The Collective Memory, Node Reconstruction and Local Belongingness in the Settlement of Outlying Islands: By Taking the Important Architectural Complex of Wang-an Hua-Zhai Settlement as an Example
Designated as an important architectural complex of settlement by the Ministry of Culture, Hua-Zhai Settlement located in Wang-An Township, Peng-Hu County, of Taiwan has been progressively restored year by year and is now at the revitalization and reutilization stage. Over the last 5 years, YunTech has participated in the restoration project while being in compliance with the Bureau of Cultural Heritage’s spirit of 'Living Heritage Conservation'. In this study, reflections have been made to evaluate the contemporariness of traditional settlement development from the aspects of revitalization and reutilization. On the one hand, the connection between settlers’ experiences and emotions have been clarified through the living nodes, collective memory, and social-cultural connotation. On the other hand, activity design has promoted the reconstruction of living nodes and facilitated the reconnection of collective memory, enabling us to explore the contemporariness of living nodes after the reconstruction. With the adoption of literature review, participant observation, and interview analysis methods, this study concludes the following results: 1) The node reconstruction brings back the memories and makes emotional connections: the spatial collective memory is composed of different components. During the reconstruction of node space, villagers participated not only in the narration of the history but also in the restoration of the space. This process enables villagers to bring back their memories and make emotional connections thereto. 2) Villagers’ understanding towards revitalization has been facilitated through node reconstruction: as a medium of this project, activity design has facilitated node reconstruction by offering villagers a natural environment to build up emotional connections to the settlement. This also enables us to better understand the meaning of settlement activation for the local community. 3) New connections are established in life between villagers and the university through the construction of living nodes: through the local implementation of node reconstruction, new connections have been established in life between villagers who participated in the project and the university. In the meantime, the university’s entrance to the community has also been revalued.