Who isn’t familiar with the classic heritage interpretation diagram of a guide, some visitors and the site, making up three corners of a triangle? It is easy to forget that the site itself has often undergone significant interpretation work well before it has been opened to visitors. In securing the site and planning public access, an architect or landscape architect may have configured certain views, experiences and connections. Some aspects of the site may have been highlighted and others downplayed. Lasting alterations may have been made to the substance itself. There may also already have been a participation process in which members of the public have influenced the look of the site – and it has influenced them.
So, let’s take a closer look within IE at the work of architects and landscape architects as heritage interpreters. We can begin by connecting ourselves up to find out what skills, ideas and resources already exist within our network. Having consolidated internally, we can send out clearer messages to potential members and decision-makers.
How to connect, when we are all so widespread? I have set up a cloud platform on Google drive, on which members’ profiles may be accessed at any time. OK, it’s just an excel file, but let’s call it our virtual lounge, open all hours, for members to learn more about and link up with each other. We can update and amend our ever-socialising avatars (profiles) at any time. The architecture lounge is open to architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and anyone else who is interested in the subject matter. We can then hook up directly with each other to share tools and resources along with some brainstorming, peer-to-peer proofreading and idea-testing. We can also make use of the existing closed Facebook group for IE members to share links, site tips, inspiration, events, dates and other news. For those who enjoy writing articles, instagramming, blogging or giving talks and webinars, I’m sure we will be able to provide you with an appreciative and critical audience!
Interested? If you think you would like to join up, send me a short email and I will reply with a link and a password for you to fill out a short questionnaire, which will form the basis of your online profile. Those of you who would like to take a more active, organisational role may like to join the core team.
I very much hope we can find in our architecture network whatever support, input and encouragement we need in helping along our own interpretive ambitions, while contributing together to the development of interpretational landscape/ architectural planning in general – and enjoying each other’s company along the way!
Angus Forbes is the IE Architects Coordinator. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To cite this article:
Forbes, Angus (2020) ‘Architects and landscape architects as heritage interpreters‘. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2020, 6.