Cultural Fortresses: Reconsidering Preservation and Memorial Architecture

In March and May 2014 in the Center for Urban History, Fulbright Fellow Ashley Bigham (Yale University) tought the seminar "Cultural Fortresses: Reconsidering Preservation and Memorial Architecture." 

Course participants were students from five local universities, and professors and researchers from academic institutions. The participants were divided into two groups and classes were held Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

The seminar "Cultural Fortresses: Reconsidering Preservation and Memorial Architecture" discussed memorials, historic sites, or landscapes that challenge preconceived ideas about traditional architectural methods of memorialization.

Memorial sites not only preserve, but also interpret and educate. The process of assigning cultural value is a complex one, charged by political and social considerations. What are the responsibilities of the architect working in memorial sites? What is the role of the built environment in interpreting history? How can architects bring new meaning, energy, and public engagement into historic structures?

This course looked beyond statues and triumphal arches and explore new forms of preservation in cities and spaces all over the world. It considered buildings, places and infrastructure that intricately bind us to the past. Of particular interest was the re-animation of these sites, where contemporary functions and historic rituals collide. 

The program of the course is in Ukrainian and English.

The seminar will consist of 5 sessions, which will be held in the Center for Urban History (6 Bohomoltsia Street). The language of instruction is English.

Participants will receive a certificate attesting to their successful completion of the course. 

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 focuses on the preservation and modern adaptation of historic fortification structures in the Galicia region. Her work focuses on the cultural and architectural identity of the structures by examining their modern context.