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A Meaningful Sense of Home

The sudden sedentarization of Nunavik Inuit in the early 1960s led to a break in the cultural and social link between the habitat, the inhabitants and their way of life. However, certain practices inherited from nomadic life still persist today. In order to strengthen the link between the inhabitant and his dwelling, this research questions the meaning of the word 'home' for the Inuit, the values and the architectural qualities that are related to it.

This research considers housing in three dimensions: the dimension of home (practices), the symbolic dimension (representations) and the material dimension (the built form). The understanding and coherence between these three dimensions are at the heart of this research and aim to initiate a holistic conceptual reflection. From the literature studied, the Inuit home is defined as a micro-universe belonging to nuna, the land of the Inuit, as a space of social and family cohesion open to all, and as a support to the identity of the cultural and family group.

These definitions of the Inuit home have supported the launch of a graphic repertoire of ideas and architectural proposals. These proposals are illustrated visions that aim to support conceptual reflections closer to the inhabitants’ expectations. They encourage to renew the link between the symbolic dimension of the home and the built form (material universe) and thus re-establish the dwelling and its architecture within the Inuit cultural dynamism.

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