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Dialogues on Conservation

So I attended a panel discussion recently, where a few were to discuss a broad topic-‘Heritage Conservation and Adaptive Reuse’. Although excited I had my doubts about the whole matter. Maybe I was right, maybe not. Not much dialogue within the panel, nor with the audience, and a little muddled discussion saw much of the young student audience getting up and leave before the session came to an end.

After the whole felicitation nine yards, I left with a thought- So what does the broad architecture student body, understand by conservation at the end of the day? Why is there a need to preserve that what has been passed down to us via generations? What does it actually mean to me, I keep changing my context/environment/surrounding-call it what you may- how does it affect my overall understanding of this loaded term-heritage conservation.

Here I must add that my current work field has taught me a few things while raising more questions. Why do the interior design students (currently undergoing terror of my overbearing love for all things historic) not feel just as passionately about this field? Yet come up with these small glimpses of hope when having discussions about their immediate (surrounding) heritage. I keep reiterating myself, think logically with all your ‘common sense’ and there will be a practical solution to every construction related issue. And then voila, somehow these students have made me seen that there is light at the end of the tunnel, through their witty interpretations of conservation seriousness. It gets interesting these days, (as they have clearly understood) the paradigm has begun to shift from ‘monuments’ to the structures you see everyday at the corner of the road or in the busy old-market. Or that masses are flocking to heritage events organized in many cities during world festivals. Opening their houses and their stories to people like us, who believe they need to be told and believe that is worth saving. Conserved. Preserved for the future. Maybe that’s what it is. We tend to think so much on this issue, that as professionals we end up seeing only that what we want to.

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