Future Heritage

The terms heritage and preservation officially entered the architectural discourse only in 1931 with the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments. In the second half of the 20th century the notion of heritage generates a growing attention and becomes of public interest. A worldwide shared set of values for preservation are defined: monolithic universal principles progressively expanded from Western Europe to the rest of the world.  There’s a well-known contradiction in the Preservation discipline: our interpretation of the past is inevitably filtered by present set of values and therefore is relative.

History transforms an object into a monument and establish its incorruptibility. The incorruptible monument is opposed to the corruptibility of present objects. What if we liberate the term heritage from its historical meaning? What if we associate the term heritage to the present urban culture? The studio worked around the idea of heritage as complex of physical spaces and uses, defining the urban culture of a city. The studio aimed to define the identity of Hong Kong with a bottom up approach starting from the existing; recognizing, naming and mapping systems that form the space of Hong Kong and, at the same time, originate its collective imagery.