14:00-16:00 GMT
Start Time: London 3:00 PM/ San Francisco 7:00 AM/ New York 10:00 AM/ Rome 4:00 PM /Cairo 4:00 PM/ Beirut 5:00 PM / Riyadh 5:00 Pm / Bangkok 9:00 PM/ Hong Kong 10:00 PM/ Tokyo 11.00 PM/ Sydney 12:00 AM Sunday September 6, 2020

The Symposium Recording


By the morning of Monday March 23rd 2020, cities and urban centers around the world were in shock; empty, vacant, silent, and frozen in time. A few weeks earlier, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic, triggering a host of preventive measures and leading governments to enforce lock-downs on civic activities. Within days, 1.7 billion people from 188 countries were “on lock-down” and by the first week of April, 3.9 billion people encountered travel and movement restrictions. Although the impact of COVID-19  is new to this generation, plagues and pandemics are frequent phenomena that historically occurred in overpopulated urban centers –  ideal environments for viral transmissions. Pandemics need direct contacts and thrive on excessively mobile and fast-moving urban life. 

The global response to the pandemic used novel terms like ‘social distancing’ and ‘Stay-at-Home Orders’, and within days governments forced Orwellian responses that have been authoritative, firm, and effective. Digital infrastructure buckled under the rapid change in daily routines and an increased demand for virtual connectivity. With cities and civic life at a standstill, homes transformed and took on multiple roles to fulfill new purposes. Alternative systems emerged facilitated by cloud environments. Virtual workspaces, e-learning, e-health, e-shopping, web meetings, tutorials and coffee mornings became standard fare. Yet amid the fear and chaos, our cities became greener, quieter, and cleaner. This pandemic is bringing new waves of change in regulations, design, planning, and how we connect and communicate. Multiple agendas are meeting in the discussion of the fallout; ‘healthy cities,’ ‘smart homes’, and ‘carbon-neutral urban centers’ versus worrying signs of surveillance, policing, contagion, and  anomie. New patterns of behavior are emerging and changes in our life and work are underway.  This present situation leaves us with a number of key questions on the future of cities and urban communities. 

As an organization dedicated to increasing our understanding of place, tradition, and change, the staff at the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) and our partners at Nottingham Trent University are pleased to host a live symposium with four seminal scholars and practitioners who will try to answer a series of questions in an attempt to further the discourse on the post-pandemic city.  They bring a deep knowledge of ancient history, digital media, contemporary design, and cultural heritage and their voices will help us develop a better understanding of what this pandemic means to the future of our cities. 

  1. What modes of disruptive traditions that occurred during the pandemic might shape new urban patterns and should we embrace this change? 
  2. How will traffic flows shift? Will the flow of people towards urban centers for work, shopping, and entertainment be reversed towards more rural, isolated, and protected communities?  
  3. How will practices such as architecture and design adjust to new norms of urban tradition? Will that influence our perception of density and our decision of where we live?
  4. How will we engage with heritage, history, and culture in more mobile, spatially disconnected, and virtual environments?
  5. How much will virtual environments (workspace, education, culture, and tourism) contribute to more intelligent cities? Greener cities? 

Saturday, September 5th 2020
14:00 – 16:30 GMT

Saturday, September 5th 2020 – 14:00-16:30 GMT
14:00 – 14:10 Introduction 
                               Professor Mark Gillem, PhD, FAIA, FAICP
IASTE President, Director, Urban Design Lab, University of Oregon, USA
14:10 – 14:25 On Disruptions in Cultural and Urban Heritage
                               Professor Neil Silberman
University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
14:25 – 14:40. On Disruptions in Art and Cultural Practices 
                               Professor Sarah Kenderdine
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland 
14:40 – 14:55         On Disruptions in Architectural Design and Practice
                               Ms. Julia Barfield, MBE RIBA FS
Marks Barfield Architects, UK 
14:55 – 15:10         On Disruptions in History and Archaeology
                               Professor Michael Scott 
 University of Warwick, UK
15:10 – 15:20         Virtual Coffee Break
15:20 – 16:25         Roundtable Discussion
                               Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem
Director, The Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage
Nottingham Trent University, UK
                               Professor Nezar AlSayyad 
University of California, Berkeley, IASTE Founder & Past-President, USA
                               Jeff Cody, PhD
Senior Project Specialist, Building&Sites Department,
The Getty Conservation Institute, USA
                               Dr. Montira Horayangura Unakul 
IASTE Vice President , National Professional Officer, UNESCO, Thailand 
16:25 – 16:30         Closing
                               Professor Hesham Issa
IASTE Secretary, USA , Cairo University, Egypt 


Prof. Neil Asher Silberman, is an author and heritage professional with a special interest in the impact of heritage on contemporary society.  He served for a decade (2003-2013) as the founding president of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation (ICIP) and was editor of the 2008 ICOMOS Charter for the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites. From 2004 to 2007, he served as director of the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation in Belgium. In 2008, he joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and became a founder of its Center for Heritage and Society. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Cultural Property and the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies. His books include:  The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Method and Theory (2018); The Oxford Companion to Archaeology (2012); The Future of Heritage (2008); Who Owns the Past? (2007); Memory and Identity (2007); and Heritage, New Technologies, and Local Development (2006). For the past seven years, his firm, Coherit Associates, has implemented a 14-nation participatory heritage project in the Caribbean for the Organization of American States (OAS). 

Professor Sarah Kenderdine researches at the forefront of interactive and immersive experiences for galleries, libraries, archives and museums. In widely exhibited installation works, she has amalgamated cultural heritage with new media art practice, especially in the realms of interactive cinema, augmented reality and embodied narrative. She is considered a pioneer in the field digital heritage, digital museology, digital humanities and data visualisation and has directed a series of laboratories in Australia, Hong Kong and Switzerland. A former maritime archaeologist, Sarah had authored numerous scholarly articles and six books. She has produced 80 exhibitions and installations for museums worldwide including a museum complex in India, receiving a number of major international awards for this work. In 2017, Sarah was appointed Professor of Digital Museology at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where she has built a Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+), exploring the convergence of aesthetic practice, visual analytics and cultural (big) data. She is also director and lead curator of EPFL’s new art/science initiative ArtLab, located in a seminal Kengo Kumar building, inaugurated in 2016.

Prof Michael Scott is a Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick UK. He has written a number of books about the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, as well as about wider global connections in antiquity along the early Silk Roads. For his work he was awarded honorary citizenship of Delphi, Greece. He is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has taught in the US, Brazil, Greece, Italy, China and the UK. He is also deeply committed to communicating his subject to the wider world, and has written public history books, radio shows, and written and presented over 15 TV documentaries for National Geographic, ITV, BBC1, 2, 4 and SBS. www.michaelscottweb.com

Julia Barfield is a founding director of Marks Barfield Architects together with husband and partner David Marks – also the originators and creative entrepreneurs behind the design and realisation of the London Eye. Julia studied at the Architectural Association (AA), and spent year out in South America working in barriada’s of Lima, Peru. She has worked for Richard Rogers & Partners and Foster Associates for 9 years; was project architect for the Sackler Galleries in the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, and was responsible for developing the early design strategy. Julia is currently on the national RIBA Awards Panel; on the LLDC Quality Review Panel and is an advisor for Design for the Built Environment Masters course at Cambridge University. Previously she was an Awards assessor for the Civic Trust and was on CABE Design Review Panel – 5 years; Guy’s & St Thomas’s Members Council – 5years; Vice President of the AA; an external examiner for Architecture at Queens University Belfast and was a governor at Godolphin & Latymer School – 10years. She has lectured in schools, universities and conferences in UK and overseas including Beijing, Mexico, Rome, Berlin and University of Virginia. Jointly with David Marks Julia has received the Prince Philip Designers Prize, special commendation and winner of ‘Queens Award for Enterprise, Innovation ’2003. MBA was short-listed for the Stirling Prize in 2000; won The Building ‘Architectural Practice of the Year’ Award 2001 & BD Sports and Leisure ‘Architects of the Year’ 2009.

In this first IASTE VIRTUAL SEMINAR event, we invite the public but especially all IASTE members and biennial conference participants to register by September 1st, 2020 and attend on September 5th 2020. While the event is free, prior registration is required.

The Symposium Recording