Education in Architectural Conservation

One of the major themes of Jacqui Goddard’s career was her interest in, and commitment to, improving ways of delivering training and education in architectural conservation. It seems appropriate to ensure that one of her last contributions in the field is made more widely available.

Last year, Jacqui’s article on “Education in Architectural Conservation”, which explores the development of architectural conservation as a professional discipline during the latter half of the twentieth century, was published in the Getty Conservation Institute’s quarterly newsletter, Conservation Perspectives.

The article compiles timelines highlighting significant meetings and documents related to architectural conservation occurring between 1931-2012, as well as the major education courses and tertiary degree programs initiated in the field between 1950-1980.

Jacqui finishes her article with a discussion of some of the challenges associated with implementing professional accreditation schemes in the heritage conservation field, and notes that these schemes “exacerbate the creation of ‘silos’ and further separate conservation from the creative act of [architectural] design”.

Of greatest relevance, particularly with regard to the rising appreciation that conservation of our existing buildings is a major contribution to the sustainability of the act of building, is her concluding statement reproduced below.

Architects concerned with built environment conservation must engage with architectural education. Understanding the past is vital in addressing the future of our historic environment. If, as argued by architect and educator Ernesto Rogers, ‘conserving and constructing are moments of a single act of conscience’, then it must be part of the architectural agenda. Conservation courses need participants who already have an understanding of place, and architecture students need to understand the historic context within which they work.

The complete Fall 2020 edition (volume 35 number 2) of Conservation Perspectives, which focussed on built heritage conservation and training, is available for download here.

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