Dr Tim Winter is Research Professor at the Centre for Cultural Heritage in the Asia Pacific and Alfred Deakin Research Institute. A sociologist by training, he has previously held positions at the University of Western Sydney and Sydney University and at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Tim’s research interests stem from a curiosity in the term ‘heritage’: how the concept is shaped epistemologically through certain knowledge practices; and how it figures in issues like nationalism, cultural diplomacy, post-conflict recovery, sustainability, postcolonial identities and urban development. Much of his work focuses on the developing economies of Asia, with projects currently being pursued in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Cambodia, India, Malaysia and Thailand.
He is leading the ARC project, Cool living heritage in Southeast Asia: sustainable alternatives to air-conditioned cities. The project sets out to better understand the complex and inter-connected cultural, economic and physical transformations air-conditioning technologies have brought about. It pursues an alternative paradigm, that of a ‘cool living heritage’, encompassing a wide variety of architectural and cultural practices of a pre-air-conditioning era. Examining the possibilities and obstacles for reviving such a heritage, the project addresses the complex interconnections which enmesh technologies, their wider socio-political contexts and the cultural changes necessary for developing low carbon forms of urban development.