Historic environments and conservation
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
- 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
ASCAAD, 2016, The 8th International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design: Parametricism Vs. Materialism: Evolution of digital technologies for development, Al-Attili, A., Karandinou, A. & Daley, B. (eds.), London, Imperial House.
Structural analysis of historical constructions: anamnesis, diagnosis, therapy, controls, 2016, Van Balen, K. & Verstrynge, E. (eds.), Leuven, Belgium, CRC Press Inc.
REHAB 2015: Proceedings of the International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historical Buildings and Structures . Amoeda, R., Lira, S. & Pinheiro, C. (eds.). Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development, Vol. 1. p. 263-277.
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.
We're planning cities that can be both liveable for humans, while not resulting in further decline to the planet's ecological vitality.
We're investigating how architects and designers might rethink the way they approach interior spaces, by exploring how buildings are used by people.
Through our research, we're re-thinking the way we build cities, to better react to environmental issues and challenges, such as climate change.
Our research in this area of expertise is bridging the gap between the technical and humanistic aspects of architectural and urban history and theory.
We're researching issues related to teaching and learning within creative and design disciplines, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum, student engagement, and learning theories.
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.