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Djabarouti, J., 2021.

Practice barriers towards intangible heritage within the UK built heritage sector

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:International Journal of Heritage Studies
Publisher:Informa UK Limited
Volume/Issue:27 (11)
Pagination:pp. 1101-1116

For historic buildings to endure as testimony to society, physical residue of the past must always be altered to some degree. Consequently, the overarching characteristics of built heritage practice maintains a sincere focus on material authenticity and decay prevention to encourage safeguarding of built heritage assets. However, in order to accommodate increasingly influential critical heritage perspectives within the built heritage paradigm, a more intangible, people-focused and participatory point of departure is required for determining how a building should be altered. Utilising a transdisciplinary approach, this research focuses on understanding the perceived barriers at play which limit practitioners from integrating intangible heritage within their role. Analysis of sixteen interviews with UK-based practitioners is structured into five thematic barriers: 1) role complexity; 2) non-physical qualities; 3) unclear domain relationship; 4) uncertain definition; 5) participatory problems. To overcome these barriers, three high-level strategies are proposed: 1) advancing intangible heritage in conservation concepts and methods; 2) supporting practitioner dissemination of intangible heritage; and 3) practitioner participation in intangible practices. By assembling these strategies into an overarching model, attention is placed on conceptual and methodological shifts as impetus for empowering practitioners to both disseminate and participate in intangible heritage practices related to physical heritage sites.