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DCH 518: Advanced Topics in Built Heritage and Cultural Landscapes






Language of Intruction


Course Description and Aims

This graduate seminar course addresses key themes in the interdisciplinary study of built heritage and cultural landscapes. Over the past decade advances in digital technologies and visualization have helped to revise the ways we study the historically layered landscapes of the Mediterranean. Built Heritage is an emerging field that focuses on the study of architectural landscapes and building environments aiming at the holistic understanding of the historical, cultural, material and environmental conditions that influenced their spatial configuration, experience and development. Additionally, the study of Cultural Landscapes focuses employs advanced documentation and visualization methods to analyze the complex social, economic and religious networks behind the experience of urban and rural landscapes in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The theoretical considerations of the seminar will be complemented with the analysis and presentation of state-of-the-art digital simulation and data visualization techniques that enable researchers to study and understand performance data and explore projective changes and alterations that the conservation of monuments of cultural heritage will provoke to the environment of the city. Through the delivery of lectures and in-class discussion, students will be introduced to algorithmic models that foster the integration of a wide array of interdisciplinary research applications and methods focused on aspects of the city’s past and present realities. Capturing, monitoring, presenting and representing patterns in the performance of the building, and of the differentiation of important aspects of built space through the years, will contribute new understandings of the role of cultural heritage in the degree of interaction with/exploitation of the city’s common resources by distinct populations.

Participating students are encouraged to think outside the methodological boundaries of traditional disciplines and to be ready to utilize technological and scientific applications in CH and Archaeology to pursue an array of research themes in Art and Architectural History, Archaeology, Urban Studies, theories of space, Film Studies and New Media, etc. Course leaders will pursue topics appropriately chosen to meet the needs and interests of participating students. In turn, students will be expected to appropriately develop projects that permit the effective use of interdisciplinary theories, methods and applications. Ideally, these projects will be directly related to students’ PhD research.

This semester long course will be organized in 2.5-hour weekly meetings which will be devoted to lectures offered by the course tutor and guest lecturers as well as discussion based seminar meetings with the contribution of experts in the field. Furthermore, class-time will be used for student presentations, site and fieldwork visits. The projected list of lecture and seminar meeting topics is as follows:


Lecture Topics (each topic’s content will be covered between one and two meetings)

1.   Introduction to the course’s theme, objectives and projects
2.   Defining Built Heritage
3.   Landscapes as complex cultural systems
4.   The Eastern Mediterranean context and Cyprus
5.   Architecture, city and the environment
6.   Cultural phenomena, economic flows and the reconfiguration of architectural landscapes
7.   Documenting and visualizing urban landscapes
8.   Cultural Heritage and Cyberthatre: Virtual Shared Spaces for the study of the relationship of Built Heritage and Public Space
9.   Life Projects: Urban Modeling and Performative Environments; Preserving Cultural Heritage
10. Virtual environments for contested urban space
11. Playful Engagement, Virtual Performances and Embodied Affordances


Transferable key skills

Upon completion of the seminar, students will:
Be able to communicate their ideas effectively to a variety of audiences using a range of references from various disciplines;
Develop a personal understanding of the relationship between the built environment and cultural phenomena; and
Be familiar and critical with the spatial conditions of Eastern Mediterranean basin and its spatial context, as this is analysed in the humanities.

Grade distribution

60% - final essay; 30% - seminar presentation; 10% - participation in class

Evaluation Criteria

Students will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Solid conceptual propositions that facilitate theoretical advances;
Ability to formulate and utilize multiple references of their choice and precedents (case studies);
Articulated argument; and
Class participation.

Selected bibliography

  • Becket, F. and Gifford, T. Culture, Creativity and Environment: New Environmentalist Criticism, Rodopi, 2007.
  • Bonacchi, C. Archaeology and Digital Communication: Towards Strategies of Public Engagement, Archetype Publications, 2012.
  • Calame, K., Charlesworth, E. and Woods, L. Divided Cities: Belfast, Beirut, Jerusalem, Mostar, and Nicosia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.
  • Dahl, T. Climate and Architecture, Routledge, 2009.
  • Conway H. and Roenisch, R. Understanding Architecture: An Introduction to Architecture and Architectural History, 2nd edition, Routledge 2005.
  • Kostof, S., The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History, Reprint edition, Bulfinch, 1993.
  • Kostof, S. and Catillo, G. A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Logan, W. and Smith, L. Key Issues in Cultural Heritage, London: Routledge, 2012
  • Longstreth R. and Calafate-Boyle, S. Cultural Landscapes: Balancing Nature and Heritage in Preservation Practice, Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2008.
  • Lucas, G. Critical approaches to fieldwork: contemporary and historical archaeological practice. Routledge, London, 2001.
  • Lynch, K. The Image of the City (Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies Series), MIT Press, 1960.
  • Mumford, L. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects, Mariner Books, 1968.
  • Roberts, L. Mapping Cultures: Place, Practice, Performance, London: Macmillan, 2012
  • Rogerio-Candelera, M. Lazzari, M. and Cano, E. Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. London: Taylor and Francis Group, 2013.
  • Roth, L. M. and Roth-Clark, A. C. Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning, 3rd edition, Westview Press, 2013
  • Rubenstein, J. M. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, 11th edition, 2013
  • Tilley, C. A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths and Monuments, Bloomsbury Academic, 1997.
  • Tilley, C. Interpreting Landscapes: Geologies, Topographies, Identities, Left Coast Press, 2012
  • Whyte, W. H. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, Project for Public Spaces Inc, 2001.
  • Colomina, B., Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.
  • Vesely, D. Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation: The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production, MIT Press, 2006.
  • Leach, N. Rethinking architecture: a reader in cultural theory, London; New York : Routledge, 1997.
  • Perez-Gomez, A. Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge, MIT Press, 2000.
  • Lefevre, H. Writings on cities; selected, translated, and introduced by Eleonore Kofman and Elizabeth Lebas, Cambridge, Mass, USA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.
  • Giedon, S. Space, Time and Architecture, Harvard University Presss, 1973.
  • Steve G. and Marvin, S. Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition, Routledge, 2001.
  • Moser, M.-A. Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments, Leonardo Books, MIT Press, 1996.
  • Beardon, C. and Carver, G. New Visions in Performance: The Impact of Digital Technologies Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, 2004.
  • Murray, J. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1997.
  • Potteiger, M. and Purinton, J. Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.