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80 416 Re-Store: Values

Full course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Re-Store: Values
Course code: 
80 416
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2021 Autumn
Assessment semester: 
2021 Autumn
Language of instruction: 
Maximum number of students: 
Person in charge
Erik Fenstad Langdalen
Course content

In a time when society has to reorient towards the reuse of what already exist, there is a pressing need to discuss the premises upon which our disciplines operate. We need to rethink our methods, working techniques and terminology, and raise the question of how we evaluate our cultural heritage. This elective course aims to interrogate the theoretical and conceptual frameworks used (historically and contemporarily) to approach the preservation and reuse of objects, buildings, cities, and landscapes.


Different categories of value permeate our culture, and are prescriptive for the ways in which society perceives its material framework. A heritage object’s importance, worth, or usefulness is subject to fluctuating opinions and practices, as is its mere status as a ‘preservation-worthy’ object. But what, exactly, are the values that prompt the preservation of a monument, regulate its reuse, and allows for its continued existence? Where are these values grounded, and by whom are they defined? How do we value and sustain the integrity of what is already there in ways that allow for imaginative reuse?


Value is an abstract term with a myriad of denominations. This seminar examines the multiple aspects of “value” that each, in its way, condition the preservation, use, longevity and estimation of monuments and material heritage. 


Examples of categories for valuation:

  1. Age value 
  2. Authenticity
  3. Useability
  4. uniqueness 
  5. Pedagogical value
  6. Symbolic value
  7. Representative value (memory, identity, ideology)
  8. Anecdotal value
  9. Exchange value, market value, material value
  10. Newness-value, zeitgeist and fashion
  11. Imposed values (herein colonialism and postcolonial critique)
  12. Contested values, permanence and flux 
  13. provenance


The course is part of the research project “Provenance Projected: Architecture Past and Future in the Era of Circularity” run by Mari Lending and Erik Langdalen.


The course offers useful competence and experience for the students that wants to pursue preservation studies at AHO, in the Re-store studios or other.

Learning outcome

The course will familiarize students with the history of preservation and its current discourse. Students will develop analytical, interpretive, critical, and creative skills essential to work with preservation projects. Through individual studies and group discussions, participants will be encouraged to examine their own disciplinary position, and be equipped with the critical and communicative abilities necessary to participate in the public discourse on the field.

Working and learning activities

Drawing from a diverse pool of canonical, experimental, academic, poetic, speculative, contemporary, and historical texts, the students will be assigned readings relating to the week’s topic for discussion. Each session will begin with a contextualizing introduction by the teachers or invited guests. This will form the basis for a student-led discussion, informed by the predefined topic, the assigned readings, and the set case study. 

In addition to the readings, the course will have weekly deliverables in the form of a word/image diptych (a short text coupled with visual media). These will, by the end of the semester, form a collective “catalogue of values”.


Evaluation of "catalogue" with written and visual material 

Form of assessmentGroupingGrading scaleComment
Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)IndividualPass / failThe portfolio contents both written and graphical material.
Form of assessment:Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Comment:The portfolio contents both written and graphical material.