'A time and a place': reconciling architectural pedagogy and urban conservation in historic Sarajevo

Greg Bailey, Karen Fielder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Whilst a contextual approach to design is widely taught in Schools of Architecture, urban conservation is more often seen as a diverging practice. As a School which delivers postgraduate learning in both architecture and historic conservation, at the University of Portsmouth we aim to equip our students with the skills to develop deep, personal understandings of cultural and historic contexts as a basis for contemporary design work that is not at odds with the goals of urban heritage conservation. New design is understood as integral to a process of managing change in the historic urban context that seeks to sustain heritage values through aligning Place with its partners Time and People. If Place is about people, their stories and histories, then it is also about the spaces and structures they made in the past, then looked after, destroyed or allowed to disappear, mediated by an understanding of ‘why?’ Our paper proposes transformative methods of learning for a new generation of architects working outside of the formal discipline of conservation, engaging with the creative possibilities of cultural heritage, not only the built environment but intangibles such as dance, food, music and literature, to build for the future. Equipped with these ideas and a phenomenological lens, the Emergent postgraduate Studio at Portsmouth exposed students to the vibrant and enduring Time and Place of Sarajevo in late 2014. Drawing on the subsequent work by these students, we present a series of case studies proposing new interventions for the city. We will discuss how an immersive first-hand experience elicited creative design propositions which reinforce cultural identity and community values and had a profoundly transformative and life changing impact on some students. We will discuss the extent to which this approach has validity in engaging the next generation of architects with a cultural landscape approach to urban conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Importance of Place 4th International Conference
PublisherBH CICOP
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2017
EventImportance of Place 4th International Conference: Cities and Cultural Landscapes: between recognition, preservation and usage - University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Duration: 20 Oct 201723 Oct 2017


ConferenceImportance of Place 4th International Conference
Country/TerritoryBosnia and Herzegovina
Internet address


  • culture
  • student
  • Sarajevo
  • phenomenological
  • pedagogy
  • intangible
  • heritage
  • design


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