ArCHIAM’s collaboration with Pisa University continues

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In the foreground two stone carved cherubs hold a stone carved, behind them the leaning tower of Pisa is partly visible.

Four years on from the first Erasmus+ Traineeship Learning Agreement established by Dr Giamila Quattrone between University of Liverpool’s ArCHIAM and Pisa University, a heritage collaboration continues, focused on the integration of conservation with local development. On 13th April, Dr Quattrone delivered the guest lecture Bridging the Gap: Heritage Management for Sustainable Development to the 5th Year students of the Architectural Conservation Studio, coordinated by architect Gianluca Bacci with Dr Stefania Landi, which is part of the Building Engineering-Architecture Master Degree course at Pisa University.

Retracing some of ArCHIAM’s key projects, Dr Quattrone explored the theoretical and operational relationships between cultural heritage and sustainable development, showing how a participatory, shared and multidisciplinary management of the former can act as both an engine and vehicle for the latter, bridging a gap that is often at the base of ʻWestern-centricʼ, ʻmonument-focusedʼ and ʻtop-downʼ approaches.

A woman with shoulder length hair and glasses is sat at a desk in front of a class of students lecturing. On the screan behind her is a slide that reads

The lecture triggered a lively debate with students and staff members around the importance of continued stakeholder engagement - from planning to operation - and the key role played by effective monitoring and control mechanisms in ensuring long-term safeguarding of heritage values. 

A group of people are discussing a lecture, a woman with shoulder length hair and glasses is gesticulating with her hands.

Following the lecture, Dr Quattrone reviewed the student projects, providing ideas on how to inject new life into disused and underused heritage sites, leveraging them to address broader issues of shrinking populations, economic shifts, universal accessibility, amongst others, by working around eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture, gastronomy, ʻalbergo diffusoʼ-type hospitality and traditional crafts.

Dr Stefania Landi said: “Dr Quattrone's lecture and contribution to the design workshop represented a highly valuable contribution to the Architectural Conservation Studio, allowing students to reflect on urgent issues in the preservation of traditional heritage in different contexts and innovative management strategies hinged on the principle of environmental, economic and social sustainability. This is a significant step in the collaboration between the University of Pisa and the University of Liverpool, that I hope might allow fruitful exchanges of students and teaching staff in the future, thanks to programs such as Erasmus +.”

The lecture took place in the 1930’s Building Engineering School, designed by Federigo Severini in collaboration with Luigi Pera, which affords breath-taking views of Piazza del Duomo World Heritage Site - just a stone’s throw away - with the magnificent cathedral, baptistry, ʻLeaning Towerʼ and cemetery.

Image credits: Mirco Albrigo