Preservation is about Story: A PastForward 2017 Recap

By Priya Chhaya posted 11-17-2017 08:59


“Architecture is the hardware to software of life. Our art and culture is our user interface.” —Bryan C. Lee Jr.

Visit the Preservation Studio, and tell your story at the Preservation Leadership Forum booth. | Credit: Priya Chhaya

From transfer development rights to your brain on preservation, Thursday at PastForward asked attendees to look at preservation with fresh eyes. For example, one common theme was shifting focus from who tells their story to how we tell our story. We started with the first TrustLive: the Future City Summit, featuring designer and architect Bryan C. Lee Jr. He talked about his amazing Paper Monuments project and pushed the audience to consider design justice—using the built environment to encourage equity. His method of storytelling conceives of history and preservation as strategies for connecting communities with the world around them, calling social justice and meaning to the forefront of architecture and design.

At the second TrustLive, preservationist and futurist Zenka asked us to place ourselves in 2027, in a new future with expanded access to information, knowledge, and wisdom. She encouraged the audience to think big, to not be fearful of technology, and to stretch our imaginations when engaging with both the past and the future.  

Here are a few more thoughts about yesterday’s events from PastForward attendees:

Not able to attend PastForward in person? Learn more about being a virtual attendee! And continue the conversation on Forum Connect

Coming Up Today

Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. today (and closes at noon). Full details are in the program and on the app, which is available through your app store. Field Studies leave from the Wabash level of the Palmer House. Also, check out the Preservation Studio, located by on the 4th floor (by Registration), which opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m.

This morning we are going to kick things off with the Health TrustLive (9–10 a.m.), which will feature keynote Holly Morris discussing her work in Russia. And after a day filled with exciting Learning Labs, we will cap the educational sessions off with a dynamic Closing Luncheon featuring the Louise du Pont Crowninshield awardee, Robert G. Stanton.

There is a session about Confederate memorials at 8 a.m. in Wabash. The "Understanding Neighborhood Change" session has been rescheduled for today at 10:15 a.m. in Salon 7. (All of this information is also available through the app!)

If you are sticking around town tonight and have a ticket to the Candlelight House Tour (which is already sold out), have fun exploring the homes in the Far Northside neighborhood of West Ridge in the Rogers Park Manor Bungalow Historic District. This year’s tour is hosted by the Chicago Bungalow Association.

Finally, an observation: The lighting for this year's TrustLives is really great! We especially appreciated attendee Jane Pederson's reaction (see below). 



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