Posts Tagged ‘heritage futures’

Heritage Futures – the book

Friday, July 31st, 2020

Preservation of natural and cultural heritage is often said to be something that is done for the future, or on behalf of future generations, but the precise relationship of such practices to the future is rarely reflected upon. The volume Heritage Futures draws on research undertaken over four years (2015-2019) by an interdisciplinary, international team of 16 researchers and more than 25 partner organisations to explore the role of heritage and heritage-like practices in building future worlds.

This large and collaborative project (directed by Rodney Harrison) lies behind our UNESCO Chair. The main results are presented in this book, which is available both in print and in free open access.

Heritage Futures. Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices

by Rodney Harrison, Caitlin DeSilvey, Cornelius Holtorf, Sharon Macdonald, Nadia Bartolini, Esther Breithoff, Harald Fredheim, Antony Lyons, Sarah May, Jennie Morgan, and Sefryn Penrose, with contributions by Gustav Wollentz and Anders Högberg.

568 pages, 188 colour illustrations

Open access (pdf) free | 978-1-78735-600-9
Paperback £35.00 | 978-1-78735-601-6
Hardback £50.00 | 978-1-78735-602-3

28 July 2020, http://uclpress.co.uk/heritagefutures

A Star Trek interpretation of the Future

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

A guest blog by Jesper de Raad:


Ever since I attended the Heritage Futures workshop ‘Thinking and Planning the Future in Heritage Management’ in Amsterdam in 2019 I regularly see examples of interesting ways on how we (currently) perceive the future.

A recent example is a ten second frame in Star Trek – Discovery. In the episode Such Sweet Sorrow: Part 2 we can spot the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a very recognisable piece of our collective cultural heritage. In this particular picture, we can see how the present looks at the future. The Golden Gate Bridge, as cultural heritage, is still there but there is no need for automobiles as people can fly around in space ships. People are still dependable on solar energy though, which is produced by the panels on the bridge as depicted in this scene.

This is a way of thinking about the future which at the same time is very tied and bound to the present. We think with our current knowledge and mindset. We are only able to perceive the future through the present!

Jesper de Raad, contact: J.H.M.deRaad@hotmail.com

An Archaeology for the Future

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Archaeology is the study of the past in the present. But can it deal with the future too?

  • Which future(s) are archaeologists working for?
  • Which archaeological heritage will benefit future generations most?
  • How can archaeologists build capacity in futures thinking? 

Some thoughts on these issues have now been published by Cornelius Holtorf in Post-Classical Archaeologies vol 10. By reviewing some recent and current projects conducted at Linnaeus University in Sweden he shows that it is possible to engage actively and constructively with the future and consider benefits of archaeology for future societies.

What does the future hold for heritage?

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf gave a Prezi presentation on “Heritage Futures: What does the future hold for heritage?” for the Global Webinar Series of the ICOMOS Emerging Professionals Working Group (29 March 2020).

The Zoom session reached very quickly the maximum number of 100 participants, with another 134 queuing to come in. Participants joined from all regions of the world, many confined to their homes due to measures to slow down the spread of covid-19.

Among the topics addressed in the lecture and the subsequent discussion were:

  • What does it mean to address Heritage Futures?
  • Is the future relevant to heritage?
  • Is the future knowable at all?
  • What are the needs of future generations?
  • Are we already addressing the future?
  • What is the potential of heritage in a post-corona world?

The presentation concluded by stating that heritage can have a bright future to the extent that it competently contributes to meeting the needs of future societies.

A recording of the entire session is available here. A look back at the event is available on the ICOMOS site.