Research by design in renovation of industrial heritage

Vladimír Hain


Research of the industrial heritage should be based on an interdisciplinary concept that comprises technical, social, economic and cultural aspects.” [1] Its methods are the methods of historical, material, documentation, technical but especially architectural research. The role of the architect should be summary of all documents and their subsequent implementation into the final draft or to the variant designs.

There is no possibility to generalize one correct solution or method in here. It is necessary to make the choice on a case by case basis and also within the country or region. The outcome of any research should not be only known by the particular researcher, but the conclusions should be adequately presented to the interested public.

One experience teaches: “Cultural or industrial heritage is best protected if it is protected by people themselves.” The second experience says: “If people know only a little about something they do not care about it.” [2] The protection of the industrial heritage is still a hot topic in Slovakia because among people it is not enough established and it is relatively unknown to the general public. [3] Current solution of the issues of the industrial-era monuments in Slovakia is just in the beginning of a long journey, although professionals have already been dealing with this problem for more than 15 years.

Nevertheless, even in our conditions we can see the first quality designs in the field of historic restoration of industrial heritage thanks to the interdisciplinary collaboration and also to the consistent application of methods, such as the Research by Design, SWOT analysis or not less important inventory of architectural elements and details.

In practical terms it would be appropriated that these methods became mandatory, because in terms of data collection and procedures it’s ensuring objective science works.


[1] Colloquim dedicated to the industrial heritage, Le Creusot, France 1976, article 1.2

[2] MIHELIČ, B.: DEKD – The yuropean Heritage Days,  Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Sloveni, coordinator: BOŽNAR & PARTNER, bouletin, printed by:SCWARZ, 8. pages

[3] PÁSZTOR, P.: Introduction to the adversary of dissertation on the topic industrial heritage, TUKE (2011)

Keywords: research, creation, research by design, monument conservation, architecture