Out of the ruins

Nick Timms, Kate Baker

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Our paper will explore landscapes that have been neglected since the mass exodus from the country to the large post-industrialised cities of the late 20th century in Europe. At some indefinable moment, abandoned buildings and settlements become ruins, and they adopt a new dialogue with nature. Ruins have another life in our imaginations, where nature plays a more dominant role and the memory they contain provides continuity between the past, the present and the future. We will examine locations where the land is no longer inhabited, where there is clear evidence of past settlement and human occupation, and put forward an argument for reassessment and for strategies to reinvigorate them. In our Diploma Unit at the School of Architecture, over the last few years, we have been visiting failing landscapes, looking at settlements that previously enjoyed a productive relationship with the land and its resources. We have investigated the causes for the failure, and re-evaluated them within a contemporary context. We have considered the way our attitude toward inhabited landscape has changed. We have emphasised the need to look at existing resources in depth, and have speculated about ideas for re-vitalising communities and the way they might improve their integration with the land. Our concerns are with habitation, use, resources, and sustainability. It is our belief that through considering architecture and landscape design together we can help mitigate the detrimental changes that are occurring. The paper will be illustrated by work carried out by students in their final year of the Diploma in Architecture. Three sites will be examined: The Amalfi Coast in Italy, the Alpilles, in Provence, France, and Setti Fatma, Morocco.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
EventHeritage 2012 - Porto
Duration: 19 Jun 201222 Jun 2012


ConferenceHeritage 2012


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