How does heritage evolve? That’s the question behind the ‘Shifting Identities’ session at the 2016 INTBAU World Congress, which INTO is going to help explore following some good discussions with Harriet Wennberg this week.
INTBAU, or the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism, is dedicated to the creation of humane and harmonious buildings and places which respect local traditions. Their 2001 Charter goes on: “Traditions allow us to recognise the lessons of history, enrich our lives and offer our inheritance to the future. Local, regional and national traditions provide the opportunity for communities to retain their individuality with the advance of globalisation. Through tradition we can preserve our sense of identity and counteract social alienation. People must have the freedom to maintain their traditions. Traditional buildings and places maintain a balance with nature and society that has been developed over many generations. They enhance our quality of life and are a proper reflection of modern society. Traditional buildings and places can offer a profound modernity beyond novelty and look forward to a better future. INTBAU brings together those who design, make, maintain, study or enjoy traditional building, architecture and places. We will gain strength, significance and scholarship by association, action and the dissemination of our principles.”
So a lot of synergies between INTO and INTBAU! But this is the first time we will have worked in active partnership, which is very exciting. We are hoping to see a number of INTO members at the Congress and we have some registration bursaries to facilitate this. Do get in touch as soon as possible if this is of interest – a more formal invite will follow very shortly from our Comms Team.
The links between heritage and identity are something we discussed at our own International Conference of National Trusts in Cambridge last year. INTO member organisations are undertaking exemplary work to ensure that cultural heritage remains relevant and accessible; that local traditions are being maintained amid the pressures of globalisation and that the economic potential of built heritage is understood. Delegates shared the strategies they have implemented to help communities protect and preserve history; how they use the past to engage with contemporary issues and techniques for interpreting ‘spirit of place’.
All of which is hugely relevant to the discussion sessions at INTBAU World Congress 2016. As is our Members’ experience with urban heritage. Only a couple of weeks ago, David Brown was explaining to the INTO EC/Board about NTHP’s ground-breaking ReUrbanism work in cities, which it will be great to include. It will also be a good opportunity to connect to practitioners from the INTBAU chapters around the world, some of which are already working with INTO member organisations in their home countries.
An additional excitement for me is the invitation to sit on the Selection Panel for the INTBAU Excellence Awards 2016. These awards celebrate the very best of the global architectural community in the fields of community engagement; new building; urban design and emerging talent. I’m honoured, if not slightly daunted by the idea of being part of this illustrious panel – and am hoping for some tips if/when we establish a similar scheme in the future!
The whole thing kicks off on 11 October with a reception at the House of Lords hosted by The Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick, when the conference programme will be launched officially. So more to follow … !
Thanks for reading!
In 2012, I contributed to a series of case studies for the Asia-Europe Foundation on Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Heritage, which can be found below: