A Social Network Analysis of Late Twentieth-Century Heritage Conservation


James Lesh
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies


Cancy Chu
Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation

Project description

The professional field of heritage conservation emerged in Australia in the closing decades of the twentieth century. It was a product of the heritage movement, or what has been described in the UK as ‘the heroic period of conservation’. Between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s, the public backlash against modernism and technocratic modes of architecture and planning – typified by the re-design, re-planning and comprehensive renewal of existing urban areas – generated fresh modes for conceiving of inherited urban environments. The passage of national, state and local heritage legislation and the popular embrace of heritage places led to sizeable growth in conservation architecture, planning, governance and scholarship. This new professional field of practice involved a relatively small number of organisations and people, many of whom collaborated with each other. Using historical data sets and with a particular focus on Melbourne, this pilot project reveals key social networks which generated heritage professional knowledge at this remarkable period in Australian urban and conservation history.

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