Preservation, Heritage, and Memory

How do we choose what to save and what to throw away?  What do we choose to remember, and how do we choose to forget?  Preservation, Conservation, Heritage, and other aspects of memory-making constitute a powerful arena of conflict for citizens, planners, architects, designers, and policy makers.  Debates over what to save, how to save it, and how to interpret what we save involve fundamental questions of culture, memory, and the public good.  Why do we preserve buildings and things? How do we determine what elements are significant?  Who should sit at the table where such decisions are made? How do our idiosyncratic personal memories connect to broader collective memory?  These questions drive a lot of my interest in urban policy, planning, and built environments, informing projects that are not always about preservation as an instrumental practice, but rather about cities, places, and artifacts as sites for the construction of collective memory.

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