12 to 15 May 2023, Sighișoara (Romania)

Under the theme ‘Creating learning landscapes through heritage interpretation’, we built on our current partnership with UNESCO, paving the way for all heritage to co-create more sustainable and mindful societies.

To foster peace and sustainability, UNESCO recently defined requirements for value-based heritage interpretation. Participation, co-creation and inclusion became buzz words and featured also in IE’s cooperation with UNESCO. But how can all those concepts be achieved in practice?

Can interpretation turn landscapes into learning landscapes, inspiring both locals and visitors for handling crisis and for transition towards sustainability? What is the value of direct heritage experiences in complementing formal learning? And how can value-based interpretation at UNESCO-designated properties enrich museums and other heritage sites?

The Historic Centre of Sighișoara World Heritage Site provided the ideal setting for discussing such questions at our 2023 conference. The oldest inhabited mediaeval citadel in Europe, with its multi-ethnic atmosphere, was our host and an ideal spring board for our study visits into the heart of mythic ‘land beyond the forests’ – Transylvania. We were enchanted by UNESCO-designated villages with fortified churches like Viscri and Saschiz where villagers play a leading role in the preservation and interpretation of traditional lifestyle.  Hateg Country UNESCO Global Geopark sent us on a time travel to our planet’s history from the dinosaurs’ time to the time of humans and their middle ages until the present and, last but not least, we were wandering along the narrow streets, with their fascinating architecture, of mediaeval Brasov.

In a packed programme of inspiring speeches, workshops, presentations and study visits we exploreed how value-based interpretation can pave the ground for all heritage sites to become inclusive, participatory and reflective learning landscapes.

Our IE conference Creating learning landscapes through heritage interpretation was organised by AICI Architecture Studio.

Conference proceedings (pdf)