The Conservation Network of EAAE is an open framework that supports Academic relationships based on opportunity for debate about change. It is an integral part of the activities of EAAE, existing wholly within that body and depending on the voluntary participation of people belonging to EAAE member schools. At the same time participation in its activities can be open to schools interested in EAAE membership.
The Network addresses a deep challenge for architectural education, research and practice – the place of the inherited built environment within architecture, its culture, educational systems and pedagogies, and how that culture finds its place within an evolving, globalising societal and cultural milieu.
The primary activities of the Network are structured around international workshops, held every two years. These workshops focus on key questions within the field of conservation of the built inheritance. There have been 6 workshops so far, beginning in Genoa in 2007, followed by Dublin (2009), Bucharest (2011), Rome (2013), Hasselt/Liege (2015) and A Coruna/Santiago de Compostela (2017). The next one is anticipated for Autumn 2019.
Each workshop is hosted by an EAAE member school, with assistance from the co-coordinators, and with support from the EAAE Secretariat. The school is responsible for organisation, communications and funding. Costs to participants are kept as low as possible, so that resources beyond the contribution fees are required. The EAAE Council has generally provided some contribution towards publication costs.
Each workshop is focused on a key question, examined in the context of specific locations. Participants join the workshop by submitting abstracts that address the theme of the workshop, which is disseminated through the EAAE website and directly to those who have participated in previous workshops. Those accepted come together, encounter directly the specificities of the places and engage in open, intense discussion in small and large groups.
The participants comprise teachers, researchers, practitioners and doctoral students of conservation, in schools of architecture, and representing other disciplines as well as architecture. They have in common that they are all students of conservation, working in schools of architecture in different ways, at different levels. The participants recognise the incompleteness of their own knowledge and the partiality of their experience. The expectation is that, through open discussion, they can challenge their knowledge, their preconceptions, and their approach to their work. They are expected to write papers that reflect, not only their own interests as expressed in their abstracts, but also the discussions that have taken place in the workshop.
Papers are submitted some months after the workshop and this provides an opportunity for interchange between the Scientific Council for the event and the participants, to refine ideas and clarify their expression. Each workshop is concluded when the papers are published.
The direct aim of each event, discussion, reflection, writing and the publication process is
a. to deepen understanding of the changing field of conservation
b. to provide an opportunity to connect with colleagues in academia and practice through collaborative investigation and discussion;
c. to provide an outlet for the results of the work and the reflection
d. to improve teaching practice
In addition the workshops and their resolution, the Network has held several intermediate meetings to consider development strategies and future events.
Some summary data/metrics:
− number of participants in workshop1: 98
− number of participants in workshops 2, 3, 4, 5: 259
− participants with multiple attendances: 60
− schools: 70
− countries: 23
− books published: 5
− papers (workshop1): 47
− papers (workshops 2,3,4,5): 164
and additional other contributions (briefing documents, keynotes, etc)
The following points are a supplementary response to continuing enquiries:
- No special inscription is needed to participate in the Network. To be part of it, it is sufficient to respond to the calls about its activities and, in particular, to those regarding its biannual workshops.
- Everyone can participate in the network’s life; it is open and its focus is on “conservation/restoration” matter/issues and not on a single specific academic discipline!
- Usually the calls for the workshops are disseminated during spring every two years and this means that the next call will be sent out in spring 2019.
- After each workshop and before the following one, an intermediate meeting is often organised, inviting interested schools/members to participate in order to propose and chose together the location and the theme to be addressed in the following workshop.
- This time, following the discussions that took place in A Coruna at the end of September 2017, the next workshop will be arranged at an intermediate meeting in spring 2018 and everyone can participate and will be welcome. You will thus receive all the necessary information in due time.
You can freely download form EAAE web-site all the past publications and materials regarding the activities of the Conservation Network. The site also hosts the presentation made to the EAAE membership at Bordeaux in September 2017.
Hoping that this information is clear enough, we once again stress that the network is a living resource – it can live and develop only with the contribution of all of you and of your schools, in an open perspective and within a friendly and collaborative atmosphere. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have further enquiries.
Professor Stefano F. Musso
Professor Loughlin Kealy