1992 CONFERENCE: Paris, France

Development versus Tradition
The Cultural Ecology of Dwellings and Settlements


The fast-paced social transformations experienced by contemporary societies have radically challenged the cultural integrity and cohesion of their built environments. The massive and on-going effects of modernization on the ecosystems, cultural identities and traditional settlements are increasingly urging scholars and practitioners to investigate the dynamics of societal change. In the context of this urgency, the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments’ (IASTE’s) Third Conference will focus on the dialectic tension and potential balance between development and tradition in the built environments.
Continuing on the earlier practice of bringing together specialists from different disciplines, cultures, and regions, IASTE invites scholars in the fields of architecture, art history, anthropology, archaeology, folklore, geography, history, planning, sociology, urban studies, and other related disciplines to propose papers or panels which address the general theme of the conference in the following session topics:

  • Traditional habitat: ecological adaptation and symbolic meaning.
  • Regionalism, cultural plurality, evolving social values, and the changing forms of vernacular dwellings and settlements
  • Segregation or integration of ethnic diversity and gender in traditional environments
  • External vs internal representations of traditional environments: myths, rituals and perceptions.
  • Rethinking progress: compatibility and tension between economic development and cultural preservation
  • Tourism, commodification of culture, and the dynamics of change in traditional settlements and vernacular landscapes
  • Tourism, preservation and museology: The restoration or reconstruction of historical and archeological environments as a stimulus for change
  • Traditionalism, nationalism, and the creation of the image.
  • Cultural dilemmas: Transformation vs conservation of colonial urban form
  • Post-colonialism and the Post-modern condition: the impact of globalization on traditional environments


Interested colleagues are invited to submit a short 500-word (one page/single-spaced) abstract. Authors should also specify the session topic for their paper. Proposals for complete panels, workshops, poster sessions, and exhibits are also welcomed. Submitted material should be accompanies by a brief curriculum vitae of the contributor. Authors with accepted abstracts will be asked to prepare a full length paper (20-25 pages, double-spaced) including diagrams, photographs and drawings. Following a blind peer-review process, papers may be accepted for publication and/or presentation only. Contributors are also encouraged to submit copies of books and other published work for exhibition. Please send all material by Air Mail. All submissions must be in English, which is the language of the conference. However, French may be used for the oral presentation of papers at the conference, subject to the availability of simultaneous translation.

Please send all enquiries to:

IASTE 2000
Center for Environmental Design Research
390 Wurster Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1839, USA

Phone: 510.642.6801/510.642.2896
Fax: 510.643.5571
E-mail: iaste@uclink4.berkeley.edu


Nezar AlSayyad, Conference C0-Director, University of California, Berkeley
Jean-Paul Bourdier, Conference Co-Director, University of California, Berkeley
Anne Hublin, Conference Chair, Ecole D’Architecture, Paris, France
Karen Bowie, Conference Co-Chair, Ecole D’Architecture, Paris, France
Bernard Haumont & Daniele Valabregue, Ministere de l’Equipement, du Logement, des Transports et de l’Espace, Paris, France
Nora Watanabe, Conference Administrator, University of California, Berkeley


  • Ministere de l’Equipement, du Logement, des Transports et de l’Espace
  • Ecole d’Architecture Paris-Villemin
  • Center for Environmental Design Research, University of California, Berkeley