Vernacular architecture is a category of architecture based on localized needs and construction materials, and reflecting local traditions. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural, technological, and historical context in which it exists. It has often been dismissed as crude and unrefined, but also has proponents who highlight its importance in currentdesign.
It can be contrasted against polite architecture which is characterised by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements. For the similarities to "traditional architecture" see below.