From: Docomomo International [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 10 October 2008 14:43
To: Docomomo International
Subject: Call for Papers: mAAN7 (New Delhi, February 2009)


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please read below the call for papers for the seventh conference of the
modern Asian Architecture Network, on 'Asian Cities -- Legacies of

Thank you for spreading the information.
Best regards,

Maristella Casciato, Chair
Docomomo International


     Conference Theme: Asian Cities -- Legacies of Modernity

     The 7th mAAN Conference will be held in New Delhi, India, from 23rd
to 25th February 2009. The mAAN-7 conference will be located at the
famous India International Centre and in close proximity to the
early-20th century heart of New Delhi, one of the most endangered urban
heritages of the modern world.
     The fate of "'Lutyens' New Delhi" -- as it is widely known, in
memory of the garden city's chief architect and author of its final
plan, Edwin Lutyens -- is symptomatic of the beleaguered future of other
such modern cities, where the heritage precinct circumscribes a prized
parcel of land, preserving the image of the modern city, but at odds
with the density and social character of the contemporary.
     The fascinating aspect of the modern city and its tenuous existence
within the contemporary metropolis is that it not only represents the
spatial imagination and technology of the recent past, but is also a
receptacle for polarities of privacy and publicity, of native and
foreign, of order and chaos and status and hierarchy, that are now being
replaced by the simulacra of post-industrial society. Space is no longer
a binding or a divisive force; it is instead a common ground where the
common interest of consumerism can be played out. Landscape is no longer
a binding of spatial relationships; it is now the ornament worn by the
enclaves of wealth. What binds the whole is infrastructure, the single
parameter for judging whether the modern should be relegated to the
urban trash heap or allowed to exist as a symbol of luxury or economy.
     mAAN invites presentations about the myriad ways in which the
modern city contributes to the formation of a modern identity. It shall
inquire whether, by revitalizing the modern, the city is itself
reinvented. And it will promote the idea that concerted action is needed
-- in the form of documentation, discourse and intervention -- in order to
conserve the vital socio-cultural and economic resource represented by
the modern Asian city.

     Call for Papers
     The organizers of the conference invite abstracts for papers on the
following themes:
     1. The knowing modern cities of Asia
     2. Regulating the modern architectural precinct
     3. Participatory processes in revitalization
     4. The educational imperative: training for conservation
     Abstracts should be 500 words, with the name of the principal and
subsidiary authors clearly indicated. Keywords should be indicated at
the end of abstracts.
     Abstracts should be E-mailed to the mAAN7 Secretariat
([email protected]) latest by 3rd November 2008. Authors of the
short-listed abstracts shall be required to submit their complete papers
latest by 2nd January 2009.

     SESSION 1
     The 'knowing' modern cities of Asia
     A large number of Asian cities carry evidences of continuous
historical evolution, from ancient civilizations to the contemporary
urban agglomeration. Each of these cities, from Istanbul and Cairo to
Delhi to Beijing and Tokyo, has an ever-changing urban matrix in which
the historical cores and precincts are inextricably embedded. To know
the contemporary Asian city is to appreciate the accretive character of
urban growth as well as the durability of the city itself, which seems
to have the capacity to absorb endlessly. However, heritage in general
is under threat in these cities. Because the heritage building or
precinct is usually an awkward artifact --- resistant to the logic of
modern planning and management yet compelling in its social and
aesthetic unity --- it has become the bane of the urban developer, more
convenient to be discarded than to be assimilated. It is as if each
building knows something, is a teller of history, and could either be
welcomed or be treated as a threat, telling stories that contemporary
society does not want to hear.
     The session will combine presentations that explore the urban
knowledge embedded in modern heritage, and the process by which the
conservation and revitalization process can be a enlightening process,
informing and assuring the present-day society of its past, uncovering a
knowledge that is too valuable to be lost. Papers could engage with the
theoretical, practical and documentary aspects of the subject,
presenting ways of seeing the Asian city that have been overlooked and
potentials in heritage conservation that have not been tapped.

     SESSION 2
     Regulating the modern architectural precinct
     The modern architectural precinct presents a peculiar set of
problems for the heritage conservationist and the city administrator.
Unlike ancient heritage, which has a morphological character and scale
that is radically different from the plan and intent of the contemporary
metropolis, the modern precinct represents a stage in the evolution of
the metropolis itself. Preserving and revitalizing the modern precinct
is thus a task that requires the administrator to be also a historian,
and the developer to be also a curator. Drafting a set of regulations
for a modern precinct is like creating a code for preserving a specific
practice of urban living, not merely the edifice that represents a
distant past.
     mAAN invites papers and presentations on the subject of legislation
and administration for the specific purpose of revitalizing modern
heritage precincts. We invite a discussion of examples from Asian and
non-Asian countries, where the existence of built heritage from the 19th
and 20th centuries has attracted the attention of planners,
administrators and conserving communities. The session shall focus on
the premise that good governance lies at the core of a policy regime
that is directed towards preserving a character that is unique and
irreplaceable, thereby preventing -- legally and institutionally -- the
assault of modern heritage by conspicuous consumption of urban space.

     SESSION 3
     Participatory processes in revitalization
     A significant aspect of the revitalization of modern heritage is
the growing need for local participation and collaboration amongst the
public and various stakeholders, as well as the active involvement of
the government. Unlike the preservation of archeological sites, modern
heritage is usually a lived-in built environment that commands a high
price, because of its usually privileged location within the metropolis,
and also houses a category of persons -- say, the industrial worker, or
the welfare state officer -- that is becoming outmoded and redundant in
the new economy. Modern heritage precincts, many of them residential or
mixed-use planned neighborhoods, are sites of conflict and potential
resolution, thus becoming the locations for cooperative rebuilding of
the city.
     mAAN seeks presentations of successful participatory processes
leading to the preservation and revitalization of modern heritage
precincts. Papers could explore a variety of approaches to encourage
participation, analyze existing models of the conservation process, and
document examples of successful community-based revitalization.

     SESSION 4
     The educational imperative: training for conservation
     It is a widely perceived that the process and final outcomes of the
revitalization of modern heritage requires the professionals and other
stakeholders to have particular skills; intellectual, social and
communicational. Further, these skills are different for different Asian
societies, depending on the relationships between practitioners and
government, and between society and professionals.
     mAAN would like to explore the diversity as well as the commonality
between the scenarios in different countries, in order to arrive at a
shared understanding of the steps that need to be taken; generally, at a
pan-Asian level, and particularly, for specific countries, to ensure
that the field of heritage revitalization is adequately served by
professionals with the appropriate skills, knowledge and sensibility.
     Papers would typically address the challenges of education and
training for the field of modern heritage revitalization, either
discussing and comparing different pedagogical and professional
approaches, or sharing case studies that illustrate emerging dimensions
of the phenomenon. Papers could also discuss the variety of techniques
now available for the task of revitalization, and the ways in which
knowledge-processing, mapping and similar technologies are able to
assist the field of heritage conservation.

     For updates please go to -->

Information forwarded by the
International committee for
documentation and conservation
of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the
modern movement

Docomomo International
Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine
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F-75016 Paris
t +33 -1 58 51 52 65
e [email protected]