News & Events

History and Conservation: Voices from Small and Medium Towns of India

Dec. 6-7, 2017 Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University, Gurgaon


  •  Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University, Gurgaon, Delhi.
  •  CEPT University (Conservation and History, Theory, Criticism Areas, Faculty of Architecture), Ahmedabad.
  •  ICOMOS, India (NSC – Historic Towns and Villages)

Programme Brief

Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University is hosting and organizing a two-day workshop to be held on ’History and Conservation: Voices from Small and Medium Towns of India’ from Dec. 6-7, 2017.

The two-day workshop is a part of the collaboration between Sushant School of Art and Architecture (SSAA), Sushant University, Gurgaon; CEPT University, Ahmedabad and NSC for Historic Towns and Villages, ICOMOS India. The workshop is an additional event, in tandem with the ICOMOS General Assembly being held in New Delhi from Dec. 11-15, 2017.

The workshop will continue the discourse from ’History and Conservation, As if People Matter’- the symposium organised and hosted by CEPT University, Ahmedabad as a part of the collaboration, on August 1-2, 2017.

The workshop will provide a platform for sharing insights from various regions in the specific context of small and medium towns of India. How does one define these small and medium towns? What is their distinctiveness? What are the on-ground realities with respect to history and conservation in them? These and other aspects will be discussed. The workshop will also seek participation from government and non- government stakeholders, management committees of heritage sites in small and medium towns of Haryana, real estate, academicians, heritage professionals and organizations.

A ‘call for ideas’ is open to professionals, academicians and students engaged in the area of built heritage. These shall be accepted in any of the three formats- a 1000- word note, poster and video. Selected authors will be invited to participate in the round- table and the panel discussions during the workshop.


The participation is open to everyone who is working or has interest in the areas of built heritage. The registration should be confirmed latest by November 15, 2017 by sending an email to heritagesmallandmediumtowns@gmail.com. The registration is limited to a number and shall be entertained on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Call for Ideas

Small and medium towns in India are in a state of transition, struggling with their urban identity and weakening rural linkages. The towns vary in terms of origin, as urban entities from the very outset or having developed from a rural setting incrementally. In most of such towns, multiple layers of history intervene to create the present context, finding expressions in the form of the built environment and more so in the personal or collective narratives. The formal discourse on conservation in these towns is typically marginalised, overshadowed by monumental heritage at the state or national level. On the ground, histories are created, appropriated and narrated by the community in personal, compartmentalised or collective ways, but fail to get merged into the mainstream discourse.

The towns slip through the cracks in terms of access to benefits from large governmental schemes and suffer from dwindling traditional economies. On the other hand, a number of such towns face urban expansion, witnessing interest from private developers as well as government development organisations as land banks. The role of history and conservation is secondary in this developmental model. Tourism and development plans list the history and heritage of the place but fail to connect these with the current realities on the ground. The intent of the workshop is to reflect on the expressions of history in small and medium towns and examine the existing approaches towards conservation. We invite observations on such towns to develop a better understanding of the current processes in play. The workshop will enable delving into further deliberations, to forge a connection between history, conservation and development of small and medium towns in the present day context.

Submission Guidelines

The call for ideas is invited in the following three formats:

Idea Note

A 1000- word Idea note shall be submitted based on the theme (in the prescribed format).

Poster presentation

Poster presentation will be organized in SSAA on day 2. Selected authors are expected to bring their posters printed in the dimensions:  A1 594×841 mm. For the presentations, the authors should bring a high-quality PDF file. Printed and digital versions of the posters should be handed to the conference registration desk.

Video presentation

Selected videos will be presented in SSAA on day 2 and will also be prominently displayed during the workshop. Videos should be original work of the authors. All content (audio and visual) must be copyright free and properly sourced where applicable. They must be between 2 and 5 minutes long and be narrated in English. Videos should be sent in MP4/ WMV formats only accompanied by participant’s full name and contact details.

The entries must be emailed to heritagesmallandmediumtowns@gmail.com by November 15, 2017 by end of the day.

Important Dates:

  • Last date for Registration for the Conference: November 15, 2017
  • Last date for submitting for the Call for Ideas: November 15, 2017
  • Workshop Dates: 6th and 7th December 2017

Email id for any queries: heritagesmallandmediumtowns@gmail.com