#10 – Designing the future of the past

A survey across the contemporary international debate

How to preserve (or not) what we have inherited is a critical contemporary issue that significantly influences the shaping of a sustainable and desirable future. In a world grappling with the challenge of conserving our cultural heritage for the years to come, the boundaries defining what constitutes heritage have grown increasingly nuanced.

This booklet delves into the ongoing international discourse surrounding the preservation (or not) of the built legacy. By examining how even unacknowledged aspects of our inheritance play an integral role in the broader conversation, this publication offers insights into the evolving perspectives shaping the potential futures of our built legacy.

The contributions, spanning critical heritage, architecture of reuse, future literature studies, post-preservation, and counter-preservation, outline the dual nature of the built legacy of the past—both a positive and negative commons influenced by social, cultural, economic, and environmental contexts.

By providing a comprehensive overview of leading international theories, the book aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogue on the adaptation of urban legacy, heritage, and landscape.

The volume collects the outcomes of the International Seminar “Designing the Future of the Past,” held on 17-18th February 2022 in Turin. The event was conducted in collaboration with the Doctoral programs in “Architecture: History and Project” and featured the participation of the PhD program in “Architectural and Landscape Heritage” at Politecnico di Torino. This intensive seminar served as an integral component of the DASP PhD Course titled “Designing the Future of the Past” for the academic year 2022-2023.




Elena Guidetti, Matteo Robiglio, Riccardo Biondi, Riccardo Ronzani, Caitlin DeSilvey, Alexandre Monnin, Cornelius Holtorf, Bie Plevoets, Daniela Sandler, Simona Canepa, Francisco Dìaz, Francesca la Monaca, Giulia Montanaro, Xiao Xiao

Operational support

Graphic Design

Elena Guidetti, Alessandra Leone


Politecnico di Torino


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