Exterior of a historic building with statues and Corinthian columns

Historic Environments and Conservation Research

Explore our work in historic environments and conservation, one of 8 areas of expertise in our Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism

There's a lack of understanding of the importance of heritage sites – not just the physical buildings and sites, but the stories they tell, the memories they hold, and other intangible values that cannot be seen.

Through our research in Historic Environments and Conservation, we're looking at how architecture, community and creative technologies can play a role in enhancing historic environments. By preserving the physical cultural heritage, and recording intangible values of sites, we work to build aspiration, pride, engagement and ownership over peoples' heritage and past.

This is particularly important because recent figures show that engagement with cultural heritage is decreasing, particularly in younger generations. This issue demands better integration of heritage into research and teaching, and new methods for representing cultural heritage and historic environments are needed.

To that end, we're working to understand cultural aspects and through our work, aiming to inform the regeneration process and produce culturally-accepted urban environment and city planning strategies.

We've presented our research at local and international conferences, and our work is frequently published in books and journals – including the Journal of Cultural Heritage, Identities Journal, the Architectural History Journal, and the International Journal of Heritage Studies.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Digital heritage
  • Urban heritage
  • Historic interiors
  • Reuse
  • Regeneration
  • Conservation theory
  • Heritage and conflict
  • Architectural conservation
  • Urban conservation
  • Digital preservation
  • Conservation technologies
  • Sustainable conservation
  • Community-based conservation


We use qualitative research techniques, such as interviews, questionnaires and focuses groups, to capture peoples' values and positions. Creative and analysis technologies can be used to record existing environment, as well as represent possible interpretation and integration policies.

The Cultural Heritage Research group also features interdisciplinary research and activities that frequently lead to collaborative projects between architecture, humanities and technologies, while our MA Conservation Architecture and MArch Design Studios degrees also reinforce this theme through teaching.

Collaborations and funders

In the UK, we collaborate with Historic England and English Heritage, who facilitate research on sites. Overseas, we work with universities in Lebanon and Egypt, facilitating oversea collaboration and possible Global Challenges Research Funding (GCRF).

Recent publication highlights

Discover our areas of expertise

Historic environments and conservation is one of our 8 areas of research expertise in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism – explore the other 7 below.

Green infrastructures

We're planning cities that can be both liveable for humans, while not resulting in further decline to the planet's ecological vitality.

A view of Portsmouth from Catherine House looking towards Spinnaker Tower
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Interior design theory and practice

We're investigating how architects and designers might rethink the way they approach interior spaces, by exploring how buildings are used by people.

Retro Chair, Bike and Cabinet
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Environmental analysis and design

Through our research, we're re-thinking the way we build cities, to better react to environmental issues and challenges, such as climate change.

Skyscraper with plants growing up the facade, Sydney
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Sustainable urbanism

We're exploring the models, technology and policies that can guide governments and planners to develop sustainable cities.

Sustainable housing at Priddy's Hard, Gosport
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Architectural and urban history and theory

We're doing research into the history and theory behind how we conceptualise and produce architecture and urban spaces on different scales. Explore our architectural and urban history and theory research.

Exterior of Charter House building in Portsmouth
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Design education

We're researching issues related to teaching and learning within creative and design disciplines, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum, student engagement, and learning theories.

Close-up design alphabet
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Digital design and new technologies

We're studying the integration of digital technology and new technologies in architectural planning, urban planning, and sustainability – and how they can impact future design processes.

3d printer model of a new building and city
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Our members

Tarek Teba Portrait

Dr Tarek Teba

Reader in Architectural Heritage


School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

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Research groups

Architectural and Urban History and Theory research group

We're researching narratives of place and the construction of new historiographical and theoretical discourses in architecture, interiors, landscape, and urbanism.

Intricate Roman church ceiling architecture featuring arches, pillars, gilding, iconography, typography and glass windows
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Interested in a PhD in Architecture, Interiors & Urbanism?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Architecture, Interiors & Urbanism postgraduate research degrees page.