Are we prepared to be teaching landscape heritage conservation? We have many cultural landscapes that need to be preserved, but few formally trained practitioners.
The Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development published the research on the Cultural Landscape Heritage Conservation (CLHC) specialization in the Philippines. The study by ICOMOS Philippines’ members Arch. Kenneth J. Tua together with fellow Cultural Landscape specialists LArch. Gabriel Caballero and LArch. Susan C. Aquino-Ong was in coordination with the current four universities offering landscape architecture in the country: the University of the Philippines – Diliman, University of San Carlos, Bulacan State University, and University of San Agustin. Relevant stakeholders were also consulted in the study, such as the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA), the Technical Committee for Landscape Architecture, Commission on Higher Education (TCLA-CHED), and the Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Landscape Architecture (PRC BOLA).
The peer-reviewed article reviews the preparedness of the Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the CLHC specialization and will serve as a starting point to engage discussions with the PRC BOLA in its development of the CLHC specialization currently being planned. The end goal is to develop a training program for landscape architecture students from the current four universities, and landscape architects and heritage professionals.
It utilizes the framework of Harvard professor emeritus Carl Steinitz’s ‘Geodesign’, in formulating a developmental process and validation of the interrelationship and collaborative activity of the identified thematic areas and courses in terms of IT, geographic sciences, design professions and the people of the place.
If a program is created, then the hope is that more technically proficient practitioners can create methodologies and policies to preserve and protect places of cultural and natural significance.
Kenneth Tua, Research Intern of ICOMOS Philippines for 2020, did a baseline study of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC). Courses from four (4) Philippine universities were reviewed and thematic areas of study were proposed patterned from identified programs of UNESCO Chairs for Heritage and from other similar programs on cultural landscapes that exemplify course concentrations significant to the curriculum integration of the specialization of LHC. The study also provided a joint SWOT – PESTEL analyses to support the preparation of the ‘Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities’ to be obtained by the students from the LHC specialization.
The study entitled “PHILIPPINE LANDSCAPE HERITAGE EDUCATION: Review of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC),” was supervised by Philippine members of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes, Mr. Gabriel Caballero, MA (Expert Member) and Dr. Susan Aquino-Ong, PhD (Advisory Member). Both advisors are also members of the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects, which is the national association of landscape architects in the country.
Thematic Areas of knowledge conceptualized to understand and manage cultural landscapes in the Philippines
Computing / Information Technology.The intervention of technology in the advancement of heritage conservation is vital in the future of preservation and restoration. The use of interactive websites, mobile applications, new multimedia and transmedia narratives, 2D and 3D photos, ethno-clips for heritage interpretation, content management system (CMS) and social media, 3D scanning, GIS, BIM or 3D reconstructions are the future of precise and detailed documentation and analysis of landscapes and heritage materials.
Conflictualities and Memory. Geopolitical tensions affecting cultural heritage and cultural landscapes are compounded by the complexity of their management due to potential conflicts of interest. Economic externalities and uncontrolled tourism can pose a threat to the integrity of landscapes and eventually lead to a sociological upheaval in the natural and cultural environment.
Cultural Diplomacy.The emergence of national and international awareness of the laws, policies and guidelines governing the landscapes and the natural environment plays a vital part in the protection against private interests and politics. The skills of cultural diplomatic affairs serve an important role in the pro-creation and amendments specificity of heritage and landscape-related laws.
Cultural Geography.The living cultural heritage of local landscapes are inseparable from its meaning, as it faces problems from social and economic developments such as poverty, loss of culture, endangerment of indigenous language, emigration etc., the establishment of development of the territory through heritage encourages the need for harmonious dialogue. This requires both the skills to pre-emptively evaluate projects and formulate management modalities that take into account the “behaviors” of the various stakeholders, not necessarily rational or concerned with guardianship of the values attested.
Natural Sciences.The continuation of the hardscape and softscape design aspects of Landscape Architecture which integrates traditional skills and indigenous knowledge on local and alternative materials retrieved from landscapes. Collaboration with biologists, horticulturists, geologists, local craftsmen and related professions are encouraged to train professionals in the complex and integrated management of landscapes and nature conservation.
National Citizenship.The Philippines is composed of various native language and dialects. It requires interculturality and transdisciplinary when thinking between micro-cultures in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. When understanding the cultural heritage on these specific localities, it is important to familiarize or at least know the basics of various native language and culture. This also calls for the study of prominent figures and icons in Philippine History like José Rizal, Fernando Amorsolo and the likes who prompted early perspectives and valuing in the local landscapes.
Cultural Heritage Management.The specialization’s focal component which deals with cultural heritage and heritage preservation facets of Philippine landscapes. With the continuing modernization of built and natural landscapes, it is important to strike balance between conserving the physical integrity of the sites and nourishing their educational, historic and cultural values amidst the developing societal industries.
Epistemology. The classical natural sciences and its subsequent extension to the social and behavioral sciences dealing with the origin of history, nature of theories, and investigation of concepts. Further emphasizing heritage through analyzing socio-historical issues and epistemological issues of cultural goods and memory management of landscapes in coordination with conflictualities and memory thematic area.
Sustainability.The notion of sustainability and sustainable development on its application to the cultural landscapes has entered the World Heritage Operational Guidelines as early as 1994, with reference to the “sustainable use” of cultural landscapes. This idea is further stressed on the ‘Budapest Declaration’ which emphasizes the need to ensure an appropriate and equitable balance between conservation, sustainability and development, through appropriate activities contributing to the social and economic development and the quality of life of our communities.
Next Steps and Recommendations
These thematic areas of study are just initial findings of potential knowledge streams that can be taught for landscape architecture students. Further studies in collaboration with the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA), the Technical Committee for Landscape Architecture, Commission on Higher Education (TCLA CHED), Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Landscape Architecture (PRC – BOLA), and the four (4) universities will need to be done to refine the study in the future.
For interested researchers or interns who would like to know more about the confluence of cultural landscapes and education, please get in touch with ICOMOS Philippines for potential continuation of the study. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ICOMOS Philippines’ intern Kenneth Tua will present his research on Philippine Landscape Heritage Education. This is his final presentation for the Internship Programme.
Philippine Landscape Heritage Education16 October 2020 (Friday) | 8:00 PM Philippine Standard Time
“Philippine Landscape Heritage Education: Review of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC)”
Mr. Kenneth J. Tua is a registered & licensed architect and a sustainable territorial development consultant. He graduated Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas and have acquired professional certifications as a scholar in Sustainability, Sustainable Development, and Innovation programmes from YSISEA in Singapore, APYE in Thailand and Social Innovation Center, Hanyang University, South Korea. He previously worked for the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines – Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) where he handled the research of the proposed Manila Esplanade Lighting Project and low impact development projects. Currently, he is a graduate scholar of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in DYnamics of Cultural Landscape, heritage, Memory and conflictualities (DYCLAM+).
“Philippine Landscape Heritage Education”, is schedule this Friday, October 16, 2020, 8:00 PM (Philippine Standard Time)
With more activities online and new collaborations between members and external partners are happening, ICOMOS Philippines is happy to share that we will have a new intern working with us for the next three months: Kenneth J. Tua is a registered & licensed architect and a sustainable territorial development consultant. He is currently taking his Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in DYnamics of Cultural Landscape, heritage, Memory and conflictualities (DYCLAM+) in Europe under the ERASMUS+ Scholarship. Previously, Kenneth worked with HBA and RMDA and at the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines – Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.
He decided to apply as an intern for ICOMOS Philippines during his summer break from his masters degree to be able to incorporate his ongoing studies in Sustainable Heritage Management and Cultural Landscapes at the Philippine setting. Moreover, Kenneth wants to be of great service in creating advocacies in galvanizing solutions for the Philippine cultural heritage. In collaboration with members of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL), Mr. Gabriel Caballero and Dr. Susan Aquino-Ong, Kenneth will be starting a research that will look into how heritage conservation can potentially be integrated to landscape architecture programs in the country.
Welcome, Kenneth! We’re very pleased to have your assistance.