The world faces a crisis of traditional building craft skills, accompanied by critical skills and knowledge gap between technical schools and graduate conservation programmes for young and mid-career professionals in Asia. Conservation is generally not part of training in technical schools, and practical hands-on building skills are not sufficiently taught in graduate conservation programmes. Thus, resulting in a critical and practical skills gap in the conservation workforce, mainly in Singapore and generally in Asia.
To address this gap, the Architectural Conservation Laboratory (ArC Lab) is developing a conservation training strategy based on the UNESCO Competence Framework for Cultural Heritage Management to guide the technical conservation of Singapore’s cultural resources by offering cohesive training programmes to national agencies involved in heritage conservation. And also to students pursuing an MA in Architectural Conservation programme by the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. These hands-on training courses focus on methodologies of practical conservation, examine the traditional building materials and technologies, and explore the use of 3D technologies in traditionally-built cultural resources.
Head, Department of Architecture and UNESCO Chair in Architectural Conservation and Management in Asia
Master of Arts in Architectural Conservation (MAArC)
Nikhil Joshi (Studio Leader) Sri Sarvanan (Guest Tutor)
Options Design Studio 1/Advanced Architecture Studio/
Design for Adaptive Reuse
AY2021-2022, Semester 1
The buildings could tell the history of a city and its people. For a land-scarce country with a brief history of nationhood, Singapore has so far done somewhat well in its efforts to conserve its ‘monumental’ built heritage.
However, Singapore’s continually evolving urbanscape means that several ‘humble’ historic buildings are in a constant threat of either being erased or changed beyond recognition by commercial and tourism imperatives that prioritize money over the ‘spirit of the place.’ Only retaining facade or complete rebuilding of an old building does not need to be the option to save buildings. This must change urgently, and the students, through their design project, script that change.
This studio tackled issues of the contemporary heritage of Singapore using the Middle Road site as a case study. The design research project responded and reassessed the existing urban heritage conservation regulations and approaches and developed eighteen design projects that supported the protection and adaption of historic buildings, allowing sustainable growth, which is illustrated in this publication.
University of Malaya, Universitas Islam Indonesia,National University of Singapore
Nikhil Joshi (Director)Arif Budi SholihahAsrul Mahjuddin Ressang
Sense of Place Architectural ConservationField School 2018
The Department of Architecture (DoA), NUS in collaboration with the DoA, University of Malaya (UM) and the DoA, Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII), Yogyakarta has come together to conduct an architectural field school from 10 July – 01August, 2018 at the historic quarter of Kauman, the site of famed Great Mosque near the Keraton Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Palace), Indonesia. This session will be the eleventh field school conducted by DoA, NUS together with DoA, UM.
In the past, Kauman has been the residence of several significant Islamic religious leader including Ahmad Dahlan (founder of Muhammadiyah Islamic Movement). In 1919, he and his wife were the first to start schools for both boys and girls next to their house in Kauman. Later, his wife also founded Aisyah Foundation for Women. The European and Middle Eastern architectural influence can be clearly seen in the local buildings here, which are built tightly across both sides of the narrow alleys. Batik, once a thriving business here is now restricted to one or two merchants due to several cultural and economic changes in the recent past.
This year's field school comprises of a total of 25 student participants from all three organizing universities. The itinerary features interactive site visits and informal site lectures. Hands-on metric survey and community engagement sessions take participants and staff through a century of complex socio-political and economic evolution. Topics also include urbanisation, architectural heritage management, cultural tourism, and sustainable development.
University of Malaya, Universitas Islam Indonesia,National University of Singapore
Nikhil Joshi (Director)
Asrul Sani Razak
Managing Change, Ban Panthom, Urban Heritage and Community Development International Field School 2017
Since 2012, NUS School of Design and Environment has successfully organized six Heritage Field Schools/ Workshops based at Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Asian Architectural and Urban Heritage (TTCL) in Malacca and the School of Design and Environment (SDE), National University of Singapore (NUS). This Field School will explore the intrinsic multi-layered indigenous life of the historic inner urban area of Ban Panthom to understand the dynamics between rapidly transforming urban spaces and functions, mainly in the developing Asian cities. It will also address how the historic quarters of a city can play a role in preserving its identity while continuing to create better livelihoods and adequate housing and infrastructure. This Field School will extend the knowledge to understand the role of communities in heritage conservation as a vital part of wider historic urban landscape management. Through a combination of lectures, field trips, and interaction with various stakeholders, participants will learn the general principles and practices of managing change in rapidly transforming historic urban cores due to various socio-economic factors urban heritage management.
During the Field School, participants will study the different architectural styles in the Ban Panthom area by documenting the various residential typologies along the Pariyanok Road. In addition, the study will involve exploration of the dynamic daily-cycle of the public spaces and activities that define this neighbourhood and connect it with other parts of Bangkok. explore how heritage values are identified, evaluated, preserved, and presented; and the critical role of community participation in sustainable urban development. It will profile how international and national legal instruments for safeguarding cultural diversity, governance structures, and local area planning intersect within integrated and interdisciplinary management. It will also provide a critical introduction to community mapping; cultural tourism management; United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals; and Historic Urban Landscape. The Field School will provide first-hand experience to participants, as capacity building for locating heritage and culture in sustainable development in a rapidly globalizing Asia.
University of Malaya Rajamangala, University of Technology Srivijaya,
National University of Singapore
Nikhil Joshi (Director), Jaray Suwannachart, Asrul Sani Razak
Community Voices Cultural Heritage Management Field School 2016
The proposed Field School in ‘Cultural Heritage Management’ will continue on the strength of the previous Field Schools/ Workshops, which were mainly based on learning about material conservation (tangible heritage). The Field School will extend the knowledge to understand the significance of intangible heritage (communal values) conservation as a vital part of holistic historic urban landscape management. This approach is currently lacking in most Asian countries.Through a combination of lectures, field‐trips, case studies and direct community interactions, students will learn the general principles and practices of the field of heritage management while immersing themselves in a range of places and issues across the port city of Songhkla in Thailand.
During the four‐week Field School, students will explore how heritage values are identified, evaluated, preserved, and presented; and the critical role of community participation in cultural heritage management. It will address as to how community participation can plays a critical role in cultural heritage and tourism management. It will profile as to how international and national legal instruments for safeguarding cultural diversity, governance structures, and local area planning intersect within integrated and interdisciplinary management. It will also provide a critical introduction to community mapping; cultural tourism; sustainable development; Historic Urban Landscape; Heritage Impact Assessment. The Field School will provide first‐hand experience to students as capacity building for locating heritage and culture in sustainable development in a rapidly globalizing Asia.