Heritage, Anthropology and Technologies (HAT)

HAT pioneers an anthropological approach to heritage-making in a comparative perspective. This approach bridges technological knowledge and heritage skills transmission, challenging established distinctions between the built environment and living culture.

Gulou, Chine 2018 – photo: Florence Graezer Bideau

The “Heritage, Anthropology and Technologies” research group, formerly known as “Heritage, Culture and the City,” studies the role of social actors in heritage making. This exploration extends to cultural, territorial and urban policies, investigating the transmission of knowledge. Heritage, a global phenomenon, serves as reservoir of human memory and identity. Intertwined with space, everyday experience and politics, it references the past, informs the present and shapes the future.

Understanding heritage dynamics unveils its impact on cultural values and identity formation, crucial in a world undergoing significant transitions. The team’s research examines narrative, operational, and technological mechanisms, analyzing public policy impacts in culture, innovation, politics, economy, and the environment.

With an anthropological approach, HAT research draws on diverse fields such as critical heritage studies, history, sociology, political science, geography, architecture, and urban studies. It addresses governance, technology and environmental issues, reflecting the increasing importance of heritage in national and international cultural policies. This mirrors a growing concern for relationships between individuals and their environments, as well as for human-machine interactions, in turn prompting the need to evaluate societal impacts in terms of perception and use, and to reinforce innovation at the intersection of engineering knowledge and technology.