Date of this Version
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review , Vol. 30, No. 1, The Politics of Tradition (Fall 2018), pp. 35-36.
Published by International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE)
How can architectural design assist in making the past present in meaningful ways when applied to buildings that commemorate troubling pasts? This dilemma becomes even more challenging when a preexisting building is located in a district that had provided citizens with a peaceful setting for leisurely activities before it was taken over for politically hostile purposes. Once that evil force has been eliminated, both city authorities and citizens may desire to return the district to its distant past, bringing peace back to the area. Yet they may also desire that the building carry their difficult memories of the more immediate past, so that it may provide lessons for the present and future. The question then becomes: What contributions can architectural design make toward these two, often conflicting, objectives?