VALUE OF WISDOM THROUGH EXPERIENCE: SUSTAINABLE HERITAGE
Free (open access)
383 - 394
CHRISTOPHER J. HOWARD
Architectural heritage, like cultural heritage, is a very nourishing resource, providing meaning and wisdom from experience for the next generation. Without heritage, alienation, apathy and ignorance take hold. Human beings thrive from connections between past, present, and future. Yet, today, the field of architecture suffers from a lack of connection to the past. Effects from this can be seen in issues that face the field of architectural heritage, manifest through indifference, ignorance and neglect. Architecture in the past, built upon architectural heritage, both figuratively and literally. Design relied on precedence through documentation and analysis. Existing architecture found new life through adaptive reuse. There was a very comfortable and familiar interaction between old and new. Today, little reference or reverence is given to the past. This approach disengages with heritage, creating a chasm between old and new. The need for architectural heritage has become one dimensional, with a less compelling reason to care beyond an appreciation for what was once deemed valuable. These structures become artifacts of nostalgia in a museum culture. How did we get to a point where architectural heritage mattered so little? It is worth examining the trajectory of and forces behind this development, as well as the current state of architectural education. A review of the 128 accredited schools of architecture in the United States, show that there are only 22 schools of architecture that have a historic preservation component of the curriculum, and only 3 of those schools teach traditional design as a continuum from the past. Architecture schools must invest in heritage as an educational resource and engage with preservation. Through documentation, analysis and history, to learn aesthetic, construction and cultural lessons, the next generation may lead the way toward increased appreciation and reconnection with our architectural heritage.
resource, wisdom, experience, connection, architectural education, tradition