. More than 85% of vernacular houses in this

study contain under floor space. All single story houses are from the popular group.

Most activities of the day are usually performed by women, from late morning through

early evening hours, including domestic chores, handicraft works, child care, food

preparation, socializing with neighbors and receiving guests. Some houses may use

under floor space for vehicle parking, selling goods, storing agricultural products and

equipment. The area is commonly an open space with a raised-wooden platform used as

workspace and as a relaxing area. The space could also be used to keep cattle, pigs and

poultry.









In the shop house, a residential-commercial use structure, the entrance of the

under floor space opens into the main room which serves both as a shop for commercial

activities and for receiving guests (see floor plan on page 171).


Multipurpose Space

Multipurpose space is an enclosed space for family living. After children are

back from school and men from work, the area is usually used for evening activities such

as family socializing and entertaining, watching television, finishing schoolwork. It is

also a sleeping space for relatives and very close friends of family members. In more

than 93% of the house samples there is at least one space that is used for several

activities.


Verandah Space

Most traditional houses have a large and open space for verandahs. The area

normally is located between the sleeping space and the open terrace in the floor plan and

acts as transitional space from the ground floor to the upper level. Many activities are

performed in this space, including making artifacts and taking a rest or nap. It may be

considered as an informal place for family living. Verandah space is sometimes used for

receiving guests who have a very close relationship with family members.

More than 88% of the samples have at least one verandah. In traditional houses,

30% of verandah spaces contain a water booth (drinking-water jars covered with a small

roof) located adjacent to the ladder or near the kitchen.












































A Ir
I'rrr


(b)

Figure 5-1. The use of under floor space.
a) Cooking and relaxing space; b) Socializing with neighbors and working on
handicrafts
























Figure 5-2. Multipurpose space for family living.


.* -_


Figure 5-3. Verandah space looking through the open terrace adjacent to a separate
kitchen with covered drinking-water jars.




































Figure 5-4. Sleeping area in traditional house.


Figure 5-5. House yard and outdoor space.









Sleeping Space

The sleeping area is always located in the upper floor of two-storied houses. It is

a closed space with a small number of windows and is not accessible to visitors.

Sleeping quarters contain a prayer room, storage, and a small altar. In most houses

people sleep on mattresses laid over mats and under mosquito nets. Mattresses, pillows

and mosquito nets are rolled up along the wall during daytime. In a traditional house, all

family members sleep in the same sleeping space, with the exception of a separate room

provided for daughters who are old enough to be married. During summer, sleeping may

sometimes take place in the verandah. Therefore, the term sleeping space is preferred

rather than bedroom because the activity may occur in other spaces besides bedrooms.


Yard and Outdoor Space

Approximately 93% of the sample used outdoor space as an integral part of daily

routines. The main use of the house yard is for drying clothes because of sufficient

sunlight and ventilation. The area is a multifunctional space where various activities are

performed, including washing clothes and dishes, storing agricultural tools, waste utensils

and firewood, and children's playing. It is also occasionally used as a family ceremonial

area. In 35% of the sample outdoor spaces contain a compound with outbuildings such as

a granary, shelter for animals, storage containers for water supply, toilet and bathing area.

Most houses are not connected to a water pipe; water tanks or big jars are typically seen

in house yard.


Toilet and Bathing Space

The design of new houses includes a bathroom inside, but in some old houses

toilet and bathing space are located outside the house as part of the outbuildings. The









area is always located on the ground floor at the back of the house or, rarely, in a new-

house design it may be located on the second floor. Water jars are set on half of the area

for storing the water supply.


Food Preparation Space

The main meal of the day is dinner. Women spend most of the afternoon

preparing dinner. Breakfast and lunch are prepared in the kitchen, while dinner may be

prepared in the under floor space or on the verandah. The kitchen normally is located at

the rear of the house, at the furthermost corner of the open terrace or adjacent to the

verandah; otherwise people use the designated space in the under floor area. Twenty

percent of houses in study area have outdoor cooking space. The kitchen is spatially

separated from other enclosed spaces because there is too much smoke and smell to cook

inside.


Eating Space

Eating activity is flexible. Breakfast and dinner take place either on the verandah

or in the open terrace space. In a new house eating space is designated for an area

adjacent to the kitchen or near the living room. People normally have lunch outside the

house, at work, in the field or in neighborhood food shops. If they eat lunch at home, a

platform provided in the under floor space is an eating place. In more than 85% of the

sample, there is no one area specified as an eating space.







72
























Figure 5-6. House yard and outbuildings.


Figure 5-7. Kitchen located between open terrace and verandah space.


A1. ,



























Figure 5-8. Household service quarters in popular house.


Household Service Space

People engaged in various types of domestic chores in different locations. House

cleaning, dishwashing, clothes washing and ironing are among these chores. Clothes are

either hand washed or machine washed. In both cases the activity most frequently takes

place in the house yard, under floor space or near bathing space. Dishwashing is also

located in the yard, verandah or adjacent to the kitchen. In most houses the only furniture

is stools and cupboards where precious belongings are kept. Only a few houses contain

Western style furniture such as beds, dining table and sofa. The main storage area for

keeping agricultural tools is under floor space.

In addition to the interviewing process, the field observers noted that domestic

activities are performed by housewives and elderly members. Younger males participate

in activities that take place outside the house, particularly working in the field or as

laborers in town. Only on weekends or national holidays are all household members

potentially at home most of the day. On a special occasion with social ceremonies, the









house yard is a place to accommodate a large number of guests and neighbors.

Sometimes spaces from neighboring houses and the street are used as location for

temporary storage sheds for the events.

From their external appearances the house samples may have distinct architectural

characteristics, but inhabitants' daily routines are alike. Eighty-five percent of the

sample, houses have two stories. Outdoor space is a significant feature among houses in

the study area. It usually serves for outdoor cooking, household services and for

agricultural-related activities. Some spaces appear to be used for multiple types of

household activities; typically various functions are performed at different times during

the day. Figures 5-1 to 5-8 illustrate interior spaces of vernacular houses in the study

area.



Syntactic Analysis of Samples

The first analysis investigates the difference of spatial configurations among

vernacular houses across time. This section deals with the discussion and comparison of

spatial patterns underlying each of the three categories of houses: traditional, intermediate

and popular. The syntactic analysis of spaces suggests the way space is arranged in the

house samples. The analysis is based on syntactic data generated by space syntax

procedures. Two values-RRA or the syntactic measurements of integration and depth

values are fundamental criteria taken into account when determining configurational

relations among the domestic spaces.









Pattern of Integration

The analysis focuses on the relationship of domestic spaces according to the

internal structure of the sample by spatial integration. Table 5-1 shows the mean

integration values of houses for the different groups. The analysis of 41 vernacular

houses indicates that most domestic spaces from three groups consistently tend to locate

in different levels of integration.

The results from Table 5-3 show that the most segregated space is toilet and

bathing space, at the mean RRA of 0.63, and the most integrated space is eating and

transitional space with the RRA value of 0.48. Spaces that fall into the integrated domain

are eating, transition, under floor space, house yard, while those in the segregated domain

are toilets and bathing space, sleeping, household service, multipurpose and food

preparation space. The former spaces are likely to be formed by communal needs. Most

spaces in this group accommodate activities performed where house members can

encounter their visitors such as socializing with neighbors and receiving guests. The

latter group clearly indicates space for a family's daily life, including cooking, household

chores and sleeping area. The sample has a mean RRA value of 0.528. The highest RRA

at 1.04 is found in the exterior space of H-12, and the lowest at 0.19 is found in sleeping

space of H-09 and multipurpose space of H-31 (see Appendix E). Maximum and

minimum RRA indicate which spaces have a great differentiation. Sleeping and

multipurpose spaces show a wide range of RRA values that appear in a distinct variation

from one house to another, whereas transitional space indicates a consistency pattern

among the sample.

RRA values of different house groups from Table 5-1 and Figure 5-9 (a) illustrate

some consistencies among most house spaces. The parallel lines of each group indicate










that the distribution of RRA by spatial pattern is similar. Certain functions appear to

locate in a particular order. The popular group tends to have a more integrated system, or




Table 5-1. Syntactic values of mean RRA and integration values by age category and
domestic spaces.


Popular House Intermediate House Traditional House
(0-15 years) (16-59 years) (More than 60
Space activity Pattern ears
Space activity RRA Integration RRA Integration RRA Integration
Under floor Space (UDF) 0.48 2.08 0.49 2.04 0.49 2.04
Yard and Outdoor Space 0.48 2.12 0.54 1.85 0.46 2.17
(YRD)
Toilet and Bathing Space 0.61 1.64 0.75 1.33 0.67 1.49
(WC)
Food Preparation Space (K) 0.52 1.96 0.59 1.75 0.52 1.92
Multipurpose Space (MU) 0.51 1.96 0.59 1.69 0.52 1.92
Verandah Space (VD) 0.57 1.75 0.52 1.92 0.47 2.13
Sleeping Space (SLP) 0.59 1.69 0.71 1.43 0.66 1.52
Eating Space (E) 0.45 2.22 0.53 1.89 0.45 2.22
Household Service Space 0.50 2.00 0.57 1.75 0.63 1.59
(HSV)
Transitional Space (TS) 0.48 2.13 0.49 2.08 0.47 2.13
External Space (EXT) 0.60 1.67 0.50 2.00 0.47 2.08



Table 5-2. Syntactic values of mean depth by age category and domestic spaces.


Space activity Pattern Popular House Intermediate House Traditional House
(0-15 years) (16-59 years) (More than 60 years)
Under floor Space (UDF) 2.92 3.11 3.20
Yard and Outdoor Space (YRD) 3.16 3.37 3.06
Toilet and Bathing Space (WC) 3.74 4.36 4.44
Food Preparation Space (K) 2.97 3.54 2.22
Multipurpose Space (MU) 3.09 3.62 3.47
Verandah Space (VD) 3.67 3.72 3.63
Sleeping Space (SLP) 3.71 4.37 4.12
Eating Space (E) 2.62 3.24 2.99
Household Service Space (HSV) 2.94 3.57 3.51
Transitional Space (TS) 2.84 3.08 2.81
External Space (EXT) 3.62 3.57 3.17









































I--Popular (0-15) -U- Intermediate (16-59) -A-Traditional (60 or higher)


4.5-







2.5

2------ ------ -- ---------

1.5
UDF YRD WC K MU VD SLP E HSV TS EXT
Space



(b)



Figure 5-9. Comparison of syntactic values of space use pattern by age groups.
a) Mean RRA values; b) Mean depth values


-*- Popular (0-15) -- Intermediate (16-59) --Traditional (60 or higher)
0.8

0. 0.76----


0.6---- -- -----


0.4--

0.3
UDF YRD WC K MU VD SLP E HSV TS EXT

Space









lower RRA values, than those in the intermediate and traditional groups do. Among the

three groups, the popular group has the lowest RRA values, while those from the

intermediate group have the highest. The results from Figure 5-9 (a) also present some

peculiarities that are not consistent across the three house groups. Unlike other spaces,

the distribution of RRA values from the verandah and external spaces in the popular

group indicates a different trend, both shifting the RRA line to the most segregated group.

On the other hand, instead of being located between popular and intermediate groups, the

RRA line of household service space in the traditional group moves to the highest RRA

value among the three groups.


Pattern of Depth

Table 5-3 presents the mean depth level for each space. The shallowest is eating

space, at the mean depth of 2.93, and the deepest space is toilet and bathing space at 4.10.

The shallowest value of depth is 0.17 is found in the multipurpose space of H-08, and the

deepest value at the level of 5.89 is found in the sleeping space of H-27 (see Appendix

E). The minimum and maximum depth values in household service space, sleeping space

and verandah show a great difference from all other spaces. The mean depth indicates

that toilet, sleeping space and verandah are deeper when compared to external, under

floor space and eating space. It suggests that domestic spaces involved with daytime

activities have a shallower depth then those occupied by family members. Socializing

with neighbors, receiving guests and sharing lunch at home are likely to locate adjacent

to the house entrance, while sleeping, family living and entertaining are a few steps

deeper.









Table 5-3. Summary of syntactic values by space-use pattern.


Number Depth Level RRA
Space activity Pattern of Cases Min Mean Max Min Mean Max
Under floor Space (UDF) 35 2.06 3.08 4.39 0.30 0.49 0.70
Yard and Outdoor Space (YRD) 38 1.97 3.23 4.68 0.34 0.50 0.74
Toilet and Bathing Space (WC) 34 2.90 4.10 5.42 0.27 0.63 0.82
Food Preparation Space (K) 37 2.08 3.31 4.71 0.31 0.56 0.82
Multipurpose Space (MU) 38 1.70 3.40 4.63 0.19 0.56 0.91
Verandah Space (VD) 36 2.24 3.68 5.77 0.31 0.53 0.91
Sleeping Space (SLP) 41 2.30 4.08 5.89 0.19 0.57 0.98
Eating Space (E) 25 1.75 2.93 4.78 0.33 0.48 0.82
Household Service Space (HSV) 38 1.90 3.34 5.50 0.34 0.54 0.81
Transitional Space (TS) 39 1.90 2.94 4.25 0.31 0.48 0.61
External Space (EXT) 41 2.40 2.94 5.63 0.27 0.53 1.04


Table 5-2 and Figure 5-9 (b) show the depth level for each space across three

house groups. The intermediate group has a higher mean depth than those in the popular

and traditional groups. Among the three groups, mean depth is ranked, from the

shallowest to the deepest, popular, traditional and intermediate, respectively. The parallel

lines for all house groups indicate that the distribution of mean depth in most spaces is

similar. However, the pattern of mean depth for some spaces in a particular group does

not follow the trend. For house yard and food preparation spaces, the line of mean depth

from the traditional group shifts down to the lowest location, while in most other spaces

the line is located between the other two. The line of mean depth from the popular group

tends to locate at the bottom, but for the external space it moves up to the top.

The overall observation from the results suggests that RRA and depth values from

the three groups tend to locate in a constant order as well as the range of grouping among

domestic spaces. Spaces with high RRA values or low integration tend to occur in spaces

that have a high mean depth, whereas spaces with a low RRA values or high integration










occur in spaces with a low mean depth. In order to confirm that a decrease in depth level

means increasing integration, the correlation of integration and depth is examined.


The Correlation of Integration and Depth

The relationship between integration and depth presents the association of

domestic spaces in the house samples. A regression line for both features suggests how

the house structure determines spatial arrangements in different house groups.

The correlation for a whole sample in Figure 5-10 (a) indicates a negative

relationship. The more steps it takes to move from the exterior to a particular space, the

less integrated it is. In other words, shallow spaces can be conceivable as the integrated

spaces to the house. The correlation found in the sample is relatively high, at the level of

0.69. After the sample is divided into three groups, a clear contrast of the house structure

begins to exist. In Figure 5-15 (b) and (c), the correlation significantly improves to a


(a)

Figure 5-10. The correlation of integration and mean depth.
a) Overall samples; b) Popular houses; c) Intermediate houses; d) Traditional
houses


2.5 _y = -0.298x + 2.8942 R2 =0.6921

2 2- ----YaRD^ VS -------
2.5

S1.5 HSV
W




0
2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5
Mean Depth





























































































Figure 5-10.-Continued.


25 -y = -0 4861x + 3 4882 R2 =0 8919
TS UD : YRD

2 HSI- C,---
K M IJ CL

15
VVC




0



25 3 35 4 45

Mean Depth


25 y = -0 4985x + 3 5858 R2= 08132
25

-IDF EXT
,2 TS E .,T
*5 bRD K
1 5- SI MU SLP
2
15
S1 WC




05
.! 0 5 --------------------


0
25 3 35 4 45

Mean Depth


5 y = -0 2994x + 2 9241 R2 = 0 4509


2




5
K


1



C 05


0
2 25 3 35 4 45

Mean Depth









high value of 0.89 for the popular group and to 0.81 for the intermediate group. The

popular group shows the best correlation. The results indicate that the spatial structure of

popular houses strongly determines the spatial arrangement, and the cluster of correlation

is markedly well defined by the regression line. The cluster of the popular group locates

at higher values in the scatter plot compared to the other two. The cluster of the

traditional group in Figure 5-10 (d) appears to locate in a wide range. The correlation is

relatively weak at 0.45 level, the lowest among the three groups.




Table 5.4. Spearman correlations among spaces by pair of housing group.


Pair of House Group Integration Value Mean Depth

Popular/ Intermediate 0.509 0.866
Intermediate / Traditional 0.729 0.816
Popular / Traditional 0.693 0.714


In addition to the results from the correlation of linear regression, the Spearman

rank-order correlation1 also confirms strong findings on the correlation between

integration and depth among three house groups. The integration values of all spaces

among the pairs of house groups in Table 5.4 show that the traditional group correlates

most highly with all the other groups, the intermediate group correlates less highly, and

the popular group has the lowest correlation. The results indicate that the traditional


1 Spear rank-order correlation or Spearman rho is an alternative procedure to the correlation coefficient in
order to test the correlation between the rankings of variables. This technique is used to rank the order of
the observations for a pair of variables and then the difference between the two ranks makes up part of the
test statistic. Spearman rho is used for small data sets. The rho is calculated by the following formula:
p = 1-6(Yd2)/n(n2-1)
when d = the differences of ranked order between the variables and n = number of observations.









group has the best correlation with integration value, while the popular group shows the

least. The results from the mean depth show an opposite trend. The traditional group

indicates the weakest correlation to depth level whereas the popular group is the strongest

among three house groups. Results from the Spearman correlation prove that an

increasing integration value is a decreasing depth level. The spatial structure of the

traditional group is clearly defined by integration value, while in the popular group the

explicit character is determined by depth.

The results from the correlation of integration and depth show that shallow spaces

are the most integrated ones, and the segregated ones occur spatially deeper in the houses.

The cluster of spaces appears to divide into three different groups. Eating, transition, and

under floor space are located three steps away from the front door. The second group,

house yard, kitchen, household services, multipurpose space and verandah, present a

similar depth level, at 3.5 steps from the entrance. Sleeping and toilet show very deep

locations, and integration values are at the lowest level among all other spaces in the

house structure. The first group is understood as socializing /communal space, the

second is domestic chores /family living, and the third is personal space.



Spatial Pattern from Occupant's Experience

The second analysis reveals the underlying pattern of domestic experience. This

section discusses spatial dimensions as perceived by the house's inhabitants. The

analysis is based on data from triads and rating questionnaires. The primary goal is to

find groups of space and to discover underlying dimensions that influence the

inhabitant's judgment of similarities among a set of domestic spaces.














Spatial similarities of dimension 1

-1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
vL 1
UDF HSV
0.5 S
YRD K
K o

E MU 0

-0.5
SSLP ( 0
-1

WC
-1.5

Stress in 2 dimensions is 0.095, calculated from ANTROPAC 4.94.



Figure 5-11. MDS map shows the similarities among nine primary spaces.


Spatial similarity of dimension 1
-1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
1.5
------ ----- ---- --- ---- ---- 1---
SUM
UDF
U FH1/ 1



\- O
----0.5 '

YRD ,
K 0 0
E MU ,E
-0.5 L O
\ 0
SLP
-1


-1.5

Regression results: Multiple Regression 0.498, R-Square 0.248, and Probability 0.437.



Figure 5-12. The judgment of similarities by front-back dimension.









Figure 5-11 shows the similarities among nine primary spaces in the household.

The MDS map from the triads questionnaires indicates a clear pattern: as we move from

the top to the bottom, space becomes increasingly located away from the house entrance.

The results suggest the possibility that respondents may use the "location from the house

entrance" as a dimension to distinguish one space from another. But as we move from

the left to right, spaces are likely to increase the needs for a hygienic level. In this case,

"clean-dirty" might possibly be the dimension. The yard space requires less hygiene than

the toilet, eating and household service space. However, the pattern of clean-dirty

dimension is not perfect when the location of multipurpose space is presented in the MDS

map. Meanwhile, the pattern of similarities is much more significant when we move at

the direction of up-down rather than left-right. It is possible that the house's inhabitants

perceive similarity among domestic spaces regarding their locations.

Nonetheless, during the data gathering process, the respondents were asked to

name the dimension as they answered the triads questions. Eighty-five percent of the

respondents stated that they used the preference of location to select the degree of

similarities among spaces. Ten percent were given their answers by using the hygienic

level, while only 5% considered privacy as a reason to describe the similarities of spaces.

The selection of front-back dimension is not only based on a majority of inhabitants'

responses but also corresponds to the conceptual approach of space syntax methodology,

with regard to the analysis of accessibility from the house entrance. As a result, the

location of spaces was selected for a further analysis of spatial pattern. From the

observation of Figure 5-11, under floor space, verandah and household services are









clustered in a similar group, and possibly placed to the front of the house, whereas toilet

and sleeping understandably appear on the map as at the back of the house.

Beyond a visual representation of pattern of similarities among a set of spaces, the

stress value in two dimensions map is 0.095 (Appendix F). With a stress under 0.1, the

results indicate an excellent representation of correspondence between the distance in the

MDS map and the respondent's answers.

In order to investigate the front-back dimension of domestic spaces, the PROFIT

analysis was performed. The results from PROFIT between similarities of space and the

judgment of front-back location are illustrated in Figure 5-12. The regression line of

front-back indicates that the location of space increases along the line from top to bottom,

as moving to the back of the house. The projections of the perpendicular line from each

space to the regression line identify the location of space in the house, and consequently,

those results reveal patterns of space regarding the front-back dimension. Under floor

space is located most to the front, whereas multipurpose, sleeping and toilet spaces are

located to the back of the house. The spatial pattern identified from the domestic

experience of occupants on entering the house is as the following:

UDF => VD => HSV => YRD => K => E => MU => SLP => WC




Discussion of Spatial Configuration

The results from both physical arrangements of the house floor plans and user's

experience of domestic spaces demonstrate different spatial properties among the house

samples. The analysis of integration and depth describes spatial structure and the use of









space that occurs in the different house groups. The results also shed light on how spaces

are being experienced.




Table 5-5. Grouping of domestic spaces by syntactic values.


Popular House Intermediate Traditional House
Range of Syntactic Overall Sample (0-15 Years) House (More Than 60
Data (16-59 Years) Years
Mean RRA Values
Low E, UDF, YRD, E, YRD, TS, TS, UDF, EXT, E, YRD, VD, TS
TS UDF VD, E
Medium VD, HSV, EXT, HSV, K, MU YRD, HSV, K EXT, UDF, K,
K MU
High MU, SLP, WC VD, EXT, SLP, MU, SLP, WC HSV, SLP, WC
WC
Mean Depth
Low E, TS, EXT, E, TS, UDF, HSV TS, UDF, E, K, TS, E, YRD
UDF, YRD YRD
Medium K, HSV K, MU, HSV, K, HSV, EXT EXT, UDF, MU
EXT
High MU, VD, SLP, VD, SLP, WC MU, VD, WC, HSV, VD, SLP,
WC __SLP WC


From the observation of the sample, spaces consistently tend to group regarding

integration values. The more integrated spaces are the social ones, such as eating, under

floor space and house yard (Table 5-5). These spaces accommodate activities that

involve visitors and all family members. They are spaces where family members are

likely to encounter each other as well as guests to the house. In contrast, the less

integrated spaces need a high level of privacy such as toilet and sleeping space. These

spaces tend to involve a specific user and are segregated from where most household

activities are performed.

From the other perspective, the spatial pattern from depth level shows a

distribution similar to what the integration does. Types of activity are directly affected




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