Photo of Dr Christopher Siwicki

Dr Christopher Siwicki

Lecturer (E&R)


Extension: 2326

Telephone: 01392 722326

The unifying aim of my research is to better understand how ideas and meanings become invested in structures, and how people living in antiquity viewed their built environments. My research currently has four distinct but closely related strands: perceptions of architecture and architects in antiquity; the investment of cultural identity in buildings; conflicts over public space in cities; and attitudes to material heritage in the past. Linking these topics is the theme of architecture as a cultural phenomenon. This moves away from traditional approaches that focus on technical matters of construction, to pursue new lines of inquiry about the place and value of architecture in society – I am interested in not just how structures were built, but what people outside of the construction process thought about those buildings. I adopt an interdisciplinary approach to investigating these questions, combining the study of ancient literature and material culture.  Embracing engagement with other academic fields has also led to rewarding collaborations with those working in architecture and heritage studies.

The revised manuscript of my monograph Roma Resvrges: Architectural Restoration and Built Heritage in Roman Society has now been submited (August 2017).  It examines how historic buildings were treated in ancient Rome and the attitudes that lay behind this. It is a study of the concept of built heritage in ancient thought, presenting new ways of understanding how historical associations were invested in buildings in antiquity, and challenging ideas that heritage is a purely modern phenomenon.