Designing Heritage


Evening Discussion with: Lynne DiStefano, University of Hong Kong; Suraya Ismail, Think City; Eric Zerrudo, University of Santo Tomas

Drinks Reception at 6:30 pm
Discussion at 7:00 pm
Closes at 8:30 pm

Designing Heritage brings leading experts into discussion about emerging challenges for cultural preservation and urban sustainability by focusing on three case studies from Southeast Asia, including work currently being done in the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar. One of the keys to 21st century heritage management is understanding the shift from an assumed inherent aesthetic or historical value to the need for cultural heritage to play a demonstrable role in sustainable development and the evolving identity of contemporary society. 

Cultural heritage professionals and associated communities all experience similar challenges in safeguarding heritage, which primarily revolve around three sectors: economics, human resources and community vitality. Whether it is the pressure of raising money justifying continuances or staving off cuts in the national budget, or seeking non-destructive private development strategies, the non-profit, public and private sectors are united in the need to fund heritage projects, while demonstrating the socio-economic benefits of such investments. In the human resources domain, organizations and institutions may struggle to support a staff that can meet the growing demands of the work, to find professionals who have adequate training and to keep pace with the changing theories and practices within the field. Finally, and what is often the motivating force for many who become involved in cultural heritage, are the myriad external forces and internal reactions of and to globalization, including the proliferation of mass media coupled with massive demographic movements, which seemingly homogenize culture while turning a magnifying glass to the concept of its diversity.

Professor Lynne DiStefano was one of the three founders of the HKU Architectural Conservation Programme (ACP), and she served as the second Director of ACP from 2003-2005. She was previously a professor at the University of Western Ontario, as well as Chief Curator of Museum London in Ontario, Canada. She has been extensively involved, through ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), with UNESCO’s efforts in heritage conservation. In mid-2012 she was appointed by ICOMOS to carry out a Technical Evaluation Mission for a proposed World Heritage Site in Japan—“Fujisan”, and currently, through ACP, she is involved in several initiatives in Myanmar. Among her numerous awards is AIA Honorary Affiliate Membership (2012), an honour extended to “distinguished individuals not professionally eligible for AIA architect membership for their contributions in promoting the value of architecture in society and for fostering awareness of issues related to the built environment in the Chapter's region.”

Suraya Ismail is Programme Director for Think City, a special purpose vehicle established by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia), tasked with implementing and managing the George Town Grants Programme (GTGP) for the Urban Regeneration of George Town World Heritage Site in Penang. Prior to Think City, Suraya was the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of Malaya as well as the Head of the Department of Quantity Surveying. She has served on a number of national committees, which includes, the National Graduate Placement Programme, National Accreditation Panel, Institute of Value Managers Malaysia (which she helped establish), the Malaysian Quality Framework (MQF) Professional Education Committee and the FIABCI Brown Paper Bag Seminars. She has carried out various consultancies in areas such as urban development and institutional/governance structures for both public and private sectors.

Professor Eric Zerrudo specializes in Heritage Management, Museum Development and Cultural Diplomacy. He is currently the director of the Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and The Environment in the Tropics (CCPET) at University of Santo Tomas, administrative director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and senior cultural heritage and development adviser for the Department of Tourism. Professor Zerrudo received his master’s in cultural heritage from the Cultural Heritage Center for Asia and the Pacific at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) in 2001, and a second degree in Philippine Society and Culture from the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines. His numerous awards in the field of Philippine cultural heritage include the Datu Salimbago (Prince of Change) of the Sultanate of Tugaya in Tugaya Municipality, Lanao del Sur conferred in 2008. In that same year, Professor Zerrudo was awarded the Outstanding Bedan Alumni for Culture (San Beda College) in The Fort, Taguig City.

Presented in conjunction with the Southeast Asia Research Centre and Hong Kong Advanced Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Designing Heritage is the inaugural event in CityU’s 2013 Southeast Asia Cultural Festival.

Event Details

Thu 18 Apr 2013
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
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Free admission, online registration required.
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