The role of evolution and invention of tradition in identity and the built environment



How to Cite

Adam, R. (2020). The role of evolution and invention of tradition in identity and the built environment. Journal of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, (1), 551–561.


Tradition is often presented as simply the past and a static phenomenon. This view can be shared by some supporters of tradition in architecture and urbanism, leading to a valorisation of literal past form and detail. Social analysis of tradition acknowledges that it is a more complex and not static phenomenon. At the same time, the concept of the invention of tradition is widely used to discredit tradition itself. This paper departs from the work of Halbwachs and subsequent studies on collective identity, Boyd and Richerson on Dual Inheritance Theory, Shils on the ubiquity of tradition and Cohen on the sociology of identity, amongst others. This is combined with case studies in the evolution and invention of tradition. The paper presents the applicability of changing and invented traditions that foment social cohesion and how their use in design can respond to community identity.


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Copyright (c) 2020 Robert Adam


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