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Anant National University, in collaboration with the Council of Architecture, conducted a five-day Teachers Training Programme on ‘Documentation of Heritage Architecture’ at its campus from October 27-31, 2018. Experts from leading organisations like INTACH, ICOMOS, DRONAH, AWHCT-AMC and HC&DC were invited as guest speakers to engage with an experienced group of architects and academicians from across the country.

Explaining AnantU’s objective for the training programme, Jasmine Gohil, Vice Principal, School of Architecture, AnantU, said, “We are extremely fortunate to belong to Ahmedabad, a UNESCO world heritage city; I believe it is our duty to sensitise aspiring architects towards the heritage of our city, so that we may preserve it for the future generations. And what better way to instil a sense of love and responsibility for our heritage among the students, than by sensitising their mentors and professors towards our culture, art and architecture.”

The participants were a mix of faculties from architecture, urban planning, environmental planning, structural engineering, landscape, critical journalism and conservation, lending a multidisciplinary approach to the discussion and the exercises.

The opening session on ‘Understanding Heritage with focus on Built Heritage’ helped participants develop a shared understanding of the word ‘Heritage’ and its various categories, including typologies of built heritage. On the second day, the sessions continued with an interactive module on ‘Listing Techniques, Database systems’ and the third day was all about implementing the learnings in a real-world scenario. On the fourth day, the participants started with a walk of the walled city of Ahmedabad and created their own list of heritage monuments in the city. The last day focused on various techniques of heritage documentation using digital technologies. It demonstrated the benefits of combining manual and digital technologies to yield excellent and effective results.

Experts like Rd. Shikha Jain (Dir. Dronah, Gurgaon), Mr. Navin Piplani (Principal Dir. INTACH Heritage Academy, New Delhi), Mr. Ashish Trambadia (Dir. AWHCT, AMC, Ahmedabad) , Ar. Shalini Das Gupta (Principal Conservation Architect, HC&DC, Delhi), Rd. Kailash Rao (Prof. Manipal University) and Ar. Poonam Trambadia (Practicing Conservation Architect, Ahmedabad) conducted these sessions in the form of seminar lectures, interactive discussions, individual and group participatory exercises and even site surveys for documentations exercises, to develop a hands-on understanding of the techniques amongst participants.

Talking about the programme, Nandan Malani, Assistant Professor, NDMVP College of Architecture and Centre for Design, Nashik, said, “The workshop aimed at sensitising teachers towards the built heritage and its conservation. It emphasised the importance of heritage and its various components in our urban fabric. The significance of history in contemporary architectural education was discussed and seen as a coherent link to the current and future works. Heritage walk was introduced as a useful tool that helps in creating awareness amongst people, which can further facilitate the conservation process.”

“The programme was very well curated. The interactive sessions with speakers who are specialists in their respective fields, lent a new perspective to the interpretation of various aspects of heritage documentation. The hands-on activities, team work and discussions also facilitated interaction among the fellow participants, aiding our understanding of the subject. On the whole, the programme was very informative and exciting.” said Sindhu Suresh, BMS College of Architecture, Bangalore.