Remnants, Incidents and an Outline for a Future Theory of Critical Conservation

  • K. Michael Hays Harvard University, Graduate School of Design


The article argues that a contemporary theory of critical architectural conservation should be based on the theoretical traditions of G. W. F. Hegel and Martin Heidegger, which maintained the historicality of Being, together with the critique of these traditions by Walter Benjamin. These traditions attest to the otherness of history. History operates outside our capacity to conceptualize it, but nevertheless imposes limits upon and enables possibilities for concrete thought and action. History should not be understood as homogeneous and continuous, however, but rather as comprising allegorical moments and occurrences – remnants and incidents that must be constantly interpreted and performed, and which can therefore be used to construct alternative futures from alternative pasts.


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En N. S. Price et al. (Eds.), Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (págs. 69-83). Los Ángeles: Getty.
Cómo citar
HAYS, K. Michael. Remnants, Incidents and an Outline for a Future Theory of Critical Conservation. Materia Arquitectura, [S.l.], n. 11, p. 86-89, oct. 2017. ISSN 2735-7503. Disponible en: <>. Fecha de acceso: 10 jun. 2023