2024 Conference

Quaker House, Oxford - 25 October 2024, 9.30am to 5.00pm

Wood has shaped building traditions globally throughout history, presenting a hugely diverse architectural heritage that has shaped the way people live and interact with their local environment. Yet, the survival of wooden architectural heritage is under threat, as are the traditional knowledge systems, technologies and ways of life associated with it. A shift to engineered building materials, mechanized and large-scale construction, as well as deforestation and other complex socio-economic events over the past century has meant many traditions have been lost and many traditional buildings are endangered. There is therefore an urgent need to record endangered wooden architectural heritage before much of it disappears. 

The Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP) conference brings together an international community working on the preservation of wooden architecture. Focused on EWAP’s open access database, the one-day event will be packed full of interesting presentations concentrated on wooden architecture, heritage and recording techniques. It will discuss the scope and nature of endangerment of the world’s wooden architectural heritage; issues of ethics and community engagement; and the merits and limits of various recording techniques. 

The EWAP Conference coincides with the British Academy sponsored ‘Knowing the Vernacular: Critical Reflections and Future Directions’ conference, which will take place at Oxford Brookes University on 26 and 27 October. Further details can be found on the British Academy website.



  • Standard ticket - £10
  • Concession (Student/Retired) - £5


09:00 – 09:30am
Coffee and Registration
09:30 – 10:00

Arthur Dudney, Arcadia

Marcel Vellinga, EWAP and Oxford Brookes University

10:00 – 12:00
Session 1: Wood Building Cultures’

Contributions to this session will focus on traditions of building with wood, exploring their cultural significance and discussing the nature and scale of present day difficulties and endangerments. They could also discuss the transmission and adaptation of wooden building techniques and practices in the context of these threats.

Ayako Fujieda, Kyoto Seika University: Cultural Significance and Conservation of Traditional Wooden Architecture in Fiji.

B. Devilat, F. Lanuza, N. Cruz, S. Bernales, L. Berg, U. Bonomo: Documenting the Heritage Churches of Chiloé.

Rafiq Ahmad, Govt. College for Women Nawa Kadal: Building Traditional Log Houses and the Dilemma of Continuing an ‘Original Way of Life’ in Gurais, Kashmir.

Emily Otuvwede Akpomedaye, Akpo re Ufuoma Development Initiative: Poverty as Medium of Preserving Traditional Knowledge of Urhobo Vernacular Architecture.

Trevor Marchand, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, SOAS

12:00 – 13:00pm
Lunch break

Documentary screenings and Arches demonstration.
13:30 – 15:10
Session 2: The cultural context of wooden buildings 

Contributions to this session will explore the ethics of working with the communities that own, inhabit and look after endangered wooden architecture. It will discuss appropriate ways of engaging with communities and provide examples of innovative ways of involving them in documentation projects. The session provides an opportunity to discuss examples of good practice, as well as the challenges inherent in such community involvement.

Magda Minguzzi, Lucy Vosloo, Chief Margaret Coetzee, Nelson Mandela University: Exploring an Indigenous Methodology in Working with the First Indigenous Peoples of South Africa, in Baviaanskloof.

Jigna Desai, Saatvika Pancholi, CEPT Research and Development Foundation: Reconsidering the term 'Vernacular' in context of Wooden Havelis of Gujarat.

Akemi Hijioka, Instituto Federal de São Paulo - Campus Registro (IFSP - Registro): The houses of Japanese immigrants in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

Anila Naeem, Farida Abdul Ghaffar, NED University: The Last Surviving Cluster of Indus Houseboats - An Ethnographic Perspective on a Centuries Old Cultural Tradition.

Jorge Tomasi, Architect, CONICET, Argentina
15:10 – 15:30pm

Tea and coffee will be provided.
15.30 – 16:50
Session 3: Recording wooden architecture

Contributions to this session will focus on the multitude of ways in which wooden architecture can be surveyed, from high tech to low tech and intermediary and hybrid approaches. Speakers are invited to reflect on the appropriateness of the methods in capturing the construction practices and unique character of wooden buildings.

Carlos Castillo Levicoy, Constanza Pérez Lira, Corporación Memoria Austral: Improvements in the analysis and understanding of vernacular constructive forms and the inhabitation of the territory of Aysén, Chile.

Yulia Nurliani Lukito, Universitas Indonesia: Documenting Vernacular Architecture of Wae Rebo Village, Manggarai, Indonesia.

Tubi Otitooluwa, James Cubitt Architects: Implementing ISO 16739 standard in Heritage wooden building survey, towards preservation, conservation and management of asset

Hrvoje Tomić, University of Zagreb: Challenges of documenting traditional wooden architecture in the Banovina/Banija, Pokuplje, and Posavina regions (Croatia, EU).

Elizabeth Lee, VP for Programs and Development, CyArk
16:50 – 17:00 
Closing remarks