II International Conference on Permanence and Transformation in Historical Fabrics

This II International Conference on Permanence and Transformation is organized by the Technical School of Architecture and is supported by the Heritage Restoration Institute of Valencia. It will be held in the Technical University of Valencia during the days 13, 14, 15 and 16 of February 2012, and will bring together national and international experts on intervention upon physical, social and economic structures of historical origin.
The thematic of this event follows the one begun in the first edition of this Conference. Held in the Technical University of Valencia in June 2010, the meeting dealt with the problematic of traditional residential neighbourhoods in physical or social degradation stages. The city is not a blank sheet: we find on it a palimpsest of physical and social experiences, the understanding of which promotes a better actuation upon the structures that reality provides us with. The strategies of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are part of a wider point of view that not only understands the existing as productive matter for a more sustainable future, but also as a basis for a more respectful intervention into historical and collective memory.
At this conference we propose to focus on the industrial tissues in a partial or totally inactive stage. These locations take up great extensions of land that sometimes are places of opportunity for society. Its pre-existences talk about rational and rigorous architectures, usual issues in the economy of industrial ensembles. But on the other hand, they stand witness productive structures which do not exist anymore. An approach from a contemporary point of view promotes the recovery of these elements, turning them into active heritage, for which it’s maybe necessary to take into account other dimensions beyond the merely physical ones.
This first approach allows us to consider the successive sessions, which will deal with three fundamental thematic axes:

Territory and memory
The territory is built through long-term processes, usually developing over several centuries. These processes are produced by deep transformations in cultural terms, where cultural means the manifestation of all the possible human activities upon the territory. Aspects such as property of land, patterns of ground occupation and economic exploitation are to be considered as the elements that give origin to the current world and its expectations for the future.
The understanding of the present can be understood as the key to the permanence of our inherited territory, which sometimes bears witness to undeveloped possibilities, some of them still latent but never till now considered.

Intervention and preexistence
In the ambit of permanence and transformation in historical tissues, the lower scale, but certainly the one with greater effect on the life of its users, is the one dealing with the intervention on architectonical heritage, the intervention on the pre-existing.
The pre-existing considered as the atmosphere we find, where the intervention is understood as a dialog and relationship between the new and the pre-existing.  
The intervention upon the pre-existing may take into account certain factors ingrained in culture, in architecture, in workshops and building techniques and to the time of development. Especially, we propose to reflect on the specific facture in the process of intervention, on that found atmosphere, within the limits of permanence and transformation.

Transformations in the anthropogenic territory
To consider the transformation of the man-made territories means to reflect on its particular history and culture. It means looking for common points between the natural, the rural, the industrial, the artistic and the social.
The formers of the strategies for intervention on the territory need to study the processes of permanence and transformation of the territory, and to extract its building laws. The inherited territory is a place for research into, and experimentation on, the systems for the continuous modifications of the territory to assume the permanence as a value to build the future.