Critical Conservation applies issues of culture, history, and identity to design and development transcending such outdated dialectics as past-future, traditional-modern, and us-them.

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Today when everything has a knowable history and meaning can be ascribed to anything, conflicts over place-making reveal the uses and abuses of history. Similarly interpretations of “nature” legitimate particular cultural values to control places just as gentrification and wars marginalize groups. This program offers students an understanding of embedded and temporal cultural systems, the tensions between progress and tradition, the issues of permanence and obsolescence and underlying forces often masked by the union of ideologies, preservation, and politics. Candidates propose research topics that apply Critical Conservation issues to topics in urbanism and landscape, art and design, real estate, energy, architecture, and related design fields.

Please visit the Critical Conservation website.

Area Heads

Susan Snyder, Lecturer in Architecture
George Thomas, Lecturer in Architecture

Affiliated Faculty and Associates

Anita Berrizbeitia, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture
Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design
Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning
Toshiko Mori, Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture
Erika Naginski, Professor of Architectural History and Director of Doctoral Programs
Antoine Picon, G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology
Jorge Silvetti, Nelson Robinson Jr. Professor of Architecture
Charles Waldheim, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture
Stephanie Yuhl, Associate