This paper shares the blending of academic theory and methodology with practical, activist application focusing specifically on the designing and building of a prototypical energy efficient house in Kerala, India with the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD) using indigenous knowledge and appropriate technology.
The paper takes the form of a personal odyssey from the US to the state of Kerala in India during the course of university doctoral study. It is the story of my ecofeminist beliefs about the importance of environmental concerns and the way I have learned to articulate these beliefs through a feminist rhetoric of cooperation, caring, and grassroots activity as critical sources of knowledge and transformation. Using autoethnography, I advance the ecofeminist rhetorical option of invitational rhetoric and argue for its potency in fostering change in responding to the exigencies of environmental depletion inherent in our current residential energy use.
My post-doctoral laboratory is Kerala with its half-century history of modeling education and health care systems for less overdeveloped societies. Less well known is Kerala’s modeling for the built environment as demonstrated in the work of COSTFORD. This paper documents the design and construction strategies implemented in an energy efficient house as co-rhetor manifesting the merits of ecofeminist invitational rhetoric, re-sourcement, and enfoldment. The house, presently under construction, provides a blending of indigenous knowledge in design and construction with developments in appropriate technology as embodied rhetoric. It demonstrates both different architecture and architecture that makes a difference as well as the efficacy of alternative rhetorical theory and methodology.
|Keywords:||Invitational Rhetoric, Ecofeminism, Energy, Built Environment, Kerala, India, COSTFORD, Autoethnography, Re-sourcement, Enfoldment, Indigenous Knowledge, Appropriate Technology|
Independent Consultant, Thiruvananthapuram Centre, Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
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