This issue of Dialectic looks at the changing role of the conceptual category of “vernacular” in the history of architecture. Essays revise the definition of the term from architecture without architects to disciplinary explorations of the ordinary, modular, and standardized type-forms. Architectural scholars explore a spectrum of issues impacting the notion of “vernacular”; globalization, digitization, romanticism, critical practice, socially responsible design, and public interest ventures. Reports on the imagination of “vernacular” as a separate and authentic foil to contemporary life and design are featured alongside the radical deployment, not of its forms but its tactics by activist architects today. Dialectic V will make an excellent part of undergraduate and graduate syllabi on the topic with short and stand alone articles. It also offers thought provoking reading for architects and thinkers interested in nuanced understanding of the contemporary built environment.