Folk Housing: Key to Diffusion

Folk Housing: Key to Diffusion Fred Kniffen 1965 What are Kniffens goals

Settlement geography Focus on houses and barns Housing a basic fact of human geography Sense of urgency, unchronicled, wooden buildings falling down

Methods Create a typology Quantified which types are numerically dominant

Qualified as to areal and temporal positions Seek out origins, routes of diffusion, adaptations, other forces affecting change or stability

Mechanism of stability Concept of Initial Occupance. first post pioneer permanent settlement imprint established in the several sections of the wooded eastern United States by

migrants from seaboard source areas, an epoch ending about 1850. First impressions I house = one room deep, two stories tall, side

gable fn 9 "The I-house was first so named in 1936 in recognition of the Indiana, Illinois, or Iowa origin of many of its builders in prairie Louisiana.

Pennsylvania German barns relation of experiences. Is this verifiable? more a connoisseurship. Adhoc methodology of experience.

I-House, St Marys of the Rock, Franklin County, Indiana ca 1850 Disciplinary concerns Occupance pattern is distinctly geographical. Area of inquiry to hold, even against the onslaught of

anthropologists. No other discipline is interested in folk housing. Prolonged study to say what the types are. Later concerns about typology

Ad hoc classification scheme in which significant details, determined on the basis of variable convenient criteria, are isolated and metonymically employed to represent the whole object. Log buildings, pot sherds Henry Glassie Researcher category, not about discovering community

expressed values. Features of building typology Typology subdivided in architecture into form, technics and task (use).

Form is the arrangement of elements, or the structure of components. Construction must be the elements and their rules of engagement. Use or task is what meaning or semantic relationship

these objects have. Adhoc Typology Entirely visual Focus on specific formal characteristics

Massing, orientation, piercing Also visible construction features Materials Exposed construction features: for example, log corner notching

Primary and Secondary characteristics in typology A necessary element (primary or essential) is one that must be present to identify the object. A secondary (expendable) class of components can be

removed without affecting the artifacts membership in a specific class (type). Verification by comparison with the analysis of rural sociologists

Validating by comparison with regional dialects

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