The ‘Aceh Method’: archiving the endangered languages of vernacular architecture

Nichols, Julie and Wood, Kyra and Fong, Darren and Avey, Susan and Dewi, Cut (2020) The ‘Aceh Method’: archiving the endangered languages of vernacular architecture. The International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 15. pp. 42-59. ISSN 1975-3586

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This paper reviews the significance and practical application of the ‘Aceh Method’. The Aceh Method is a multi-modal approach to the documenting and archiving of various forms of vernacular architecture. It is currently being trialled in Aceh and Bali, and has the potential for application to a broad range of built cultural heritage contexts. The paper provides a literature review to establish the background, definitions and significance of the method. It likens some of the aims and challenges of this approach to the complex activity of recording a rare local dialect or an endangered language. Through this lens, and through the contribution of notes on rewards and challenges from workers in the field, the paper outlines the application of the Method in post-disaster archiving activities in Aceh where most archives have been lost, and its application for mitigating the loss of information in the face of rapid urban development in Bali. The literature review and analysis of the pilot studies so far suggest the Aceh Method provides a conceptual as well as a practical response to post-disaster loss and the mitigation of that loss in the documentation of everyday vernacular architecture in Aceh. However, the methodology in its current form requires revision for its use in Bali. Processes of documenting vernacular architecture appear to require nuanced and ethical responsibility similar to that needed for documenting an endangered language, and the insight from this interdisciplinary review offers another means of interpreting complex vernacular environments.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Aceh Method, vernacular architecture, collaborative archive, multi-modal, digital recording, VERNADOC, endangered architectural languages, pusaka, Aceh, Bali, Lambunot village, Pinggan village, Indonesia
Subjects: F Heritage Typologies > 29 Vernacular architecture
B Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) > 03 Oral traditions and expressions, including languages as a vehicle of the ICH
B Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) > 07 Traditional craftsmanship
B Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) > 08 Traditional knowledge on productive activities, processes and techniques
Depositing User: Mr Jose García Vicente
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2022 23:30
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2022 23:30

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