History and the past: most would acknowledge their importance. The importance of the past is that what has been done previously can be seen and its success easily measured. It may seem obvious to look to the past before doing things now or planning for the future and the built environment is no different.
However, often lessons are not learnt from the past and we can fall into the trap of using a material unproven in real life just because it is “new”. Just as in our everyday lives, we look to the newest thing, the latest thing, the “in” thing. This is not necessarily a negative prospect as it encourages innovation, but just because something is old, doesn’t mean it cannot be used in innovative and exciting ways and still provide the security that can only be achieved by long-term proven past performance