Preservation Doesn't Have to be an All-or-Nothing Proposition.


Cities are dynamic and living things. Preserving a building in its initial state isn't always the best solution. What if we considered the degrees of preservation between ALL and NOTHING?

What if we thought of preservation through the ideas of artist Gordon Matta-Clark?
What if we thought of preservation through the act of demolition?
What if we integrated a building into new development?
What if we expressed a building's ideas and concepts through anatomical exhibition?
What if we re-inhabited a building by dissecting it?
What if we treated a building as public art?
What if we distribute remnants of a building to plazas and museums?
What if we move the building from its site?

Could we use degrees of preservation to educate?
Could we better heighten awareness of a building's original value in an altered state?
Could we increase the perceived value of design in the public consciousness?
Could we preserve our cultural heritage while embracing our future?

3 comments:

sean said...

What a great effort you've got going here Jim. I'm not an architect, I'm a strategy person in marketing and advertising. But your take on preservation has inspired me to think differently about preserving ideas (I just wrote a little post about it). Thanks, and good luck on saving the Blue Cross building in some form or another.

sean said...

Sorry, Jason (not Jim)!

JW Hart said...

Sean - Glad we could inspire your thoughts on the preservation of ideas. I’ve also found your blog equally thought-provoking. We’re both engaged in creative processes which by its nature has many overlaps. I found your analog letter on “the future of architecture” interesting as well. It’s funny how the invention of the automobile did so much to link communities at a macro scale, and at the same time, so much to degrade the community on the micro scale. Cultural values are also perpetuated by marketing, perhaps at a faster rate than architecture, so the future of architecture has some codependence on the future of marketing. My company, CUBE design + research, is always looking for engaging collaborations. Should ever an opportunity arise, feel free to contact us and vice versa.
Cheers,
JW Hart