AccueilIndustrial Heritage in the UK

Industrial Heritage in the UK

Mutations, Conversions and Representations

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Publié le mercredi 15 février 2017 par João Fernandes

Résumé

The chosen perspective for this one-day conference is an inter- and pluri-disciplinary one and it is therefore articulated around a variety of approaches such as cultural geography, cultural history, art history, media studies, urban studies, heritage studies, architecture, etc.

Annonce

One-day conference – 10 October 2017 – University of Rennes (France)

Argument

Since the mid-1950s, the UK has been experiencing a growing interest in the study, protection and conservation of industrial heritage, and is often considered as a forerunner in the advocacy of this idiosyncratic heritage and of its significance and potentialities. This rise in public awareness started with the development of industrial archaeology as a discipline in its own right, which later led industrial heritage to be seen as a resource for regeneration. In this respect, regeneration through the provision of new uses for derelict buildings also corresponded to a surge in urban renewal policies in the context of deindustrialization and to the current calls for sustainable development.

If the intentional disappearance of industrial vestiges caused popular outrage in the past and if industrial archaeologists and conservationists are sometimes unable to keep up with the quick pace of creative destruction in today’s redeveloping urban areas, the rhetoric of the tabula rasa is nonetheless increasingly contested. This is partly due to the positive contribution that innovative reinterpretations of existing industrial structures can make towards the retention of the palimpsestic quality of the urban fabric, as well as towards the promotion of a sense of place also based on an interconnection between past and present. Last but not least, nowadays the demolition of sound industrial buildings as if they were disposable resources runs counter to the promotion of a rational, cost-efficient – and environmentally friendly – urban revitalization.

The research project will mainly revolve around industrial buildings such as former textile mills, factories, warehouses, industrial infrastructures – whether they are listed or not – as well as on their surroundings when they constitute a landscape and/or are integrated into a conservation area. The scope of objects of study is not limited to sites inherited from the 18th and 19th centuries as it also includes those which came into being throughout the 20th century. The ambition of this one-day conference is to explore changes in the field of industrial heritage, its instrumental role in the provision of spaces for tourism, culture, and urban regeneration in general, and potential conflicts arising from the relationship between those various processes. Yet it will also be crucial to examine representations of industrial society and the tangible traces of industry in order to foreground mutations in terms of how industrial heritage has been depicted and perceived ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Thus it will offer a more comprehensive picture of the contrasting visions of a once neglected heritage.

The chosen perspective for this one-day conference is an inter- and pluri-disciplinary one and it is therefore articulated around a variety of approaches such as cultural geography, cultural history, art history, media studies, urban studies, heritage studies, architecture, etc.

Possible subthemes of research may include:

  • Industrial ruins and post-industrial landscapes: creative acts inspired by engagements with physical testimonies to the past, their otherness and unstable state.
  • Recycling industrial buildings and their immediate environment through culture and heritage.
  • Reinterpreting industrial sites for creative uses: questioning the inventiveness, viability and durability of adaptive re-use by the creative industries.
  • Assessing the legibility and permanence of the past in the conversion of industrial buildings.
  • Conservation and conversions: conflicts arising amidst architectural, cultural, historical, economic and promotional priorities.
  • Contemporary architectural interventions on the industrial urban fabric: an act of enhancement, detraction or debasement of heritage?
  • The protection and conservation of the industrial built environment: a challenge for urban planners and developers.
  • Representations of a vanishing industrial society and its heritage: depicting the industrial past, its people and its physical reminders in urban and rural landscapes.
  • The contribution of industrial heritage to tourism in post-industrial areas.
  • The birth of environmentalism in an increasingly industrial and urban British society in the late 18th century and its development in the 19th century onwards.
  • New functions for vacant industrial buildings: the discourse of sustainable development in cities.

Submission guidelines

Please send your proposals (maximum 500 words) in English with a short biography to Aurore Caignet (aurorecaignet@gmail.com)

by 15 May 2017.

Scientific committee

Lieux

  • Rennes, France (35)

Dates

  • lundi 15 mai 2017

Mots-clés

  • industry, heritage, conversion, conservation, representation, creative, sustainability, tourism

Contacts

  • Aurore Caignet
    courriel : aurorecaignet [at] gmail [dot] com

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Aurore Caignet
    courriel : aurorecaignet [at] gmail [dot] com

Pour citer cette annonce

« Industrial Heritage in the UK », Journée d'étude, Calenda, Publié le mercredi 15 février 2017, http://calenda.org/394390