This seminar will situate the conversation about Strategic & Critical Conservation in the cultural realm with the goal of expanding and developing an understanding of the varied issues that can and should shape a richer dialogue between this field and the design professions. Our approach seeks to determine the reciprocal relationship between the underlying cultural issues and the evolving values of preservation and conservation. Our goal will be to create a working model for Strategic & Critical Conservation that is porous and not bounded by any one issue. Ideally it should encompass diverse points of view within its debates and become a process that supports a broader cultural conversation that enables the design professions to make good places and create enriching experiences.The seminar is organized by broad cultural topics to create a foundation for understanding the forces behind the historical development of American Historic Preservation. Each topic has three parts: 1) lecture and discussions that develop a foundation for understanding the topic; 2) readings that connect the topic to the Conservation Conversation and 3) case studies that situate the topic and its relationship to Conservation in an historical frame.