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This is a book about architecture written by an architect and addressed to the general public. Its subject is the vernacular architecture of the Aegean islands, whose forms represent an inspiring marriage between the man-made and the natural and between remarkable buildings and an equally remarkable archipelagic landscape and seascape. (Page 1)

Sponsorship and delivery provide criteria by which to describe architecture as either formal or vernacular. Formal architecture is sponsored by ruling groups, be they royal, democratic, religious, entrepreneurial, or non-governmental?. Formal architecture in most instances is eponymous; that is, the architect?s name is affixed to the building, an association that in today?s highly commercial world produces ?signature? architecture, architecture inseparable from the celebrity status of the architect.

Vernacular architecture, by contrast, has no prestigious sponsors?. Its architects remain by and large anonymous. Vernacular architecture is perhaps better described as ?architecture without architects,? the term coined for an exhibition assembled by Bernard Rudofsky in the 1960s?. More often than not, in the myriad examples of vernacular architecture the world over, the sponsors and the architect are the same person. More importantly, formal and vernacular architecture often evolve within the same space, mutually informing rather than antagonizing one another. (Page 1-2)

Table of Contents from The Aegean Crucible

The Aegean Crucible
The Aegean Crucible
Tracing Vernacular Architecture in
Post-Byzantine Centuries
Constantine E. Michaelides, FAIA
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