This lecture will address issues surrounding architectural materiality, and the way in which materiality is factored in into strategies of architectural preservation that are filtered through memory. Many of these themes also relate to the rather ambiguous concept of authenticity, particularly with regards to the role that materiality plays in the establishment of what might be considered the “genuine” or the “original” character of an architectural form. This module will focus on how authenticity, with regards to the materiality of architecture and its preservation, is often less of an absolute idiom and more of a compromise between various stakeholders and agendas, particularly as it relates to history and memory. Whether dealing with issues of formalism (Notre Dame), nationalism (Abu Simbel), or cultural identity (Djenné), materiality as both a physical record and a historical artifact that, in the context of preservation, is defined by idealism balanced with pragmatism, a balance defined by issues of political, social, cultural, and even spiritual reality.
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