University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

The ‘Aceh Method’: archiving the endangered languages of vernacular architecture

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 03:44 authored by Nichols, J, Kyra WoodKyra Wood, Fong, D, Avey, S, Dewi, C, Pudentia, MPSS
This paper reviews the significance and practical application of the ‘Aceh Method’. The Aceh Method is a multi-modal approach to the documenting and archiving of various forms of vernacular architecture. It is currently being trialled in Aceh and Bali, and has the potential for application to a broad range of built cultural heritage contexts. The paper provides a literature review to establish the background, definitions and significance of the method. It likens some of the aims and challenges of this approach to the complex activity of recording a rare local dialect or an endangered language. Through this lens, and through the contribution of notes on rewards and challenges from workers in the field, the paper outlines the application of the Method in post-disaster archiving activities in Aceh where most archives have been lost, and its application for mitigating the loss of information in the face of rapid urban development in Bali. The literature review and analysis of the pilot studies so far suggest the Aceh Method provides a conceptual as well as a practical response to post-disaster loss and the mitigation of that loss in the documentation of everyday vernacular architecture in Aceh. However, the methodology in its current form requires revision for its use in Bali. Processes of documenting vernacular architecture appear to require nuanced and ethical responsibility similar to that needed for documenting an endangered language, and the insight from this interdisciplinary review offers another means of interpreting complex vernacular environments.


Publication title

International Journal of Intangible Heritage








School of Architecture and Design


National Folk Museum of Korea

Place of publication

Korea, Republic of

Rights statement

Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Conserving intangible cultural heritage; Understanding Asia’s past; Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology