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The agency of the "foreigner": reflections on a regeneration project from Oman

S'Incungia 2010, Sadali, 11.09.2010

Aimed at raising community awareness on what sustainable living and production entails in Sardinia's shirinking traditional settlements this conference called for the regeneration of Sadali's dilapidated built fabric and and revitalisation of its declined economy, in order to encourage people to return.

Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay's keynote talk within S'Incungia 2010 highlighted the need for a wide range and diversity of expertise in the very complex processes of sustainable conservation, regeneration or revitalisation and the current inadequacy of localised knowledge of traditional building techniques in addressing all its demands.

He focused on the agency of the "foreigner", arguing that beyond the obvious technical value the "foreign expert" adds to a project - and this is especially true in the case of conservation, where specific expertise, knowledge or technical capabilities are required - the "foreigner" also brings in a critical dimension of refreshed dialogue. Such a dialogue is crucial in the regeneration of the built environment, one which enriches the multifaceted nature of this activity.

Prof Bandyopadhyay giving his keynote talk

Prof Bandyopadhyay giving his keynote talk
Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay delivering his talk (translated into Italian by Dr Giamila Quattrone). Photos: ArCHIAM, 2011