Attitudes towards the urban past
Author(s)Lakhia, Kayed I. (Kayed Ishak)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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The city and its artifacts are among the most prominent witnesses to the material and spiritual condition of a culture. Far from remaining static, they are continually changing to adapt to the changing nature of individual activities, social patterns and technology. Thus a city is a fabric of several layers of time, existing at the same moment in the same place. This continuum is, on one hand, a repository of its people's memory and collective consciousness; and, on the other, of their hopes and aspirations. It is this which gives a place its character, and contributes to its inhabitants,' 'sense of place' and 'sense of time.' The monuments of the city may be in a state of ruin, and there may be arguments for their demolition, continuation in a state of ruin, or conservation. This raises the issues of why, how and to what extent to preserve the past; which of the several layers to preserve; and whether a general methodology of actions with regard to the inherited past is possible. In the case of rebuilding in an existing fabric there arises the issue: to which of the context's several pasts should one relate the character of the construction; or should one focus solely on the present moment? The purpose of this thesis is to understand different attitudes towards the Past and how they may be drawn upon in the perception, understanding, and making of our cities and their artifacts. Through the use of representative examples in each of the several approaches, the thesis proposes to evaluate critically their attitude towards the past. The thesis also aims to assess the appropriateness of intervention in terms of the creation of a sense of place and identity in time; the means of enabling the people to readily associate with the city; and the maintenance of a sense of physical, spatial and cognitive continuity.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1990.Supervised by Ronald Lewcock.Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-146).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology