Tangible - Intangible Heritage(s)


Maria Alessandra is one of the Keynote speakers at the conference in the debate Spaces make Heritages, while Carlo Cappai will be chairing the Design, Use & Experience and the History strands.

Lecture Theatre EB.G.06, University of East London, 13-15 June 2018



In a time when the construction of New Towns is on the agenda in UK; when climate change threatens historic cities and landscapes in Asia; when the cultural industries turn our art and architectural history into economic models of development; when entire cities are being built from scratch across rural China; and socio-economic change is destroying industrial communities leaving people in the West in search for answers, what can we mean by ‘heritage’?Our built environment of buildings, towns, cities and infrastructures are always, at inception, visions of a future. They also become – very quickly – the markings of the past. Framed as architectural history, these markings tend to be what we think of when discussing heritage. However, heritage is more than this. It is equally a question of artistic and media representations of the present and the past; the social milieus we destroy or reinforce as economies fade or grow; the societies we construct through varying forms of city governance; the artistic and political legacies we use as points of rupture in building the future.

Our buildings, towns, cities and their artistic and media representations then, are all visions of an aesthetic present. They are the realisation through design of what we can and wish to build. They are social constructions defining the way people live, think, develop and desire. They are economic contrivances marking out the interests of capital. They are expressions of knowledge and skills which can inform innovation. They are phenomena mediated equally by the arts, medias and actual experience. They are inevitably political at every level. Organised in collaboration between the School of Arts Technologies & Innovation at the University of East London and AMPS, this conference suggests we cannot think of heritage in reductive terms, neither as isolated objects or images nor as a purely historic phenomenon. We seek to explore definitions of ‘heritage’ by considering it from various angles: physical form, artistic formulation, political tool, social and media construct, economic reification and digital innovation. As a result, the conference welcomes presentations from specialists from multiple fields whose work overlaps with issues of heritage broadly defined: art historians, conservationists, architects, urban designers, cultural theorists, sociologists, artists, media and press historians, planners and more. Keyote speakers, Tony Fretton of Tony Fretton Architects, Micheal Ramage of Cambridge University and Maria Alessandra Segantini of C&S Architects will frame the topic presenting their design and research agenda on 13.06.2018 at 6:00pm in the main lecture theatre at UEL Dockland Campus