The Center for Urban History is pleased to announce that guest researcher Ashley Bigham (Yale University) will join the Center’s team. For ten months, from February to November 2014, Ashley will conduct her research, collaborate in the Center’s projects, and teach a seminar for undergraduate and graduate students in Lviv.
Ashley Bigham is a Fulbright Fellow in architecture currently researching historic city fortification systems near Lviv. She is a recent graduate with a Master of Architecture from the Yale University School of Architecture. In addition to her studies at Yale, Ashley's teaching experiences include a teaching fellowship with Professor Dolores Hayden at Yale University and an Adjunct Lecturer position at the University of Tennessee. Professionally, she has practiced at MOS, an inter-disciplinary architecture firm based in New York and Gray Organschi Architecture in New Haven.
Ashley's research in Ukraine will focus on the preservation and modern adaptation of historic fortification structures in the Galicia region. As a cultural artifact and architectural typology, the fortress embodies more than the physical aspects of strength, stability, and security; it is a symbol of cultural history. These enduring structures stand across Ukraine today in variations of their traditional forms altered by time, technology, and culture. As these structures lost their effectiveness as physical defense systems they adopted new programs such as museums, cultural centers, community meeting spaces, and tourist attractions while others remain in disrepair. The need for these structures has never faded; it has evolved. This project will include observing, documenting, and analyzing the current condition of sites such as Palanok, Uzhhorod, Olesko and Kamianets-Podilskyi. This work will focus on the cultural and architectural identity of the structures by examining their modern context.
In addition to her research, Ashley will teach the seminar "Cultural Fortresses: Reconsidering Preservation and Memorial Architecture" at the Center for Urban History.