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A meeting to explore research needs in the field of earthen architecture conservation was hosted by the GCI, CRATerre-EAG, and ICCROM, on May 14, 2000, in Torquay, England. In cooperation with English Heritage, the meeting was organized as a postconference activity of Terra2000, the Eighth International Conference on the Study and Conservation of Earthen Architecture.

This research meeting was one of the activities of Project Terra, a multi-year collaborative effort of the GCI, ICCROM, and CRATerre-EAG, aimed at developing the conservation of earthen architectural heritage—as a science, a field of study, a professional practice, and a social endeavor—through institutional cooperation in the areas of education, research, planning and implementation, and advocacy.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss and prioritize research needs in the field of earthen architecture conservation so as to:

  • encourage individuals and institutions (both from within the field and in allied disciplines) to undertake needed research
  • promote and facilitate cooperation among individuals and institutions in the research;
  • explore possibilities for research collaboration among the Terra partners and colleagues in the field.

The meeting was preceded by a six-week online discussion with colleagues in the field at large to brainstorm about research questions and issues regarding the conservation of earthen architecture. The questions raised during the discussion and ancillary activities were clustered in themes and served as the basis for the meeting's agenda. Eighteen practitioners and researchers from a range of conservation backgrounds participated in the meeting, allowing for an exploration of earthen architecture research needs and questions within the broader context of conservation. The results of the meeting are being compiled, and a report will be available later this year.

Research Meeting Participants

Alejandro Alva
Director
Architecture and Archaeological Sites Program
ICCROM
Rome

Ernesto Borelli
Laboratory Coordinator
Architecture and Archaeological Sites Program
ICCROM
Rome

John Fidler
Head of Building Conservation and Research
English Heritage
London

Richard Griffiths
Joint Schools of the Built Environment School of Architecture
University of Plymouth
Plymouth, England

Hubert Guillaud
President
Ecole d'architecture de Grenoble
Architect/Researcher, CRATerre-EAG
Grenoble, France

Hugo Houben
Engineer/Researcher
Vice President, CRATerre-EAG
Villefontaine, France

Richard Hughes
Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners
London

David Jefferson
Geologist
Jefferson Consulting Ltd.
Melton Mowbray, England

Frank Matero
Director
Historic Preservation Program
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

Myriam Olivier
Attachée de coopération
Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle
Consulat Général de France à Québec
Quebec

Clifford Price
Chemist/Reader in Archaeological Conservation
Institute of Archaeology
University College London
London

Brian Ridout
Director
Mycology and Entomology, Research
Ridout Associates
Stourbridge, England

Lisa Shekede
Wall Paintings Conservator/Private Consultant
London

Frederick A. Webster
Engineer/Private Consultant
Menlo Park, California

GCI Participants

Erica Avrami
Project Specialist

Urs Mueller
Associate Scientist

Alberto de Tagle
Group Director, Science

Jeanne Marie Teutonico
Special Advisor to the Director