EDUCATION FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF AESTHETIC REMODELING IN URBAN PLANNING AT RHODES CITY
The present study attempts to provoke young people’s thoughts and interest for the architectural heritage of the 20th century in the city of Rhodes. Supposing that the preservation and promotion of the architectural heritage monuments should productively add to the land’s financial and social development and provide a vital income to a desirable model of sustainable development, an educational project was designed and implemented, using an interscientific and interdisciplinary approach.
Especially in regard to the context of cultural development, students were actively involved in processes which aimed to promote a group of buildings of the past, as well as their surroundings and concluded in comprehensive creative solutions which could be enhanced outside the school environment and are closely connected to social and cultural local activities. The project method was chosen because it is a form of experiential communicative teaching which emphasizes the children's active involvement in programming, developing and evaluating of their work.
The choice of the particular area was based upon the on-site co-existence of cultural, environmental elements in absolute symmetry to nature, the sea, man and urban landscape. In addition, it is a central landmark, which has already suffered a high level of development and has therefore all the characteristics (positive as well as negative) of the results which derive from the mass development model which is typical for Rhodes.
The present project, which was realized within the framework of an action research, aims to find some solutions for the change and transformation of this area in the context of an alternative development solution, one based in sustainability, as well as to help the children create an original composition which will exceed all rational forms, will not focus on exact architectural design but on the aesthetic remodeling of the particular area, on value judgement, and on a non-profit presentation of the proposal.
The project’s evaluation was based on the quality of the actions and the productivity which emerged through the collaboration of many people within a particular net of activities, while the evaluation of new products was based upon flexibility and transformation, which are key elements of creative thought.
Through the educational process it appeared that the interdependence between people, cultural monuments and nature was comprehended, as was the central role of culture for the process towards sustainable development, since it reflects people’s way of life and their system of values. The plans that were proposed could preserve cultural elements, without destroying their features and value. In the end, some solutions of business nature were also proposed, which could potentially be adopted by municipal or private organizations. The whole work was evaluated in regard to process as well as its results.