We have a highly specialised interest in cultural heritage – those intangibles, embedded in the built environment.
Typically, interest in intangibles focuses on a community’s traditions, practices and customs, including “the stories we tell, the family events we celebrate, our community gatherings, the languages we speak, the songs we sing, knowledge of our natural spaces, our healing traditions, the foods we eat, our holidays, beliefs and cultural practices”, see What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?
Our interest is centred on how the social practices, beliefs and aspirations of communities, the life stories of organisations and households, and the personal narratives of individuals – past and present – are embedded in and symbolised by the built environments they create and occupy.
This interest comes from our involvement in a series of EU-funded projects on the use of digital media to support the sustainable development of cities, laterly through promoting cultural heritage tourism:
Ian Cooper runs annual inter-active sessions on ‘intangible cultural heritage’ on the World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development masters programme.
This work on intangibles is related to our interest in the value of design.