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UnDoing: a research-through-curation project that investigates the reuse of the built environment

Sally Helen Stone (Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Laura Sanderson (Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 30 October 2023

16

Abstract

Purpose

This paper considers the exhibition: UnDoing. This research-through-curation project examined interactions within existing spaces and situations. This established links between the selected exhibits, the gallery, the city and with the continuum of the previous exhibition.

Design/methodology/approach

Carefully selected architects, designers and artists were invited to contribute—those who pursued a contextual approach; whose practice explored the way buildings, places and artefacts are reused, reinterpreted and remembered.

Findings

Through the act of curation, this research uncovered a series of different approaches to constructed sites and existing buildings, from layered juxtaposition, the refusal to undo, to interventions of new elements within architectural works.

Research limitations/implications

Curation offered the opportunity to consider works of architecture and of art through the same lens, for direct comparisons to be made and the influence of one upon the other to be comprehended.

Practical implications

The examination processes the architect employs is similar to that of the artist; the development of an understanding of place, and from this synthesis, creative interpretation. However, despite the similarities in the starting position, the elucidation developed by the artist can be vastly different to that of the architect.

Social implications

The juxtaposition and new classifications created by the exhibition encouraged visitors to look at art, architecture and the city in a different way; to grasp the direct link between the different subjects; and the possibilities created.

Originality/value

The two driving factors for UnDoing were places of previous occupation and the city of Manchester. The qualities of surrounding constructed environment combined were combined with attitudes towards existing structures and places.

Keywords

Citation

Stone, S.H. and Sanderson, L. (2023), "UnDoing: a research-through-curation project that investigates the reuse of the built environment", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHMSD-06-2023-0074

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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