• More than a shelter: a study of indigenous dwellings and contemporary, affordable housing in rural Alaska

      Combs, Esther Marcell (2003-05)
      The purpose of this study was to pursue an innovative idea to address the need for safe, affordable housing in the rural, subarctic area of the State of Alaska. A three pronged approach for data gathering included an extensive historical review of early indigenous cultures and dwelling design; a review of the roles of federal and state governments and their impact on the political economy and lifestyles of rural indigenous people; and interviews of homeowners to obtain their comments, preferences, and suggestions for design features in a home. The conclusions drawn from the findings indicated that the most important feature for a modern house in rural, subarctic Alaska is an enlarged Arctic entry way which was a feature of nearly all of the early indigenous dwellings albeit the simplistic, tunneled entry. Secondly, installation of a standby heat source or a backup, wood stove in homes; and, finally that planning, design and construction of a smaller, simplified house be pursued.