In studying the horizontal and longitudinal relationships between LIFESTYLE and HOUSING, in the Twentieth Century in the South East of the Gulf of Carpentaria, it will be revealed that lifestyle changes are constantly reflected in the housing.
The different lifestyles, which the Aboriginal population has passed through include the Traditional, Mission, Government, and the current Contemporary period and the subsequent effects have been manifested both physically and spatially in the architecture. The lifestyle stages when defined in terms of resource management, surveillance capacity, privacy and outdoor exposure indicate a transformation through the century that has progressed from a closeness to the landscape, to a distancing, and then an eminent return to the natural landscape.
Within each period the lifestyle-architecture relationship has highlighted that deterministic relationships come in a complex of forms. The major categories are firstly, where the lifestyle can significantly shape the housing as seen in the Traditional period. Secondly, where the housing can inversely support the intended lifestyle as seen in the Contemporary period. And thirdly, as illustrated during the Mission period, there is the reciprocal situation where the presence of both effects are in play. Within the third category, a situation of dramatic compromise to both sides occurs when the housing and the lifestyle are in significant contrast as illustrated with the Government period.
When the architecture through the century is strung out along a time sequence of lifestyle manifestations, the following trends are identified;
• Materially, the transformation has gone from natural to processed. Within the processed stage are the sub-stages of durability, fragility, affordability.
• Technically, the fixing manner has shifted through adjustability, rigidity, prefabrication to demountability
• Functionally, the shift has been from openess to internalisation. The internalised stages being characterised by single volume, sub-internalisation and fragmentation.
• Communally, the shift in organisational focus has been through the larger landscape, the smaller immediate surroundings, the contained compound, and onto the larger landscape.
When viewed as a cyclic pattern that echoes the manner in which lifestyles swing in and out of existence, the mapping of the architecture indicates that the transformation has yet to travell full circle. The opportunity then arises to use the gathered information to support and generate the preferred lifestyle of the next stage of the cycle.