A pair of texts by the celebrated French architectural and urban historian and theorist prompt rich debate among the guest contributors to the tenth volume of this international peer-reviewed journal, themed around heritage, urbanization and the challenges of conservation.
The latest Conversaciones… reproduces, with Spanish translations, the introduction to Françoise Choay’s 2009 book Le Patrimoine en questions. Anthologie pour un combat and a chapter from her 2011 work La Terre qui meurt, across which she analyses the concepts of ‘monument’ and ‘historic monument’ and their evolution. In doing so, Choay sounds a clarion call against global standardization and the generic use of the term ‘heritage’, while underscoring the importance of training architects and urban planners.
Through the lens of Choay’s writings, six esteemed authors apply their diverse geographical perspectives to examining the challenges imposed by a globalized world and the responses required to maintain the character of our cities:
- Architect and urban planner Jukka Jokilehto (Finland) reflects on human creativity and how the recognition of different types of creative forms has implications on the way heritage is approached and protected.
- Urban architect Ángela Rojas (Cuba) focuses on the integrity and authenticity of urban heritage, using the ideas put forward by Choay to analyze the city and its different functions.
- Architectural historian and Professor of Art History Lauren O’Connell (USA) uses her in-depth knowledge of Choay to highlight her pioneering role in re-evaluating and rediscovering actors and theorists of built heritage.
- Professor of Art History María Pilar Biel Ibáñez (Spain) contrasts Choay’s ideas on industrial heritage with its protection, conservation and use in different regions of Spain.
- Head of Section of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture Oliver Martin (Switzerland) addresses the global challenges introduced by Choay and shows a course of action for the recognition of the historic quality of built spaces.
- Associate Professor in Architectural Conservation Andrea Pane (Italy) offers a broad overview of Choay’s theories, interspersed with detailed biographical description.
Conversaciones… Volume 10 is available to download for free. The journal is co-published by ICCROM and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), through the Coordinación Nacional de Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural (CNCPC) in Mexico.