Re: Settlement (or The Story of a House): Architecture and the Resilience of Cultural Narrative
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On the Island of Newfoundland, the story of resettlement parallels the formation of the national and provincial parks: as coastal communities were abandoned through a governmental top-down redistribution of the island population, parks were created to preserve interior landscapes promoting geographical phenomena. During resettlement, the loss of Newfoundland identity was replaced with a new Canadian identity. Drawing on theories of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, lieux de mémoires by historian Pierre Nora, and critical regionalism, the thesis stresses the importance of physically presenting intangible cultural heritage in situ. Focusing on abandoned resettled communities, a case is made for establishing a new park system preserving coastal landscapes with historic and cultural value. Within this proposed system of parks, architecture becomes an active performer in a cultural narrative about resettlement. The design of a floating intervention, called “The Home Boat,” allows for the sharing and learning of traditional crafts. “The Home Boat” becomes a place for celebration marking the opening of each park. In so doing, the thesis attempts to answer the question: how can architectural design contribute to the resilience of a cultural narrative?