Tracing Globalization: reflection of changes in lifestyle in domestic architecture

  • Dr. Zebun Nasreen Ahmed Professor Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Keywords: Globalization, Lifestyle, Residential Architecture, Urbanisation, Women and Architecture


This paper reflects on how shifting lifestyles, through the influences of globalization have effected a change in the residential architecture of a region. The case of Dhaka has been put forth, focussing on influences from outside the region, distinguishing globalization from a more general process of modernisation, which could take place from regional influences. While globalization has existed in the distant past, its effects were gradual and almost imperceptible, lifestyle changes being ascribed, more as a result of cultural transformations than to foreign interventions. Presently however, the effects of globalization are making schismatic changes in social orders and lifestyles. The paper attempts to track the slow (and later rapid) changes brought about through globalization,beginning with rural beginnings, the slow transformations and subtle lifestyle changes in the adaptation to early urbanisation, and finally the rampant globalization of the immediate-past decade. Lifestyle changes are bound to affect the architecture of any society. This paper focuses on how changes have come about within the domain of the residence, discussing it in four broad phases: the urban beginnings, the mid-twentieth century, the postindependence years and the present developer housing phase. It is the contention of this paper that transformations in the role of women in the family, among many other influence of globalization, have been instrumental in bringing lifestyle changes, which in turn have necessitated changes in residential architecture.