The Living House
was the first book of its kind to present a detailed picture of the house within the social and symbolic worlds of Southeast Asian peoples. A pioneering title that has become a classic, this exemplary text draws on many sources of information, from architects and anthropologists, to the author's own firsthand research.
As it probes into the centrally significant role of houses within Southeast Asian social systems, The Living House
reveals new insights into kinship systems, gender symbolism and cosmological ideas, ultimately uncovering basic themes concerning the idea of life and life processes themselves. A vivid picture emerges of how people shape buildings and buildings shape people, as rules about layout and uses of space have an impact on social relationships.
Although intended first and foremost as a work of anthropology, The Living House
will also appeal to architects, scholars and the interested general reader.
Roxana Waterson studied anthropology at New Hall, Cambridge, earning her Ph.D. in 1981. She has been doing fieldwork with the Sa'dan Toraja people of Sulawesi since 1978, and has traveled widely in Southeast Asia in search of indigenous architectures. Since 1984, she has lived in Singapore where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.