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Texas: Preservation and Cultural Heritage San Antonio

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Survey opens October 18th, 2021 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on October 21st

Texas: Preservation and Cultural Heritage San Antonio

Course objectives are to (1) introduce students to global preservation and cultural heritage history, theory, and practice through collaboration with preservation experts on site in San Antonio, Texas, and specifically to (2) learn a systematic design process in preservation, and (3) bridge cultures and build global partnerships through preservation to advance global cultural heritage protection. The five historic missions in San Antonio, Texas (Valero/Alamo, Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada) offer extraordinary access to a group of culturally significant American properties, and exceptional insight into preservation practices in the United States and beyond. The course will foster mutually beneficial relationships among ISU and the mission staff and employees in San Antonio. Students will apply basic preservation techniques by, (1) learning how to research and document the buildings and their surrounding landscapes (2) develop historical and cultural narratives about the buildings and their contexts, (3) learn Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols and documenting procedures for interviewing and research, and (4) amalgamating research, videos, and technology in website prototypes, and their own design proposals for an education and visitor center.
The studio would benefit students from any department in the College of Design and beyond, including students in History and Archaeology, due to the complex history of the San Antonio Missions site which, according to the UNESCO description at “includes architectural and archaeological structures, farmlands, residences, churches and graneries, as well as water distribution systems. […] The San Antonio Missions are also an example of the interweaving of Spanish and Coahuiltecan cultures, illustrated by a variety of features, including the decorative elements of churches, which combine Catholic symbols with indigenous designs inspired by nature.”
A week-long field trip in early February 2022 to San Antonio will allow students to interact with UNESCO officials and preservation experts.

Course Credit
  • 6
Iowa State University Innovate @ Iowa State
  • Civic Innovation
  • Social Entrepreneurship
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Quality Education
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Partnerships for the Goals
Will this course be cross-listed?


Days/times for the course

MWF 1:10pm to 5:00pm

Field trip locations

San Antonio, Texas

Field trip schedule

7-11 February 2022

Suggested course fee


Course fee justification

Field trip to San Antonio with five overnight stays plus transportation.

Teaching faculty name(s)

Diane Al Shihabi, Mikesch Muecke

All ISU Majors
  • Seniors and graduate students
Maximum enrollment