City Pioneers Series: Layers of Historical Understanding

31 Aug 2022 3.30PM to 4.30PM Webinar

Brought to you by: Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC)

Layers of Historical Understanding

“Restoration of the structure in Architecture Heritage is not an end in itself but a means to an end” ... and “architectural heritage includes not only individual buildings of exceptional quality and their surroundings but also all areas of towns or villages of historic or cultural interest.”
ICOMOS charter
Principles for the analysis, conservation and Structural Restoration of Architectural Heritage, 2011.
ICOMOS The Declaration of Amsterdam, 1975.

Architectural conservation has a role in forming a tangible part of the narrative of place-making. Conversely, can it be a “wicked” problem? What is “wicked”? What sort of impacts do conservation interventions have on the understanding of our built environment? What does an architectural structure or its detail tell us about the interaction of cultures? Architectural conservation reveals the narratives and stories behind the building by looking at the layers of history embedded in its walls.

Since almost the beginning of Singapore’s development history, the question of conservation has been a major point of debate with numerous questions for policymakers and inhabitants alike. In the process, buildings have been destroyed while others have been preserved with a variety of methods, as living monuments to our past. As Singapore enters a new era of shifting norms and cultural values and its need for land grows incessantly, the question of conservation has only become more prescient. With development and modernisation also come the questions of history, identity, community, and the inherent value of architectural heritage.

Join us in this webinar to learn more about the process of architectural conservation and what it can show us about the history of Singapore, and how the past can help the nation understand itself as it steps into the future.
At the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC), we aim to be on the forefront of urban research aiming at engendering discussions and formulate frameworks to confront the most pressing problems facing cities and societies today. Bringing together a multitude of expertise from geography to economics to the social sciences, LKYCIC bridges the silos and proposes well-rounded solutions for all stakeholders.

​ About the Speaker

Associate Professor Yeo Kang Shua

Associate Head of Pillar (Research/Practice/Industry), Architecture and Sustainable Design, SUTD

Trained as an architect and architectural historian, Assoc Prof Yeo Kang Shua’s research interest is primarily in architectural conservation. He has been involved in the restoration of some of Singapore’s religious and institutional buildings and was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2010 and 2014. One of the things that Assoc Prof Yeo relishes about his work is the opportunity to get to know Singapore’s built landscapes better and he believes that everyone can too. Hence, he proposes to not look at architecture, but rather to see architecture.

About the City Pioneers Series

In tightly packed and quickly developing metropolises, urbanites’ existential threats are manifesting clearly. And yet, at the same time, it is precisely in these ever-busting human hubs that numerous solutions and ideas are being put to the test to save entire nations and perhaps even our planet.
The City Pioneers Series is a webinar series which aim to bring pioneering thoughts to the young students of Singapore. Expert speakers from LKYCIC and SUTD will present on a variety of topics relevant to the urban environment from novel and exciting perspectives. The aim of the series is to introduce promising young researchers to the cutting edge of urban studies and research, potentially changing the way they see, understand, and appreciate their city and community.


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