Critical regionalism is an approach to architecture that consciously supplants the international style of Modern Architecture by the designer responding in a place-specific way to the context of the immediate physical and cultural context of the project so as to produce a project that has a sense of place and meaning. The term critical regionalism was first used by Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre and later more famously by Kenneth Frampton. According to Frampton, critical regionalism should adopt modern architecture critically for its universal progressive qualities but at the same time should value responses particular to the context. Emphasis should be on topography, climate, light, tectonic form rather than scenographic and photogenic driven design and the tactile sense rather than the visual. In the employment of tectonics the designer is considerate of available resources, skills and and the associated traditions of local craft and construction.
[Extracted and edited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_regionalism]