Author Archives: Michael Netter

VAG Winter Conference 2024 on Dendrochronology

Call for Papers – VAG Winter Conference 2024 on Dendrochronology

The theme of the Vernacular Architecture Group’s next winter conference will be New Developments in Dendrochronology and its Impact on the Study of Vernacular Architecture. The conference will look at the evolution of the field in the past twenty-five years, covering new techniques and their applications to a broader range of aspects of vernacular buildings studies. The emphasis will be on exploring the methods through practical application and case studies. 

The conference will take place at College Court, University of Leicester, on 6-7 January 2024. A Call for Papers is attached and we would be grateful if you could circulate this to anyone who might be interested. The deadline for abstracts is 11 September 2023. Information about the Group’s conferences can be found at

European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards

The Call for Entries for the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2024 is now open!

Download and read the Call for Entries for detailed information about this year’s edition. The deadline to apply is Friday, 13 October at 23:59 CET.

Entrants are invited to submit their entries via

By creating an account on, you can also download a handy overview of questions for each category of entry.

See here for more details.

36th World Congress on Art History (CIHA)



Deadline for submission: September 15, 2023

The session questions old and new virtual materialities in the History of Architecture and Urbanism: architectural surveys of building archaeology, photogrammetry, laser scanning, geomatics, etc. This materiality influences the perception and analysis of space, but to what extent?

The first axis focuses on the history of the dematerialization of space for analytical purposes. While researchers specialising in the study of the Medieval period (especially building archaeologists) traditionally use reconstruction techniques, various Cultural Heritage study centres (within academia or not) have in particular used these techniques, essentially up to the limit of Modern and contemporary times. How, over the long term, have these techniques influenced the perception of space and therefore conditioned the analysis of buildings? Where (university departments, local authority heritage services, heritage conservation organisations, etc.) and by whom (photographers, surveyors, draftsmen, etc.) have these techniques been implemented? Finally, can we establish correlations between the evolution of these techniques and that of historiography?

The second axis focuses, always for analytical purposes, on the extension of the dematerialization of space since the ‘digital revolution.’ Medieval buildings are thus no longer the only concerned, but also those of later periods, as well as an entire area, whether urban, peri-urban or rural. The advent of digital technologies has brought a revolution in the perception of space, creating new methods of analysis. Which new materialization techniques have mostly influenced researchers in the history of architecture and urbanism? Have these techniques constituted a real revolution in analysis or are they only incidental tools for materializing space? Where and how are these techniques applied? What new techniques should evolve in order to further improve the analysis of buildings?

This session is intended for historians of Architecture and Urbanism, but also for technicians: photographers, draftsmen, surveyors, geomaticians, etc. For each axis, it consists of three 15-minute contributions presenting case-studies or overviews, followed by two 30-minute roundtables bringing together participants and specialists.

All proposals (short communications and roundtables) will be subject to a double-blind evaluation by the International Scientific Committee.

Research Questionnaire – Application of the Digital Twin Concept to the Maintenance of Historic Buildings

I am a master student from Loughborough University, and I am conducting a research study as part of my master’s degree requirements. My study is entitled, Application of the Digital Twin Concept to the Maintenance of Historic Buildings. This is a letter of invitation to participate in this research study. The purpose of this study is to gain information relating to the adaptation of the digital twin concept in historic buildings. In addition, the study aims to identify the data sets required to facilitate ongoing preventive conservation and restoration activities in historic buildings using the digital twin, and to elucidate the approaches needed in the future to facilitate the implementation of the digital twin.

The survey will last no more than 10 minutes. Please click the link below to go to the survey Web site (or copy and paste the link into your Internet browser). Your participation will contribute to the current literature on the subject of the digital twin in historic buildings. No compensation will be offered for your participation.

Survey link:

My research does not require any experience in the digital twin applications.

In this study, I want to identify what data needs to be recorded and collected if the digital twin can be used as a digital tool to assist in the conservation of historic buildings. Therefore, I would like participants to indicate, by answering the questionnaire, what data and information they think needs to be recorded if a digital tool can be used to help us, based on what participants do in their normal historic building conservation activities.

The experience of conventional conservation and maintenance of historic buildings would help this research.

I want to prevent people from thinking that they are not the subject of the study because of the term digital twin, which is in the title of the study.

Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary and all of your responses will be kept confidential. No personally identifiable information will be associated with your responses to any reports of these data. Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at

IEREK – Conservation of Architectural Heritage (CAH) – 7th Edition

In collaboration with University of Portsmouth, UK

Abstracts Due 16 March 2023

Putting the spotlight on heritage studies, IEREK is organizing the 7th “Conservation of Architectural Heritage (CAH): Sustainability” international conference. The conference will be held in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth, UK. It will serve as a primary forum for discussion on the topic of architectural heritage and its relations to sustainability, links to the environment, conservation efforts and techniques, management methodologies, novel innovations and technologies, and more. We encourage inputs from both theoretical and practice platforms. We aim to link theories to practice, and vice versa along with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches.

AMPS – Local Cultures – Global Spaces

Communities, People and Place

Abstract Date: July 15, 2023

Conference Website

The United Nations Human Rights and Habitat programmes connect how we live, to where we live. The association is premised on an understanding of cultures, communities and society through the lens of place. It sees them as inherently interlinked, and mutually reinforcing. Examining this liminal state, the Local Cultures – Global Spaces conference questions this idea as it appears at the intersection of cultural studies, sociology, human geography, architecture and urban planning.

It responds to debates around community networks and cultural traditions as independent of location. It addresses readings of the built environment as an isolated phenomena – as a series of constructed objects in, of, and for, themselves. Conversely, it acknowledges that how we live can be seen as inseparable from our built environments – our buildings, villages, towns and cities. In such readings, place may be defined as deterministic – as a central player influencing actions, and even identity. Positioning itself somewhere between these positions, Local Cultures – Global Spaces explores readings of societies and place as hybrid – as byproducts of the conflicting social, cultural and economic forces shaping our lives in multiple spheres.

If we take the city as a case in point, it can be critiqued as a site of displacement, economic inequity, gender marginalization and social exclusion. Viewed through such lenses, architecture, urban design and development policy simply ingrain the status quo. By contrast, for those celebrating cultural consumption, the city is a site for exchange – of ideas, experiences, identities, money, and more. Within this mix, the design of cities is central to the riches of globalization. It is where we find the Creative Class of Richard Florida, and where we enjoy the fruits of human production: cultural buildings, public spaces and the IT networks of the ‘smart city.’

HES launches survey of Scotland’s stonemasonry sector

We are conducting this survey to help us understand the size, shape and health of the stonemasonry sector in Scotland. This survey is the first in a series, and will provide data for us to better understand the sector and the skills we already have and will need in the future.

Stonemasonry encompasses a range of different knowledge and skills related to the working, use, application, and repair of natural stone.

More information and to access the survey here.

Closes 28 Feb 2023


  • 1. Topic of the ConferenceProtection of historic cities is a most complex conservation  issue. This is determined by a combination of many factors – such as the large scale of the operation, the diversity of historic elements and their values, the multitude of stakeholders, the complexity of urban functions, radical changes in the standards of use of objects and spaces as well as the fact that cities are, by definition, subject to constant change.The complex structure of the historic city cannot be protected as a whole. On a practical level, conservation activities must include the individual components of the historic elements of the city. At the theoretical level, however, it is possible to determine the principles and forms of dealing with entire typological or historical groups of monuments. However,  principles and forms of conservation were first developed primarily for individual historic buildings or groups, and to a much lesser extent for public spaces and the historic urban fabric.Public spaces – squares, streets, courtyards, public gardens and playgrounds  are intensively used; they co-create the value of a given historic city, and to a large extent determine its image and ‘spirit of place’. Their conservation must take into account technical, communication, urban and ecological aspects, acknowledging the central role of city governments in their management. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to analyze and evaluate the contemporary forms and principles that shape public spaces in historic cities and to manage how they change in response to changes of function and public need.Broadly understood, environmental considerations have meant that in recent years the revitalization of many public spaces in historical cities has been critically reevaluated. In many countries, conservation services have developed regulations for the protection and development of public spaces. These policies and documents must be supported by a theoretical foundation and a catalogue of good practice. An international discussion on this subject is long overdue.2. Objectives and thematic scope of the ConferenceThe aim of the conference “Public spaces in historic cities – conservation principles and good practices” is to organize a discussion and exchange of experiences amongst architects, urban planners, landscape architects and conservators, on these key issues.The issues of the conference will be divided into three sessions.
    1. Principles for conservation of public spaces in historic cities – technical, ecological, urban, landscape and formal aspects;
    2. Practices: forms and constraints for the conservation of public spaces – squares, streets, courtyards, public gardens, and playgrounds – inclusive of interventions and changes to public spaces such as the introduction of greenery;
    3. Interdisciplinary processes and guidelines for the responsible conservation of public spaces in historic cities; local, national, and international.
    The conference will include opportunity for discussion of projects for historic public spaces, both proposed and implemented. The presentation of positive and negative examples will help the conservation community to define the principles and program necessary to inform and shape public spaces in historical cities.4. Organizational informationProposals for papers should be sent by 10 January 2023, to theophilos@icomos.orgProposals should include:
    • a 300 word abstract (separate points will assist reviewers in assessing proposals);
    • a brief biographical note on the author; and
    • an indication of which session (1, 2, or 3) the paper is intended for.
    The selection of papers to be presented at the conference will be made by reviewers appointed by the Organizing Committee. The authors of the papers will be informed about the decision of the reviewers by January 30, 2023.The materials of the conference – after the reviewers’ assessment – will be published in the journal “Protection of Cultural Heritage”. invite you to submit proposals for conference presentations.We invite you to participate in the conference.

Architecture MDPI – The Future of Built Heritage Conservation

Submissions Due – 30 June 2023

More information here

The traditional understanding of heritage as tangible (physical) sites that represent authorized discourses and histories is being challenged by the postmodern conceptualization of heritage as a dynamic and pluralistic process (or performance) across space and time. Critical heritage studies, contemporary conservation theory and adaptive reuse are all contributing towards the idea of heritage as an immaterial, people-focused activity that has the power to include or exclude.

Beginning from Laurajane Smith’s (2006) established premise that ‘all heritage is intangible’, this Special Issue is seeking papers that critically evaluate, through experimental and theoretical results, how architectural heritage and adaptive reuse relate to this critical conception of heritage. What is the relationship between approaches taken towards built heritage and the contemporary thematic issues made prominent in critical heritage studies? How can architectural, conservationist and adaptative reuse strategies evolve to maintain relevance to the topical debates and issues in relation to what heritage is and means in contemporary life? What other developments in neighboring fields of inquiry and professionalism (e.g., heritage management, archaeology, cultural heritage studies) might be appropriate to consider when thinking about the evolution of built heritage conservation in this way?

This Special Issue welcomes papers that consider the future of built heritage conservation from the following perspectives:

  • The dynamic(s) between physical and non-physical heritages—intangible cultural heritage safeguarding within built heritage conservation, the transmission of intangible heritage through physical heritage(s), folklore and storytelling within the conservation process.
  • Built heritage conservation and participation—inclusive conservation, equity through conservation, community engagement and ethical considerations within the conservation process, the social process of conservation.
  • Built heritage and memory—contentious heritage, memory making and memory practices, multi-cultural and minority heritage representation, representation of the recent past, memory and conservation methods.
  • Architectural heritage and the climate emergency—the future of retrofit and reuse, anastylosis and recycling materials, natural materials movement, social sustainability, philosophical dilemmas related to material permanence and decay.
  • Digital futures for built heritage—future experiences of heritage, digital conservation and reconstruction methods, web-based methods, data mining, the role of the metaverse, evolving understandings of ‘authenticity’ in a digital context.

This Special Issue welcomes papers from a variety of architectural and non-architectural backgrounds providing the discourse is framed around the conservation and/or adaptation of built heritage. Papers can be methodologically motivated, data-driven, case study-focused or wholly theoretical.

Dr. Johnathan Djabarouti
Guest Editor

Place Alliance Seeking Case Studies Showcasing Good Design

The Place Alliance is joining forces with Civic Voice and the Urban Design Group to explore how we can deliver high standards of design quality in new housing development in economically disadvantaged areas or in areas where poor design has been the norm in the recent past. Can you help us to identify stories of success by nominating new housing developments that raise the bar for design quality?

The challenge

Research published in 2019 by the Place Alliance and examining the external built environment revealed a stark divide between the quality of housing development in different parts of the country as determined by relative affluence. The analysis showed that poorly designed schemes are almost ten times more likely to be built in the least affluent areas than in affluent areas.

However, this is not always the case. The same study also revealed that it is possible to deliver well-designed schemes in disadvantaged areas while poor quality projects are sometimes built within affluent localities. A common story seems to be that communities whose local planning authorities are unwilling to accept substandard developments and instead push housebuilders for better design quality are typically those that benefit from better designed housing.

Unfortunately, follow-up research pointed to a particular reluctance amongst some local planning authorities to pursue better design outcomes, and that these tend to be concentrated in certain parts of the country where expectations are lower and less scrupulous housebuilders are allowed to ‘get away with it’.

To break this cycle, we need to identify stories of success that can inspire others to push for better and to understand how this is done. As Government policy says, “The creation of high quality, beautiful and sustainable buildings and places is fundamental … and helps make development acceptable to communities”.

What are we looking for?

To start this process, we are seeking examples of major housing developments where, in your view, design quality in the external built environment has been achieved. In other words, in how a development looks, how it functions, how it fits into its surroundings, the amenities it offers residents, and so on.

We are interested in schemes from all regions of England and particularly projects located in economically disadvantaged areas or in localities where poor quality new housing development has dominated in recent decades. Projects should be at least 50 homes and either currently under development or completed in the last ten years.

If you would like to nominate a project, then please fill out our online form below: this should take no more than two to three minutes to complete.

Click here to fill out our online form