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Glossary of Terms

The goal of this glossary is to provide a common understanding of the words frequently used throughout this website. Language can be a powerful tool in discussing history, so being on the same page is critical.

Architecture: The art and the process of designing and constructing buildings, as well as other structures. It is also used as a descriptor for buildings and structures.


Colonial Bungalow: A kind of residential building typology that originated by the hybridization of vernacular architectural influences from Southeast Asia with that of British nostalgic design elements and techniques. It was initially developed as a residential architectural style adopted by the British colonists during its colonial era.


Conservation: Keeping history alive and uncovering past stories. 


Cultural Contestation: The process whereby values and meanings of social actions are disputed, rather than merely accepted, often referring to aspects of class struggle.


Cultural Landscape: An area with cultural and natural significance contributing to the area’s history or value.


Devalued: Failure to recognize the importance of something, whether willfully or subconsciously.


Favela: Communities in which individuals have spent decades investing in and building neighborhoods with scarce government service. Often associated with “informal settlement” “slum” or “shantytowns,” and carries a negative connotation.


Heritage: Items and ideals that are inherited. This can include cultural aspects such as beliefs, and physical property, such as historic buildings, town sites, and archaeological sites. 


-ism: a suffix meaning “the act of prejudice”. 


Ableism: the act of prejudice against disabled people.


Ageism: the act of prejudice against middle age and elderly people.


Racism: the act of prejudice based on race.

Sexism: the act of prejudice based on gender.


Monument: A physical structure marking where an event occurred or commemorating a history set in a different location.


Place: The idea of place has more to do with the physical structure; the soil where something occurred contributes to the importance of the site.


Placekeeping: engaging people who identify with a space and allowing them to participate in the preservation of artifacts and stories of political, military, social, and cultural importance.


Preservation: This has to do with protecting, maintaining, and ensuring continued existence.


Racial: groupings of humans based on physical characteristics or shared ancestry.


Sacred: a location evoking respect, creates a sense of renewal, or brings someone closer to something of personal importance. 


Site: the physical location of pieces of political, military, social, or cultural items or events.


Sustainability: meeting current needs without compromising the needs of future generations.


Systemic Racism: Racism that is built into policies and laws, also known as institutional racism.


Transparent view of history: A historical explanation that does not configure or hide information.


Value: Providing importance of some sort 


Vernacular Architecture: Architecture constructed outside any academic tradition, and without professional guidance. 

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