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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

Methods

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.

Our members

Research groups

We're researching narratives of place and the construction of new historiographical and theoretical discourses in architecture, interiors, landscape and urbanism.
We're researching the discourses of community formation and deformation through their representations in literary texts.

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.

 

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