Requalification, symbolic value and audience engagement of automotive heritage
4:00 PM, Lundi 29 Août 2022 (20 minutes)
UQAM, pavillon J.-A. De Sève (DS) - DS-R515
The present study analyses the high symbolic value linked to car heritage, outlines the types and technologies of conservation and reuse interventions, examines the issue of the loss of industrial memory values and identifies audience engagement strategies having the aim to historicize and re-appropriate of the local memory, with particular reference to the well-known case study of Lingotto and Turin area, in Italy. Symbolic values Individual and collective mobility characterised - in local/global perspective – the twentieth-century transformations. As matter of fact the role of cars, the emotional connection people have formed and the actual fascination of historic automobiles drives the growing interest in motoring heritage, connecting the various activities, behaviours and constructions. The architectural heritage is represented not only by the emergence of new building typologies of factories, but by representative offices, infrastructures, service stations, garages, showrooms as well as works of art linked with the expansion of roads. Requalification & reuse Since the 80s, the deindustrialisation has determined the phases of a long decay, an indiscriminate demolition as well as building refurbishment and transformation of factories and infrastructure sites. In post-industrial regeneration, the policies of conservation and adaptive reuse of architectural heritage have often neglected to communicate the cultural significance of industrialisation for a given territory and the symbolic role of the automobile. The recovery and reuse are often characterized - in Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Turin, Coventry, Gothenburg - by the loss of industrial legacy signs, such as the total removal of machinery, equipment and evidence of work, as well as by the replacement of those elements that are essential for the understanding of architecture. The strategies of the post-industrial valorisation of vestiges require the development of the cultural attitude in sharing knowledge and competences, in order to emphasize the labour memory, promote environmental, cultural and social quality of the heritage and historicise the previous, wide and complex, age of the automobile. In this perspective, the project ‘Torino Automotive Heritage Network’ (TAHN) envisages the enhancement and the construction of a cultural system of the automobile legacy in the Turin area with reference to current resources, consisting of archives, patents, technologies, work memories, car collections, architectures of car factories and company towns, landscapes transformed by the car, sites of heritage led regeneration. Audience engagement and edutainment of automotive heritage The preconditions necessary to take on an identity of the industrial past, are the sharing of criteria for its recognition within the territory and the collective consciousness. These are also the conditions for the promotion of conservation-valorisation policies and industrial tourism that is related to the cultural and life quality of the territory, combining past and contemporary resources. The attention is focused on re-enactment, storytelling and living history, orienting towards divulgation of cultural values and scientific understanding. The attraction to technological themes - assembly lines, reinforced concrete, mechanics and vehicle chassis - can also become fundamental to the general public and fascinating in historical-scientific communication. An important perspective is the local partnership between corporations, municipalities and public-private safeguard institutions, for an integrated approach to analysis and dissemination. The exhibition ‘Lingotto lives&relives’ (2020), within the TAHN project, as part of the renovation of the Lingotto Shopping Center, reflects traditional and innovative narrative practices to surface new voices and perspectives around questions of identity, culture and heritage, memory and sense of belonging. The edutainment process, in a new shopping mall, provides an answer to the demand of historical - technological information and awareness about a building of recognized cultural value. It is a hybrid form of pilot attraction that wants seeks to create a synergy between the educational and the entertainment value of heritage.