Centre for Cultural Knowledge system (CCKS)

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School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal itself an institute of National Importance with a mandate to strive for Social Sustenance through universal design, Cultural Sustenance through conservation and Environmental Sustenance through the disciplines of Architecture, Planning and Design. It aims to become a Centre of excellence for imparting quality education, create National Level Research and Database Centre and become a socially responsible institution providing research feedback to the Government.
In continuation to the mandate of the institute, SPA Bhopal proposes to start the “Centre for Cultural Knowledge Systems”. Knowledge system approach is a method developed towards understanding the existing heritage in the paradigm of people, place and time leading to holistic understanding and identifying the heritage of the place. This leads to stimulation and encouragement for developing rigorous and innovative methodologies towards intellectual inquiry and building a framework towards the conservation scenario of India. This shall work as ‘Center for Excellence’ in SPA Bhopal.

  • To promote and practice conservation inclusive of social and cultural sustenance.
  • To shape appropriate management skills and participatory conservation practices at regional as well as national and international levels.
  • To maintain equal emphasis on theoretical understanding of the conceptual and philosophical frameworks and practice of conservation including intervention and its implication at various levels.
  • To undertake research and documentation of various heritage components, developing comprehensive inventories in central region of India and maintain a database of the resource materials for reference by all concerned researchers and institutions.
  • To encourage innovative methodologies for undertaking conservation in the multi disciplinary field of Cultural Resources in India.
  • To provide technical guidance and leadership; and publish such works as may have contributed substantially to the fields of specialization.
  • To undertake research in existing and new emerging areas of conservation in the changing scope and understanding of heritage.
  • To develop skills and abilities through workshops and training programmes for research and documentation of various aspects in the field of conservation and establishing links with existing practices.
  • To impart awareness in the field of Conservation and Cultural Heritage.
The Centre aims at achieving this through following:

PROVIDING SPECIALIST ADVICE on a wide range of specific conservation projects to Non-Governmental and voluntary organizations, professionals, Government agencies, research organizations, academic institutions. Initiative is made by undertaking work of Heritage Impact Assessment, Khajuraho.

ADVISING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES at the National and State level on policy matters related to heritage management and serving on Committees concerned with contentious conservation issues. Initiative is made by undertaking work of Heritage Impact Assessment, Khajuraho, Group of temples at Aashapuri.

ESTABLISHING LINKS WITH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS and undertaking programmes, joint studios and research projects. Small initiatives in this effort have already been established through NTNU University, Norway; University of Gothenberg, Sweden; Cardiff University, UK.

DEVELOPING INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES like to become a nodal centre for database on studies of Central India. Host archives of information that SPA Bhopal shall generate containing published books, journals and unpublished research of the Department and in future may also develop a fully equipped Conservation Laboratory used for analysis of historic building materials. Few initiatives already undertaken are SPANDREL on THE SACRED, Studio works on Allepy, Temple Towns and Vernacular Architecture.

HOLDING SHORT TERM COURSES, WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS to stimulate discussions, encourage interaction of students and generate awareness among professionals in Conservation, related disciplines as well as among local communities and the media. SPA Bhopal has already initiated these efforts in collaboration with other institutes actively working in the field of conservation and heritage like Archaeological Survey of India, Directorate of Archaeology, Art, Archives and Museum, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, DRONAH Foundation and joint programmes with research centers within institutes.

All initiatives mentioned above for building the academic and professional initiatives. Apart from these, if required SPA Bhopal proposes to start a wing within the Centre with dedicated staff ranging 2 to 4 employees, which continuously work towards FIELD WORKS including documentation, preparation of preliminary project reports, establishing conservation processes and standards and preparation of Special Master Plans.
Another important task of this Centre shall be COORDINATION works between various departments. This would enable bridging the gap between various government departments for addressing conservation issues of the structures in their ownership.
Resolving issues related to historic/ archaeological significant structures are complex. In present days the efforts are towards a view of solving present problems fully, which seldom take into account reversibility. This aggravates the problems after conservation measures are implemented and at a later date and damages the fabric more. To bridge the gap in the discipline, SPA Bhopal proposes to initiate an Independent Centre to be housed in the institute itself. This Centre will function as a NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE for the conservation of historical and archaeological significant buildings and for projects/ schemes such as HRIDAY and AMRUT.

Mr. Ramesh Bhole
Centre for Cultural Knowledge Systems