2016 Conservation Studies Graduation

graduates-gill2016 Conservation Studies Graduates, left to right: Robert Dawson, Hattie Marshman Harris, Evangelia Kostaki-Kassandrou, Angela Morris, Kristin Potterton, Amy Higgins, and Alessandra Sprega. (Photo courtesy Gill Chitty)

Written by Gill Chitty and Kristin Potterton

On Saturday 21 January, 2016 graduands from the MA Conservation Studies programmes were awarded their degrees by the University of York’s Vice Chancellor, Koen Lamberts. You can watch the ceremony here

This was an outstanding year with many of the Conservation cohort achieving merits and distinctions in their MAs. Prizes were given to four Conservation Studies MA students for their distinguished dissertations (Angela Creswick, Sonali Dhanpal, Harriet Marshman Harris and Kristin Potterton). Duncan Marks received the YCAA Outstanding Contribution Award this year for his services as the student representative on the YCAA Committee and for all the excellent work he has done supporting events and opportunities for conservation students.

Award-winning dissertations covered a range of topics, including:

Sonali Dhanpal Bangalore’s Bungalows: The resurgence of buildings from a bygone era 

The bungalow is often referred to as India’s contribution to house types of the world. However, much is left to study about the archetype specifically its adaptations and regional variations within the country. This dissertation aims to establish the significance of the bungalow within the area of study, Bangalore, by understanding the city’s regional variants. It will do so by examining previous history, along with analyses of external features and internal layouts of examples that correspond to the city’s chronological development. Finally it seeks to establish the integral historical significance of the bungalow that brought with it the concept of individualisation of property and the idea of the single dwelling set in a compound that warrants recognition as valuable heritage, worthy of conservation.

Harriet Marshman Harris, Understanding Highfield to inform a sustainable future: Assessing the heritage values, usability and building performance of a nineteenth century house in the twenty-first century

This research project applies an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of historic buildings, to a case study of Highfield, Driffield. The aim of this work is to argue to need for a comprehensive body of work to be collated in order to inform appropriate and responsible future management and design strategies for sustainability. This study found that the significance and building record need to be read in conjunction with usability and data monitoring in order to gather the information required to support and inform future strategies for sustainability; through optimised usability, building performance and longevity of heritage values.

Kristin Potterton, Managing the Industrial Ruin in a National Park: A Critical Assessment of the Conservation Process

Remains and ruins of rural industrial heritage are at risk of decay or destruction from outside influences including the natural environment, agriculture, and recreation. Conservation has traditionally focussed on the monumental aspects of the industrial past and is missing the opportunity to provide a fuller picture of the cultural landscape such rural ruins are part of. Using a current case study of rural industrial ruin conservation in the North York Moors National Park and an associated questionnaire, an understanding of conservation approaches is developed. From this research, a process for evaluating and managing rural industrial heritage is presented.

As well as awards for our MA students, the graduation ceremony was also the occasion to recognise Dr Francis Pryor MBE who was awarded honoris causa Doctor of the University for his contributions to society through his long career. Dr Pryor, a distinguished archaeologist, is known to millions from his television appearances and a series of successful books and in particular his discovery of the Late Bronze Age timber causeway and religious complex at Flag Fen, now one of the best known Bronze Age sites in Europe. Read more on the Department of Archaeology’s news page.

tracyduncan-gillYork Conservation Alumni Association Chair Tracy Wilcockson and YCAA Outstanding Contribution Award winner and student representative Duncan Marks. (Photo courtesy Gill Chitty)

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