Transnational Homes of Italian Migrants in Australia

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In the 21st century, migration is understood as part of a transnational movement that is reshaping societies around the globe. It is also reshaping the space and place where migrants have settled. This, in turn stimulates significant social and cultural arguments related to migrants’ influences on the built environment of host societies.

In the attempt to offer a holistic picture of this phenomenon, this paper will review the literature on cultural geography and transnational home theories focusing on two specific components: the meaning of home and the house design. It will be argued that home is both a physical structure and a set of meanings where these two constituents are tied together rather than separate and distinct.

The empirical research now in progress for this study seeks to explore the ways in which people from a specific Italian regional group - the Veneto people migrated to Australia after the period of mass migration - have built their own new transnational homes in the host country. Great attention will be given to the analysis of vertical and horizontal layouts of the dwellings under study as well as the use of space inside and outside the architectural artefacts. Reasoning behind the form and meanings attributed by Italians to their new dwellings will be deeply explored. Since migrant places are complex to analyse and interpret, the project is of a qualitative nature and involves a number of case studies covering a number of different architectural artefacts, and utilising a variety of data collection methods.

It is believed that such an exploration may contribute to a better understanding of the cultural diversity embedded in the built environment of one Australian city, and may capture the valuable body of knowledge kept by older Italian migrants and by their still standing dwellings before this knowledge is lost forever.

This research is conducted in conjunction with two universities: the Griffith University in Brisbane (Australia) and the the IUAV (Istituto Universitario di architettura di Venezia) in Venice (Italy).


Keywords: Cultural Geography, Transnational Home, Meaning of Home, House Design, Cultural Studies
Stream: Sociology, Geography
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Arch. Laura Faggion

Joint PhD Candidate, Griffith University, Brisbane (AUS);IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia), Venice (Italy)., Griffith University, Brisbane (AUS);IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia), Venice (Italy).
brisbane, qld, Australia

Laura Faggion obtained her Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) at the IUAV-University of Venice (Italy) in 1999. She worked as an architect in Italy, Germany, Austria and Australia. She is currently pursuing a joint PhD degree at Griffith University in Brisbane (Australia) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, in Venice (Italy).

Ref: I08P0499