Centre for Historic Houses and Heritage Studies

Historic buildings are manifestations of tangible history and symbols of culture and identity. To those who live in their vicinity they establish a sense of place and belonging. To the traveler they open a world of awe and wonder and offer reference points to both the familiar and the novel. They allow people to share their humanity in the celebration of diversity, human ingenuity and creativity. Many historic buildings bear witness to the fact that ideas and aesthetic concepts have travelled across the world and resulted in the built manifestation of cultural encounters. Thus historic buildings transcend the local and become part of a shared global heritage.Historic edifices offer us consolation as they leave human traces in the natural landscape and evoke a sense of humility as they remind us of the lives and experiences of pastgenerations. The Centre for Historic Houses aims to foster respect for local traditions and promote stewardship towards historic buildings. It aims to preserve, research, document, revitalize and promote historic houses, their interiors, collections, objects, inhabitants, environment and culture as well as the associated creative industries. The more complex historic buildings in India -such as palaces- have traditionally included workshops for artisans. Thus the centre seeks to revive this tradition by documenting and supporting traditional crafts as development strategies in artisanal capacity building and entrepreneurship in the craft sector.As such the centre is an interdisciplinary effort drawing support from the diverse expertise and research interests of the faculty at O.P. Jindal Global University. It will be connected jointly with the School of Arts and Architecture and the School of Liberal Arts and Humanities. It will liason with the Business School to develop innovative management schemes for historic monuments and sites. The centre will offer education and consultancy related to historic houses and the heritage sector. More specifically, the School of Architecture will provide a background in building sciences, conservation and planning), the School of Liberal Arts (history, literature, sustainability, expressive arts and capacity building in the crafts sector) and the Business School (management and marketing of historic sites and estates & social entrepreneurship).We will support the training of artisans and document and share our insights of traditional building methods with the general public. India has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that is challenged by a fast transforming society and urban development that often ignores local tradition and radically changes the urban and rural landscape. ICOM -The International Committee of the Blue Shield works to protect world cultural heritage in armed conflict or natural disaster. However, increasingly, cultural heritage is not only threatened by war or enemy forces but by radical development and a loss of local tradition. The centre for historic houses & heritage hopes to voice and protect the freedom of citizens to connect with their local and traditional culture.We are particularly interested in the support of endangered buildings and will provide a platform for the exchange of expertise and ideas relating to historic houses. Besides research the centre is dedicated to advocacy and to the development of partnerships between higher education and the heritage sector to foster knowledge exchange and entrepreneurship stimulating economic growth through tourism and local business in the heritage sector, the built environment and associated creative industries. The centre for Historic Houses will conduct research on historic buildings and collaborate and form alliances with national and international heritage organizations and academic institutions and offer a platform for owners of the historic houses of India. While the focus is on historic houses and heritage in India the centre is committed to more general aspects and topics related to the built environment and heritage allowing for meaningful connections with the scholarly community and the heritage sector globally to share research and best practice.