CURRICULUM

The three-year Diploma program offers three primary areas of study. Our programming is dynamic and responsive to our students needs but is also based on Faculty availability. The first two years of study feature intensive eight month sessions during the Fall/Winter semesters. In their third year students transition into employment in the heritage field; third year classes combine six weeks of classes (three in September and three in April) at Willowbank with research projects or practicums.

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I. Research and Documentation

  • - Conservation Theory — a cultural landscape approach to understanding and transforming historic places
  • - Historic research methods – oral and documentary research, identifying social value, sources
  • - Archaeological research – theoretical and legislative framework
  • - Architectural history – high style and vernacular architecture, traditions, technologies, styles
  • - Landscape history – urban and rural landscapes, research and documentation, garden history
  • - Cultural practice – aboriginal perspectives, tangible and intangible heritage, ecological awareness
  • - Documentation – measured drawings, hand-drawing, AutoCAD, architectural photography, interpretive recording
  • - Field investigations – condition analysis, identifying and dating, reporting

II. Planning and Project Management

  • - Historic structures report – compiling research and documentation findings
  • - Cultural landscape studies – heritage districts, complex sites, cognitive mapping, artifact and ritual
  • - Statements of significance – identifying historical, physical and social value, tangible and intangible components, designation options
  • - Conservation plan – preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse, contemporary design interventions
  • - Business models – real estate practice, the restoration economy
  • - Legal and zoning issues – heritage legislation, building codes, zoning bylaws
  • - Energy systems – traditional and alternative theory and practice, sustainable design, theoretical and empirical models
  • - Project and construction management – coordination of specialized materials and skills, interdisciplinary approaches, design-build.

III. Craft and Design Skills

  • - Stone and mortar – basic geology, quarrying, stone dressing and coursing, stone carving, lime mortars, conservation techniques
  • - Brick, terra cotta – history, physical and chemical properties, traditional practice, repair, conservation
  • - Concrete – mass and reinforced concrete, precast, traditional and contemporary practice, patterns of decay, conservation
  • - Plasters – materials, applications, plain and decorative plaster, cast plaster, conservation, replication
  • - Wood – species, milling, traditional and alternative tools, carpentry, joinery, doors, windows, repair
  • - Glass – leaded and stained glass windows, glass replacement, repair and restoration
  • - Fittings – hardware, traditional and contemporary lighting
  • - Design – setting parameters, continuity and creativity, design as a material-based and site-based activity, drawing for design
  • - Conservation science – basic chemistry, environmental issues, artifact care