Technique as function of memory: heritage values and revaluation of habitat and the landscape in Ambalema, Colombia
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The present work is framed in two notions: 1) that in the habitat all scales are interdependent, and 2) that it is necessary to integrate knowledge from various disciplinary origins, for a better understanding of the current world and for the achievement of more responsible actions. This approach is particularly applied to the field of conservation and restoration of natural and cultural heritage. Recent exercises are brought to explain the specific case of Ambalema, Tolima, Colombia, with emphasis on specific actions carried out by the University of Ibagué through its North Tolima Architecture Lab, Ambalema headquarters. Since the declaration of the historic center of Ambalema, as a national monument in 1980, and mainly in the course of the twenty first century, both from the academy and from civil society, efforts have been carried out to maintain and enhance the cultural heritage values of this place of recognized historical importance in Colombia. In this case, the historical review exceptionally transcends the usual assessment of the colonial, or postcolonial, by going back in time to find the true material and technical roots in pre-Hispanic practices. The consequent deterioration of the passage of time calls for interventions, which, if not careful and attentive to the patrimonial importance of the context, may become a reason for the gradual deterioration of the historical Ambalema related value. Simultaneously, it is crucial to combat disinterest on the part of the population, by motivating and inviting them to participate in the practical exercises that are being carried out in that municipality. This approach has been successfully applied in the actions mentioned. The physical works carried out on site by the aforementioned architectural lab are detailed here, as well as the participation achieved by groups of local inhabitants in the activities accomplished. The full coherence of this material work is taken advantage of, as a point of convergence of the concepts indicated above, to obtain applicable lessons and new theoretical-practical perspectives on: technique as function of memory.