Faculty Advisor

Dodson, Leslie Lynn

Faculty Advisor

Hersh, Robert


The National Theatre and Sarajet Villa in Tirana’s historic center are under threat of demolition due to the passage of a contentious new law. In collaboration with OTTOnomy and Cultural Heritage without Borders, we investigated how personal experience, collective memory and postmemory in response to the communist regime contribute to a sense of place. We did so by researching the evolution of the historic center, interviewing key informants, and collecting written stories in a Theatre Memory Box. We also produced a virtual reality experience. We found that people attach meaning to built space via storytelling, secular pilgrimage, and familial or historical connection to buildings, all of which are heightened by threat of demolition.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

December 2018

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project