WIT Press

The Sustainable Dwelling Development Of Human Settlement On Orchid Island


Free (open access)





Page Range

363 - 373




1,981 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S.-T. Kuo & C.-J. Chen


Orchid Island (Lan-Yu) is off Taiwan’s southeastern coast. It is mostly populated by an aboriginal people called the Tao (or Yami). Three thousand people inhabit the island with a unique human settlement, living culture, society system and natural landscape, which are explicitly different from the main Taiwan Island. For Orchid Island, in the past, the spatial change and environmental impact were inconspicuous. The Tao people remained the most primitive but sustainable of Taiwan’s aboriginal community. Nowadays, when the traditional and indigenous culture, environment, and settlement are transformed by external culture, ecological invasion, and inappropriate policies; there is also rapid change of the characteristic living style and dwelling types. The traditional housing units seem in danger of extinction, replaced by government or self-built square concrete boxes. The old houses have nearly disappeared from several of the island’s six villages. The goals of this study are, firstly, to observe the evolution processes of human settlement and to compare the traditional spatial forms and the transformed ones. Secondly, a goal is to emphasize the former attitude and to propose a sustainable strategy for developing the dwelling type by respecting and adopting the traditional culture and historic apologue. The concrete tactics for construction and architectural concepts are proposed in this paper. Keywords: Orchid Island, Tao people, human settlement, traditional dwelling.


Orchid Island, Tao people, human settlement, traditional dwelling.