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Lanexang Village, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

Zoe Ganch ARCH 2001 Architecture Design IV Spring 2012 Section 1 Exposing the Vernacular of LaneXang Village LSU School of Architecture

table of contents

PEOPLE

PLACE

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preface history migration employment education family religion climate land and zone conditions farm to outdoor kitchen site diagrams trash acceptance housing conditions analysis design solution

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Preface The vernacular of Lanexang village encompasses generations of historical context and cultural traditions. The following analysis disects the story of the Lao-American migration and cultural assimilation through an ecological, psychological, and social setting. After visiting the site firsthand, observations were recorded and analyzed in order to completely understand and present the data. This analysis uses the specific information gathered to bridge the gap between cultural interpretation and true meaning. Each aspect of Lao traditions and ecological conditions of the site have made an impactxxx on the vernacular architecture and design of the community, as well as the Lao-American way of life.

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[2] Photograph. Flickr. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/ visbeek/4571073455/in/photostream/>.

people

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history

[3]

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L w ao La ho hist n fo or Xa un y ng de beg d th an e w fir ith st La Fa o Ng st um at e, F rie a N th s a gu m e M nd c ek ex on on te qu g nd er Ri ed ed ve t r. he ma civ ny iliz te at rrit ion oto

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L pr aos ot b ec ec to om ra te es . a Fr en ch

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Zasloff, Joseph J.. Laos. The History Channel . N.p., 2009. Web. 22 Jan 2012. http://www.history.com/topics/laos . Laos Profile. News Asia-Pacific. 19 10 2011: n. page. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15355605. Lai, Eric. Laotion Americans. Asian-Nation. UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 2003. Web. 22 Jan 2012. http://www.asian-nation.org/laotian.shtml .

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T be owa ne co rd se m s t Fr . es he an oc e ce cu nd re pie of ga d W ins by W ru th l , L le e of Ja aos pa La L os w aos . se ar re nt be ga at tw in ive e s s en ind kn th ep ow e en n roy de as al nc Pa ists e w Th th an h in e et d ich es gs U.S La co re e wh . s o. m su sa ic u m lt nc h bje un s tu we cts ist in ar re L re a c ies in a pr ivi . te os e- l nd to ed h fo eav rV y iet bo na m m bPa th et La o ga ins Fo co st od nt r ro to ife sh l. Th se or t ail nd ag an L e d. ao s a re nd fu p ge ol es itic to al fle e

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who

The Hmong refugees are an asian ethnic group of Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Laos. In Laos, they lived in mountainous regions and created their own villages where they lived poorly. The Hmong people were constantly singled out by the Lao government and accused of being the stem of the countrys problems.

why

The Hmong struggle rooted from the Vietnam war where they sided with the United States. The Hmong fought against the communist group, Pathet Lao, who later took over the government and caused great strife for these native people.

how

migration
where
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The Hmong people began to flee Laos in hopes for a better life. Their first destination during this migration was in Thailand where they were housed in refugee camps and prepared for life in the United States. The refugees were then sent to San Francisco with the support of government aid and non-profit organizations where they were housed temporarily until they were placed in other states.

Hmong immigrants were relocated across the country into urban cities where work was available to them. Many of them remained in California where todays largest Lao population exists. Other states with large Lao populations include Minnesota, Texas, Washington state, and North Carolina.

population by state

california washington state texas minnesota north carolina


0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000

Ortiz, KC. The Jungle Hmong. Photograph. Time. Time Photos. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2005687_2168274,00.html>. Ortiz, KC. Hmong Veterans. Photograph. Angry Asian Man. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://blog.angryasianman.com/2010/02/hmong-veterans-of-cias-secret-war.html>. Constantine, Greg. 2007. Photograph. Thailand. Fearing a Forced Return. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/article.cfm?id=2705>. 7 Photograph. Hmong Seaching for a Home. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://khampoua.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/hmong-searching-for-a-home/>. Pfeifer, Mark E. Lao-American Census Data. Hmong Studies Internet Resource Center. Web. 28 Jan. 2012. <http://hmongstudies.org/LaoCensusData.html>.
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employment

Agencies such as the U.S. Catholic Conference began to place Laotian-Americans in Louisiana in 1980. A Laotian community began to emerge in New Iberia due to new job opportunities spurring from the oil boom. The government also began to fund skilled labor training with Redfox Industries.

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[8]

production, transportation, material moving sales and office service management construction, extraction, maitenance farming, fisihing, forestry

Because of the language barrier, the Laotians were restricted on career choices. Men were trained to become welders and the women were forced to get jobs as well. Contrary to their life in Laos, the women now take on the role of wage-earner, along with taking care of the home and children. While many of the Laotians are skilled workers, some began to establish themselves as owners of small grocery stores and

% U.S. Lao with Public Assistance Income in 2000

U.S. Lao Median Family Income (2000)

% U.S. Lao Families Below the Poverty Level in 2000

14.2%

$42,445

17.1%

all information on page

Photograph. Flickr. Technolinks Inc. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/endcap/6496472013/sizes/l/in/photostream/>. Pfeifer, Mark E. Lao-American Census Data. Hmong Studies Internet Resource Center. Web. 28 Jan. 2012. <http://hmongstudies.org/LaoCensusData.html>.

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education

My children will surely be influenced by their scholastic environment and be Americanized very fast. I cant and dont intend to stop this natural process. I just want them not to forget their own culture. The ideal is the combination of the positive traits of the two cultures.
A Laotian refugee, cited in Voices from Southeast Asia: The Refugee Experience in the United States

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educational attainment
less than 9th grade 9th to 12th grade, no degree high school graduate some college no degree associate degree bachelors degree graduate or professional degree
one person equals one percent of population

Learning English hindered the economic adjustment of the LaotianAmerican population. Two-thirds of Laotians over the age of 5 claim that they dont speak English very well in 1990. Parents were unable to help their children with school. There was not much higher education either, mostly due to lack of financial resources.

Although the first and second generation immigrants were the basis of these education attainment statistics, times are changing and dropout rates may begin to fall in the coming years. During our site visit to Lanexang Village, we saw a school bus with kids coming home from school just like any other American town. Dressed in uniforms, this group of kids appeared to be assimilating into American society and seem to be on a brighter road towards graduation and possibly college.
10 Pfeifer, Mark E. Lao-American Census Data. Hmong Studies Internet Resource Center. Web. 28 Jan. 2012. <http://hmongstudies.org/LaoCensusData.html>. 9 Photograph. Laotian American Writers Society. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://laowriters.blogspot.com/2010/07/lao-american-writers-summit-free-for-50.html>. 10 Photograph. Laotian American Scholarship Foundation. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://laoamericanscholarship.org/how-to-apply/>.

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To be with a family is to be happy. To be without a family is to be lost.

family

Laotians traditionally live in a home with their extended family, which testifies to success and prosperity. The homes inhabitants include multigenerational members of the fathers clan, including those who joined through marriage. Within the family, men are considered superior because they occupy key positions in the public realm. Traditionally, the women are supposed to handle the household affairs.

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laotian home | 8-12 people

laotian-american home | 5-8 people

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The traditional Laotian home houses 8-12 family members. This helps the family as a whole financially, as well as emotionally. The women were generally in charge of household affairs. They were in charge of caring for the children, schooling the children, cooking, and cleaning. The men would work to support the family financially. Traditionally, women were expected to obey the wishes of the men, in-laws, and their parents. They were generally regarded as inferior to the men of the household.

Due to the financial struggles of Laotian-American immigrants, women now take on larger roles and obtain jobs in the skilled crafts industry. Although the home still needs care, it is no longer solely the womans job. Now that women no longer spend their day at home, in effect, children tend to get into more trouble and do not focus on school. While visiting the site, however, there were a few home-owners that were not at work.

Trailer Condition, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. Photograph. Walking with the Weeches. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.jamespoyser.com/travels/2009/05/nong-khiaw/>. 13 Carport. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA. 14 Kids getting off School Bus, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012.
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tham

law; the order of the universe and the Buddhas teachings on right order and belief

kam

the retribution for actions and to the responsibility of individuals for their actions in prior incarnations and for all actions in the present life; proposes reincarnation

religion

sang

the monastic community within which people can improve their own positions; the best way to improve ones position is by becoming a monk

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15 Lao New Year. 2010. Photograph. Flickr. 24 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/keojampa/4654414233/sizes/l/in/photostream/>. Photograph. Louisiana Kids and the Gulf of Mexico. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://hiirm.blogspot.com/2010/06/httpwww.html>. Bankston, Carl L. Bayou Lotus: Theravada Buddhism in Southwestern Louisiana.Sociological Spectrum 17.4 (1997): 453-72. Print. 18 Interior of Buddhist Temple in Lanexang Village, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. 17

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The Laotian Americans of Lanexang village practice Theravada Buddhism in the same respect as in Laos. Religion heavily influences their way of life and forms the basis of their values and thinking. Being involved in the community derives from the Buddhist way of thinking. In order to achieve sang, the lao people of New Iberia contribute to the community by donating items, food, and labor to the village temple.

Religion also serves as a means of celebration. Several festivals take place yearly in this small village, all based on Theravada Buddhism in some way. Their morst important festival in the village is the Laotian New Year where the community comes together to worship and bring about health and prosperity. Donations are given during these ceremonies in order to increase ones merit.

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Lanexang Village Entrance, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

place

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jan

feb

mar

apr

may

june

july

aug

sept

oct

nov

dec

precipitation count (inches)

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

climate
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The humidity and rainfall of Louisiana has played a key role in the vernacular of Lanexang Village. Due to flooding, some of their homes have adopted the traditional Lao home, perched above ground.

Mold was also discovered on several homes during our site visit. My interpretation is that the Laotians still practice their belief of acceptance and decide to leave the house as it is.

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Lanexang Village, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. Carmouche, Marcelle. Mold Image 1. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA. Carmouche, Marcelle. Mold Image 2. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA.

average temperatures (fahrenheit)

100

jan

feb

mar

apr

may

june

july

aug

sept

oct

nov

dec

80

broussard louisiana laos

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40

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Climate heavily influences the housing in Lanexang Village with the high heat. In order to practice the custom of community gatherings, outdoor spaces are key.

Sinces the homes are relatively small and considered a private space, the outdoor carports and garages are converted into entertainment and gathering spaces.

These spaces are shaded with awnings and roofs in order to minimize the direct heat put off by the sun.

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Batiste, Concious. Residential Image. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA. Dirks, Kason. Residential Image. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA. Baudry, Tess. Residential Image. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA.

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land and zone conditions

The surrounding area of the village is essential to understand the composition of Lanexang village. With a nearby grocery east of the homes, their native foods are available to them. The agricultural zones also help bridge the gap between their native land and their new settlement. Because agriculture was one of the main industries in Laos, the surroundings adds that extra comfort.

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agricultural ranch
lanexang village

residential industrial commercial


[26] Kramer, Kevin. Edge Condition 1. 2012. Photograph. [27] Kramer, Kevin. Edge Condition 2. 2012. Photograph.

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farm to outdoor kitchen

Food is used in a sacred way in Laos and given to monks to gain merit. Several gardens and chicken coops were discovered during our site visit and it was evident that the grown items were used in their cooking. Located near the outdoor kitchen area, growing food allows for the freshest and most convenient cooking practices in the Lao community.
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[28] Bilski, Meghan. Flora. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA. [29] Grill, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. 28

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[30] Chickens, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. [31] Large Garden, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. [32] Small Garden, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. [33] Plant, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

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site diagrams

Drainage ditches were discovered during our site visit. The main one was located along the two major roads, with secondary ditches leading into them. The primary gathering space and road were located near the temple grounds and around the entrance. The heirarchy of space was evident with the great work and detail put into the Temple compared to the condition of the homes beside it.

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Aerial View. 2012. Photograph. Broussard. LA. Google Maps. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://maps.google.com/>.

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drainage
primary secondary water flow

circulation
primary secondary tertiary

heirarchy of gathering space


tertiary secondary primary

residential spaces

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trash tolerance

While analyzing the trailor condition, it was discovered that litter and trash were common items on the property. The Lao belief in acceptance may contribute to this interpretation, along with the issue of mold. Most of the litter found were reminants of cigarette butts, empty beer cans, and paper. The cigarettes and beer may indicate an issue of addiction or strife within the community. As shown earlier, the salaries of the inhabitants are low and may induce the need for cigarettes and alcohol.

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[35] [36] [37] [38] [39]

Capella, Patrick. Litter in Ditch. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA. Cigarettes, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. Beer Can, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. Cigarette Pack, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012. Trash by Trailer, Broussard, LA. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

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housing conditions
carport condition
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trailer condition 42

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40 Sandel, Austin. Site Model. 2012. Photograph. Baton Rouge, LA. Prendergast, Kathleen. Carport Condition. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA. 42 Borchardt, Eugenie. Trailer Condition. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA.

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Temple 43

garage condition44

private monk temple 45

private monk residence 46

Joyner, Jamie. Temple. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA. Garage Condition. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA. Joyner, Jamie. Monk Temple. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA. 46 Joyner, Jamie. Monk Residence. 2012. Photograph. Broussard, LA.
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analysis

Following the site research conducted on LaneXang village in Broussard, Louisiana, several interpretations can be made about their vernacular and culture. The site itself told a lot about their general attitude about their home life. Due to frequent public gatherings, the objects on the site directly relate to that tradition. Most of the items were either tables, chairs, grills, and other kitchen appliances. However, the organization of the objects was nonexistant. The organization of space, vegetation, and objects were scattered and almost seemed to be left as garbage. Many of the kitchen appliances were rusting and disintegrating . Proper storage of the appliances was not available. Most of the vegetation seemed to be dead, due to lack of sunlight and soil conditions. Back in Laos, vegetation was a big part of the Laotian lifestyle. Home-grown vegetables were used in cooking as well as in religious rituals. However, the transition of agriculture from Laos to Lanexang was not very successful. Although many of the physical features of Laotian culture havent successfully transitioned, their newest generations are slowly assimilating into the American life.

design solution bibliography

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During the research phase of this project, I concluded that there were three main issues that needed to be dealt with. The first issue was the lack of organization of space. Objects were randomly placed with no intention and clutter took over the entire patio. The second issue I noticed was the lack of natural lighting within the patio boundaries. The entire area was completely shaded with no light detail. The third issue was the state of vegetation. Because of the poor placement of vegetation, the plants were all wilted and dead. The garden space sat between two structures preventing any sunlight to filter through. In order to address these issues in my design solution, I began by creating functional spaces that serve as designated areas for entertaining, cooking, and private dining. With the entertainment/public space at the lowest level, it is easily accessed by the public. The kitchen space sits in between the private dining space and the public space for functionality and convenience. The private space is the most enclosed space allowing for minimal circulation. For the lighting issue, I created a series of horizontal slats on the private and public spaces. The private space is mostly enclosed with small openings to allow filtered light to pass through. The public space has the same horizontal slats but they serve for lighting effect as well as structure for vines to grow on. With the opening on the roof in the public space, southern light can easily spill through. The vegetation issue was solved with proper placement of plant beds. The main planter is located on the south side of the patio with optimal opportunity for sunlight to penetrate. Another plant bed was moved behind the small storage structure in order to have direct contact with the southern light.

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