Directors' Retreat 2008: Chiang Mai, Thailand
 

The Getty Conservation Institute held its fourth Directors' Retreat for Conservation Education June 1–5, 2008, in partnership with UNESCO's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asia Ministries of Education Organization for the Protection of Archaeology and Fine Arts, both based in Bangkok, Thailand. The retreat—held at the Kaomai Lanna Resort in Chiang Mai, Thailand—focused on built heritage conservation and education in Asia and the Pacific and addressed discrepancies between the training received in academic programs and the actual needs of the field.

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The GCI, UNESCO's Bangkok office, and SEAMEO-SPAFA share common values regarding the importance of conservation education and are committed to increased access to training opportunities and the development of new pedagogical models. The 2008 Directors' Retreat was a forum for exploring how these goals might practically be advanced.

The main objectives of the 2008 retreat were:

  • to identify areas for academic program development through enhanced curricula and innovative pedagogical methods; and
  • to review existing conservation programs and their specializations and to make these better known to the existing network of regional colleagues.

The retreat brought together eighteen participants from Asia and the Pacific region, many of whom are directors of conservation programs that focus on built heritage (i.e., architecture, archaeology, and the urban environment), and a few of whom are primarily conservation practitioners who also have significant experience with conservation education and training. The retreat began with two presentations that analyzed the most pertinent needs of the field. Gurmeet Rai of the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative, New Delhi, India, discussed how community involvement and development is integrated into conservation education and practice in South Asia. Laurence Loh, vice president of the Heritage of Malaysia Trust, focused on how local and traditional knowledge should be incorporated into conservation education, and described the challenges associated with conserving historic cities in Asia. These presentations were followed by focused discussions among the participants to identify core competencies for built heritage conservation in the Asia Pacific region. During the retreat, participants visited several sites, including Wat Phra Thad Lampang Luang, Wat Pongsanuk, Wat Ked, and the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre. The objective of these visits was to observe firsthand the way sites in northern Thailand are conserved and to provide a basis for discussion about how best to utilize historic sites for conservation education and training.

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In the final portion of the retreat, participants discussed how the perceived gaps between the expressed needs of the field and the core competencies identified during the retreat could be better addressed in their conservation education curricula. Participants were pleased to have this opportunity to share ideas about conservation education, and the GCI learned firsthand how it could collaborate in the future with educators in the region. One discussion explored the development of new pedagogical approaches through the use of fieldwork, and the need for didactic materials that relate more specifically to the Asia region. A result of the Directors' Retreat was the agreement among participants that the GCI could play a key role in creating teaching materials, particularly case studies that would be shared with regional academic programs. Although specific partnerships in this regard are yet to be developed, the retreat provided a positive foundation upon which future collaborative work can be based.

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2008 Directors' Retreat Participants

Mark Chang, Associate Professor
Institute of International Culture
Showa Women's University
Japan

Bill Chapman, Director
Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation, Department of American Studies
University of Hawai'i
USA

Manh Nguyen Hoang, Architect
Faculty of Architecture, Hanoi Architectural University
Viet Nam

Kulbhushan Jain, Emeritus Professor
School of Architecture, Centre for Environmental and Planning Technology (CEPT)
India

Lin-Lee Loh Lim, Council Member
Penang Heritage Trust
Malaysia

Laurence Loh, Vice President
Badan Warisan Malaysia
Heritage of Malaysia Trust
Malaysia

Zuraina Abdul Majid, Commissioner of Heritage / Professor Emeritus
Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage
Malaysia

Gurmeet Rai, Conservation Architect / Director
Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI)
India

Ayesha Pamela Rogers, Academic Coordinator
Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management National College of Arts
Pakistan

M.L. Surasawasdi Sooksawasdi, Dean
Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University
Thailand

Soubert Son, His Excellency / Professor
Constitutional Council of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Royal university of Fine Arts
Cambodia

Maria Cristina Valera-Turalba, Group Vice Chairman
Active Group Incorporated
Philippines

Elizabeth Vines, Partner
McDougall & Vines Conservation and Heritage Consultants
Australia

Fanny Vong, President
Institute For Tourism Studies (IFT)
Macao SAR, China

Johannes Widodo, Professor
Department of Architecture
National University of Singapore
Singapore

Andrea Witcomb, Associate Professor
Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalization
The Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (CHCAP), Deakin University
Australia

 

Facilitators

Lee Milstein, IAF Certified Professional Facilitator
Global Diversity Management
Thailand

Dean R Phelan, Executive Director
Adesse
Australia


Partners

GCI

Jeff Cody, Senior Project Specialist
Education

Kecia Fong, Project Specialist
Education

 

UNESCO

Supawut Boonmahathanakorn, Intern
Office of Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO Bangkok Office

Richard Engelhardt, Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO Bangkok Office

Takahiko Makino, Project Assistant
Office of Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO Bangkok Office

Inaciso Pang Chi Chan, Intern
Office of Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO Bangkok Office

Montira Horayangura Unakul, Programme Specialist
Office of Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO Bangkok Office

 

SEAMEO SPAFA

Pisit Charoenwongsa, Centre Director
SEAMEO SPAFA
Thailand

Kevin C. Kettle, Project Development Officer
SEAMEO SPAFA
Thailand

Patcharawee Tunprawat, Programme Specialist
SEAMEO SPAFA
Thailand

 

Field Trip Resource Persons

Tasana Phuphatum
Thailand

Anukul Siripan
Thailand

Vithi Phanichphant, Director
The Establishing Project of Lanna (Thai) Study in Cultural Development, Preservation and Continuation of Architecture and Tradition Institute
Naresuan University
Thailand

Woralun Boonyasurat, Assistant Professor
Thai Art Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University
Thailand

Suwaree Wongklongkaew, Director
Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre
Thailand

Worrawimon Chairut
Wat Ket (Non-profit) Alliance
Thailand

Duangchan Charoenmuang, Researcher
Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai University
Thailand

 

Last updated: July 2008