Professor Hayden Lorimer

Project Title: Re-Placing Risk and Ruination: Experimental Approaches to Access, Design and Engagement in Transitional Heritage Sites

Nationally and internationally, there are a multitude of valued heritage landscapes, in a ruinous, vulnerable, degraded state. Our new ruins are a problematic cultural legacy. They require diverse forms of creative intervention to enable rehabilitation and safeguarding for future appreciation and use. This collaborative research project addresses the problem by asking: “How do you activate a modern ruin?” Responses are being drawn from a unique interdisciplinary study into ongoing efforts to transform of a Scottish site of international architectural significance and its surrounding historic landscape (Kilmahew-St. Peters, Argyll and Bute). The project team combines individual areas of expertise in legal geographies, architecture and design, cultural landscapes and creative arts practice. The team is investigating how public access to, and engagement with, this significant transitional heritage site, has been enabled in ways that are safe, creative and collaborative, and how these pioneering approaches can be shared and replicated elsewhere. The project has gathered original data through a combination of stakeholder interviewing, and immersive, participatory fieldwork activity at Kilmahew-St. Peter’s. The novel and experimental approach to heritage site presentation and management taken by artists, architects and designers has been challenging for all concerned, and is an unfinished process. Our research findings about the experience of these ups and downs will have widespread relevance and applicability.

Awarded: Research Grant

Field: Geography

University: University of Glasgow

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