Place, Culture & Identity Group Group

The Place, Culture and Identity group brings together researchers from a number of disciplinary backgrounds to research the multitude of ways in which places embody local cultural identities. Space and architecture are shaped by the culture and the identities of communities as much as those communities are shaped by their perception and use of space and architecture. Members of the Place, Culture and Identity group investigate this dynamic dialectical relationship from different disciplinary perspectives, including architecture, anthropology, urban conservation, political science and history. Focusing on different types of places in various parts of the world (including urban, rural, contemporary, historic, vernacular and post-conflict ones), they aim to gain a better theoretical understanding of both the nature of the process of place-making and the way it dialectically relates to aspects of culture, identity, aesthetics, memory, tradition, representation and architectural practice.

PhD students

Elisa Ferrato, Deniz Ikiz, Lim Jong Hyun, Aliasger Madraswala, Ricardo Assis Rosa, Orit Sarfatti, Margo Socha

Bao Zhuang temple steps, Shexian, Anhui, China, 2000, © Paul Oliver

The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World

The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World edited by Dr Marcel Vellinga will be a fully revised, updated and expanded edition of Paul Oliver’s classic 1997 publication. Featuring approximately 3,000 entries, the encyclopedia will contain over 30% entirely new material and will be available as a six volume printed work and as an interactive online encyclopedia. A major development in the field of vernacular architecture studies, this new edition, with its expanded, newly-comprehensive theoretical and geographical scope, will reflect the considerable growth in research in the field since the first edition. It will bring the encyclopedia, which has long been unavailable, back to prominence and to a new expanded readership, and will be the definitive and most up-to-date reference resource for the study of the world’s vernacular and traditional building cultures.



Expressions of interest to contribute to the second revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World are now invited. More information


Publications »

Working Papers


Dr Marcel Vellinga

Place, Culture & Identity Group

School of Architecture
Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP