The Historical Value and Contemporary Role of Vernacular Wisdom:
The Case of Zengchong Village
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Yong Shao* and Le Zhang

College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
* Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT  Vernacular heritage is the embodiment of great wisdom with which the ancients created their habitats for thousands of years. People formed a unique production mode and lifestyle and created a harmonious living environment ideal by adhering to vernacular wisdom, a consensus of complying with nature and methods of utilising nature resources orderly and rationally. This paper analyses the value of vernacular wisdom, establishes the content system based on three factors of human needs, productivity and nature from the perspective of human-nature relationship, and points out that the value of vernacular wisdom is to coordinate human and nature conflicts. The vernacular wisdoms of Dong village Zengchong in Guizhou Province which is introduced in this paper as a representative can be summarised as below: 1. Wisdoms for physiological needs, reflected in compound agricultural production system, a highly intensive living space system and survival skills of make the best use of everything; 2. Wisdoms for safety needs,  eflected in the barn system, fire prevention system and flood control system; 3. Wisdoms for self-actualisation, esteem and love/belonging needs, reflected in social interaction and self-man human and nature, so that the balance state between human needs, productivity, and nature can be reached again and the goal of sustainable development of rural heritage can be realised.

KEYWORDS  vernacular heritage, vernacular wisdom, Guizhou province of China, Zengchong Dong village, rural revitalisation

Received April 17, 2018; accepted June 3, 2018.