The Sphinx's new riddle: the Material World
by Samuel Jones
The article's point is that there is a rich cultural dialogue in our built environment, and we can find a lot out about how we've got where we are today by reading the symbols in the material world around us. As cultures mix and merge like never before and those symbols and the cultures they represent multiply, the importance of doing so will increase and it won't just be a way of finding out about the past, it will also be a very important way of miking sense of the present.
On 28th November, we're launching a pamphlet called 'It's a Material World', and this will be one of the topics it deals with. it will also focus on symbolism of looking after the material world. We care for objects because we recognise a value in them. Similarly, caring for objects also communicates their value to others.
Those objects don't have to be heritage and cultural objects in a formal sense, they can be more everyday too. For example, it's interesting that the grafitti under the South Bank has been left and added to, rather than cleaned up. If anybody readign this blog can think of objects and aspects of the material world that are similarly cared for, preserved or looked after, it would be great to hear about them.