12.00 – 13.00 BST, Zoom Webinar


This masterclass is jointly offered by the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies and the Schools of Architecture + World Heritage [SAWH]


Urban UNESCO World Heritage: Authenticities and Potentialities

Urban UNESCO World Heritage sites are living places, where heritage not only acts as a formal backdrop, but must play an active and useful role in the everyday life of local people. Running the risk of becoming mothballed ‘museum pieces’, such sites are often perceived as centres of polarization in a war between ‘the old’ and ‘the new’.

In this masterclass, James White will explore the complexities and potentialities of urban UNESCO World Heritage sites through the lens of ‘authenticity’. White will argue that urban UNESCO World Heritage sites have the potential to become the creative laboratories of a sustainable future: drawing lessons and inspiration from the past, making the most of a renewed passion for their complex and multilayered histories, while allowing this knowledge to inform future evolutions and urban interventions.

James White 

James White (FR+USA) is an architect and researcher who is passionate about bringing together the worlds of conservation and contemporary architecture through academic events and collaborative projects, with a particular focus on the theme of contemporary architectural interventions within urban UNESCO World Heritage sites. James co-founded the research network ‘Schools of Architecture + World Heritage’, which now includes eight architecture schools on two continents, and keeps strong ties with the University of Edinburgh – his MPhil alma mater – as a visiting scholar. In architectural practice, James worked for Richard Rogers’ firm RSHP for nine years. James currently lives with his wife and baby daughter in Geneva, Switzerland.