GREEN TYPOLOGIES Understanding Living Root Bridges - Seminar


The course introduced students to a particular case of living vernacular architecture: the Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya. Lectures discussed the bridges through four key lenses: Society, Construction, Environment, Representation of such structures, and Living Architecture more widely. Bringing together these aspects, the students, in groups, made architectural plans of several bridges. By focusing on the bridges, the seminar enabled comparisons with contemporary architecture. Students gained an understanding of Living Root Bridges, vernacular structures that can inspire the future of green architecture. They learned to use tools needed to document and analyse living structures. Three preparatory tasks gave students an introduction to photogrammetry and architectural drawing for living architecture (including one weekend session), and the integration of green architecture within landscapes. The group project then combined these in presenting drawings and discussion of the bridges. Each group presented their work at the end of the semester to the class, discussing their approach and learning process. The documentation includes drawings of the bridges from several perspectives, a discussion of structural systems, and maps to show the relation between bridges and their environment. This will contribute to the expanding field of green architecture documentation. Students worked in interdisciplinary groups between architects, landscape architects, engineers and geographers to draw and discuss complex structures in detail. 



Teaching team

Wilfrid Middleton, M.A.

Mohammad Asrafur Rahman Ph.D. 


Course language



Type of Course 

Seminar for students of Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Engineering and Geography

6 ECTS