Professor Marcel Vellinga
Professor of Anthropology of Architecture
School of Architecture
Professor Vellinga is a researcher and teacher specialised in the anthropology of architecture; vernacular architecture; rural architectural regeneration; tradition, culture and sustainability; and ethnographic research methods. Marcel is also a supervisor on the PhD programme.
Key responsabilities include:
- Research Lead of the School of Architecture
- Director, Place, Culture and Identity Research Group
- Director, Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme
Teaching and supervision
Marcel is module leader for the following modules:
- Architecture, Culture and Tradition (P30025)
- Vernacular Architecture, Sustainability and Development (P30022)
- Independent Study (P30381)
He also contributes to various other undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including:
- Dissertation (U30099)
- Architecture and Society (U30006)
- Applications in Regeneration (P30205)
- Research Methods for Design (P30026)
Marcel has supervised 16 PhD students to completion and is currently the supervisor of 4 PhD students. He welcomes applications related to the anthropology of architecture, vernacular architecture and rural regeneration.
Holding a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Leiden University (the Netherlands), Marcel has extensive research and teaching experience in the fields of cultural anthropology and international vernacular architecture studies. Over the years he has taught and published on a variety of topics including vernacular architecture, the anthropology of architecture, rural architectural regeneration, Minangkabau architecture, tradition and sustainable development.
Marcel is author of Constituting Unity and Difference: Vernacular Architecture in a Minangkabau Village (KITLV Press 2004); co-author, with Paul Oliver and Alexander Bridge, of the Atlas of Vernacular Architecture of the World (Routledge 2007); and co-editor, with Lindsay Asquith, of Vernacular Architecture in the 21st Century: Theory, Education and Practice (Taylor & Francis 2006) and, with Daniel Maudlin, of Consuming Architecture: On the Occupation, Appropriation and Interpretation of Buildings (Routledge 2014). Marcel is the editor of The Bazaar of Isfahan, which was originally conceived by Ali Bakhtiar, John Donat and Paul Oliver (Argumentum, 2016).
Marcel is the Editor-in-Chief of the second revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, to be published in 2018 (in print and online) by Bloomsbury Publishing. His current research project (supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust) focuses on the life and works of the German architect, planner and urban historian Erwin Anton Gutkind. In 2015 he curated the ‘Architecture for All: The Photography of Paul Oliver’ exhibition in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.
Marcel is the Director of the Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme.
Research grants and awards
- 2016: Oxford Brookes University: Research Excellence Fellowship
- 2016: Wenner-Gren Foundation: Historical Archives program Grant: Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library Archive
- 2015: The Barakat Trust, Publication Grant: The Bazaar of Isfahan.
- 2014: British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant: Erwin Anton Gutkind (1886-1968): Architect and Scholar
Centres and institutes
- Architectural Regeneration
- Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World
- Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP)
- Erwin Anton Gutkind (1886-1968): Architect and Scholar
Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution
- Endangered Wooden Architecture Program (Arcadia) (01/01/2021 - 30/09/2026), funded by: Arcadia Fund, funding amount received by Brookes: £1,302,065
Vellinga M, 'Living Architecture: Re-imagining Vernacularity in Southeast Asia and Oceania'
Fabrications 30 (1) (2020) pp.11-24
ISSN: 1033-1867 eISSN: 2164-4756Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Vellinga M, '“How Other Peoples Dwell and Build”: Erwin Anton Gutkind and the Architecture of the Other'
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 78 (4) (2019) pp.409-421
ISSN: 0037-9808 eISSN: 2150-5926Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Vellinga M, 'Architecture and vernacular architecture'
Vernacular Architecture 50 (1) (2019) pp.14-16
ISSN: 0305-5477 eISSN: 1749-6292Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Vellinga M, 'The end of cities: Erwin Anton Gutkind and the inevitability of decentralisation and dispersal'
Planning Perspectives 34 (4) (2018) pp.621-641
ISSN: 0266-5433 eISSN: 1466-4518Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Vellinga M, 'A conversation with architects: Paul Oliver and the anthropology of shelter'
Architectural Theory Review 21 (1) (2016) pp.9-26
ISSN: 1326-4826Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Vellinga M, 'The noble vernacular'
The Journal of Architecture 18 (4) (2013) pp.570-590
ISSN: 1360-2365Abstract Published here
Vellinga M, 'The end of the vernacular: anthropology and the architecture of the other'
Etnofoor 23 (1) (2011) pp.171-192
Foruzanmehr A, Vellinga M, 'Vernacular architecture: questions of comfort and practicability'
Building Research and Information 39 (3) (2011) pp.274-285
ISSN: 0961-3218Abstract Published here
Vellinga M, 'Going Beyond the Mud Hut and the Noble Vernacular: the Need for Tradition in Sustainable Development'
Space Magazine 493 (2008) pp.16-19
ISSN: 1228-2472Published here
Vellinga M, 'Anthropology and the materiality of architecture'
American Ethnologist 34 (4) (2007) pp.756-766
ISSN: 0094-0496 eISSN: 1548-1425Abstract Published here
Vellinga M, 'The inventiveness of tradition: Vernacular architecture and the future'
Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture 13 (2) (2007) pp.115-128
ISSN: 0887-9885Published here
Vellinga M, 'Anthropology and the challenges of sustainable architecture'
Anthropology Today 21 (3) (2005) pp.3-7
ISSN: 0268-540XPublished here
Van der Beek Z, Vellinga M, 'Man the collector: Salvaging Andamanese and Nicobarese culture through objects'
Journal of the History of Collections 17 (2) (2005) pp.135-153
ISSN: 0954-6650Abstract Published here
Vellinga M, 'A family affair: The construction of vernacular Minangkabau houses'
Indonesia and the Malay World 32 (92) (2004) pp.100-118
ISSN: 1363-9811Published here
Vellinga M, 'Drawing boundaries: Vernacular architecture and maps'
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 14 (2) (2003) pp.21-31
ISSN: 1050-2092Published here
Vellinga M, 'Merits and limits of the biographic approach'
Archaeological Dialogues 6 (2) (1999) pp.98-101
ISSN: 1380-2038Abstract Published here
Vellinga M, 'The Nicobar Islands: A forgotten archipelago in the Indian Ocean'
Archiv für Völkerkunde 49 (1995) pp.471-69
Memberships of professional bodies
Marcel is a Director of the Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library (POVAL), one of the world's largest collections of books, journals, theses and images focused on the vernacular architecture of the world, which is housed in the Main Library of Oxford Brookes University.
He is a member of:
- The editorial boards of Vernacular Architecture and Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review.
- The International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE),
- The International Network for Traditional Building,
- Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU) and
- The International Vernacular Architecture Committee (CIAV) of ICOMOS.
Marcel is a member of REF 2021 sub-panel 32 Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; the AHRC Peer Review College; and the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College.