Erik Langdalen and Mari Lending
As existing monuments and buildings are fought over, on one hand demanded demolished and on the other asked to be preserved, there is a pressing need to discuss the premises upon which our disciplines operate. Acknowledging that we have to reorient towards the reuse of what already exist, architectural practice has to rethink its methods, working techniques and terminology, and to question how cultural heritage is evaluated. This elective course interrogates the theoretical and conceptual frameworks at work in the preservation and reuse of objects, buildings, cities, and landscapes.
Different categories of value permeate culture, and are prescriptive for the ways in which society perceives its material framework. A heritage object’s importance, worth, or usefulness is subject to fluctuating opinions and practices, as is its status as a ‘preservation-worthy’ object. What, exactly, are the values that prompt the preservation of a monument, regulate its reuse, and allow for its continued existence? How are these values grounded, and by whom are they defined? How do we value and sustain the integrity of what is already there in ways that allow for imaginative reuse?
The course is part of the research project Provenance Projected: Architecture Past and Future in the Era of Circularity, directed by Mari Lending and Erik Langdalen.