Established in 2006-7, the THAAP Group of companies has earned a unique place as one of the respected organizations working in culture, art, and architecture, offering its expertise in projects, research, and development. The diversity of interest of the THAAP Group and the expertise of the team makes the organization uniquely placed to provide quality service. It serves as a research group with intense and continuous quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of the issue at hand. Its activities range from architectural and engineering services, cultural heritage management and conservation and safeguarding of tangible and intangible heritage, publications, craft and creative industries, and propagation of mother tongue (Ma Boli) learning.
THAAP Group comprises of five independent organizations/ sub-sets which were established with the purpose of exploring, strengthening, and extending the rich culture and cultural expressions in art and architecture as well as to promote the historical understanding of the Punjab and Pakistan. THAAP Group recognizes the intrinsic link between history, tradition and culture and acknowledges that our present-day beliefs, value systems and world view which constitutes the culture of a society or community is shaped by the historical past. The Group aims to reassess and revisit history and create scholarship and knowledge of the old and recent history from the people’s perspective and disseminate to a wide audience. THAAP believes that Culture is intrinsic to individuals and communities and integral to the human condition. It links culture to the inalienable rights of individuals and communities and at the core of development and poverty alleviation strategies.
Expressions of culture, whether historical, traditional, or contemporary need support and promotion. The preservation and conservation of the rich heritage of Pakistan in both its tangible and intangible form is of special focus to the organization’s mission. This includes both archaeological remains and the numerous historic and architectural sites spread in different parts of Pakistan, as well as the rich craft traditions and the many forms of intangible expressions. The continuing quest for ideas and the creative impulse has been an intrinsic part of civilization and the human condition and the thread woven in the past continues in the present, finding new ways of expression, giving new meanings, and discovering new directions. THAAP Group supports culture of the Pakistani people in all its forms and expressions, the organization endeavors to promote and create an appreciation of cultural diversity as a means towards harmony and peace amongst communities.
THAAP Group with its 5 independent sub-sets is an umbrella organization linked together through its shared mission and shared resources. The Group creates a vibrant synergy with each of its subsets working separately but inviting advice and assistance as the situation warrants. The independent advisors attached to THAAP are available to each of the sub-sets for advice and deliberations. Overall management of THAAP Group is with its directors and the team of dedicated secretaries, coordinator, and colleagues who have shaped the Group since inception.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
Planning and Management of Historic Cities and Cultural Sites
- Planning Historic Urban Landscape (HUL): focusing on safeguarding heritage through enabling sustainable community participation, unlocking economic potential of heritage assets, improved management systems and such other interventions;
- Management of Cultural Heritage: including tangible & intangible heritage, World Heritage Sites, and Archeological Sites, historic urban and rural architecture. Monitoring & Evaluation systems and Master/Management Plans for Sites and Structures;
- Planning and Management of Cultural Projects and Programs: including financial and administrative management in accordance with international standards;
- Development of Integrated Site Management Plans (ISMP): in accordance with international best practices and norms and with a high level of community and stakeholder engagement;
- Strategic planning: sustainable Plans engaging culture in development for poverty alleviation and empowerment of marginalized communities;
- Strategic Planning for Sustainable Development of Historic Cities and Districts
- Strategic Planning for Culture and Eco-tourism: including identification of cultural assets and development of sustainable programs for tourism;
- Strategic Planning for Promotion, Preservation & Revitalization of Traditional Crafts and Arts: including Documentation, development of cultural products for contemporary use;
- Project Planning and Feasibility Studies;
- Selection of Appropriate Sites for upgrading historic cores with modern amenities and services.
Documentation, Mapping, Inventorying & Cultural Database
- Mapping of Tangible Cultural Heritage Assets: Baseline information through Field Studies/ Surveys; analyzed, classified and computerized retrieval systems developed;
- Documentation of Tangible and Associated Intangible Culture Heritage (ICH): including detailed documentation of structures, and associated ICH;
- Development of Methodologies and Tools for Community Based Inventorying of Cultural Assets;
- Inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage through Community Inclusive systems and development of computerized retrieval systems and user friendly systems for accessibility of communities;
- Development of purpose focused Cultural Databases.
Conservation of Built Assets and Adaptive Reuse
- Conservation of Buildings and Sites: in accordance with internationally acceptable principles of authenticity and good practice;
- Adaptive Reuse of Historic Buildings, Premises and Areas;
- Restoration of Historic elements within buildings including archeological sites;
- Adaptive Reuse of Historic/ Heritage premises and buildings in accordance with international norms and respecting local traditions and appropriateness.
Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI)
- Developing CCI including product development, management, production and marketing for enhancing economic potential of heritage;
- Developing Craft products based on local craft making skills to safeguard heritage and contemporize craft products for providing livelihood to communities;
- Strategic plans for employing local craft traditions as a means for alleviating poverty and community revitalization.
Development and Implementation of Safeguarding Plans for Intangible Cultural Heritage
- Developing Safeguarding Plans for ICH with communities and stakeholders covering all domains of ICH including performing arts, traditional crafts, medicinal practices, social practices and such others.
Integrating Culture in Education and Learning
- Developing methodologies, systems and resources for integrating cultural knowledge into the formal and informal education system (government and private schools and higher education institutions);
- Capacity Building and Training teachers, community knowledge bearers and. traditional practitioners to hone their capacity for intergenerational transfer of cultural knowledge;
- Strategic plans for setting up of art/culture-related educational centers, including feasibility studies for setting up academic departments at tertiary levels or independent academies related to the aspects of the arts and intangible cultural heritage of communities.
- Historical Studies: cultural history, social and political history with focus on art architecture, tangible, intangible heritage etc.
Design and Branding
- The team of Designers offer their services.
CAPACITY-BUILDING AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
- Capacity Building and Training in Documentation, heritage management, community-based inventories, and conservation of built heritage and preservation of intangible heritage;
- Capacity Building for the artisans in management, skill development, safeguarding and marketing;
- Workshops for raising awareness and increasing sense of ownership in the community members for their heritage;
- Workshops are also organized with organizations with whom THAAP Group has signed MOUs and joint venture agreements.
ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING SERVICES AND INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE
- Architectural Design of simple and complex buildings;
- Site Development;
- Design of Housing Settlements;
- Industrial Projects;
- Hospitals and Clinics;
- Educational Buildings;
- Commercial Buildings;
- Conservation and Adaptive Reuse of Buildings;
- Restoration and Conservation Projects;
- Feasibility Studies;
- Preparation of Contract Drawings and Documents.
URBAN PLANNING AND URBAN DESIGN.
- Urban Studies;
- Traffic and Transportation Studies;
- Urban Redevelopment Studies;
- Urban Redevelopment Projects;
- Housing Settlement Design;
- Development of Industrial Estates;
- Design of Cantonments;
- Conservation Studies and Conservation Plan;
- Master Plan and Structure Plan of Towns and Cities.
- Public Parks and Recreation spaces;
- Theme Parks;
- Safari Parks;
- Landscape Design of Small and large Gardens.
- Design of Interiors of all types of buildings including shops, hospitals, schools, hotels, and restaurants.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The R&D is fully devoted to research in many of the aspects which are of interest to THAAP Heritage to create knowledge and in depth understanding.
The main lines of research of THAAP Heritage involve ideals and models for the management of cultural heritage, safeguarding tangible and intangible heritage, women empowerment, emphasizing local economic development of the communities and production of culture and cultural innovation.
THAAP Heritage (erstwhile Culture & Development Program) develops, through collaborations with other bodies at national and international level, research projects related to models for the management of cultural heritage.
THAAP Heritage has successfully trained and empowered many artisans through its work in South Punjab. The UNESCO-Norway funded Project, “Empowerment of Women through Crafts, “Project (2010), was carried out successfully in over 20 villages in various districts with 695 women as direct beneficiaries/participants and about 6000 indirect beneficiaries, with about 100,000 people made aware of the nexus between culture and economic development.
Through two subsequent projects implemented in the Kalasha valleys initiated in November 2015, in collaboration with UNESCO have led to the formation of the first-ever online Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory of Pakistan. The inventory has been endorsed across the five provinces of the country through sustained advocacy and cooperation between the National Government of Pakistan, Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the District Government of Chitral. The link to the online inventory can be seen in the link below:
THAAP Heritage has a long-standing association with finding a nexus between tangible and intangible heritage. As per the 2003 convention’s definition of ICH as a living heritage defined by the people, THAAP has successfully made use of the best practices the world-over and tailoring them to the local context. This has led to the breaking of the ossification of cultural heritage as primarily connected to the past and housed in museums. ICH makes these buildings alive again and the stories, rituals, crafts and social practices associated with these sites provide an opportunity to make these buildings an integral part of the living heritage of the sites. This provides an opportunity to not only raise awareness about the rich heritage associated with these sites but also create opportunities for heritage entrepreneurship possibilities such as training of tour guides with relevant historical data and folklore, whilst also finding innovative ideas related to increasing livelihood through the living crafts associated with the region in general and the sites. Furthermore, THAAP’s CEO, Prof. Sajida Haider Vandal is currently part of the working group focusing on engaging culture for peace in learning through the UNESCO Asia Pacific initiative together for peace (T4P) as of 2019. The organization aims to make use of such parallel platforms to bring forth elements of international best practices for the implementation of the current project.
The outputs of the projects implemented by THAAP Heritage include availability of skilled cadre for up-scaling and a large group of women artisans poised to take the next critical steps towards empowerment. Projects focus on strengthening artisans particularly women by providing them a strong non-agricultural base for income generation while honing their skills to ensure that quality and innovative cultural products would continue to be developed in a sustainable manner through market connectivity which was a key component of all projects. The incomes of participants increased many folds through these endeavors in some cases estimated as high as 200%. Later Projects resulted in an additional 800 women artisans brought into the loop with corresponding impact on families and communities.
THAAP Heritage has developed well-honed Strategy for Visibility and Communication including exhibitions, publications and awareness raising events and has extensive experience of Conservation and Restoration of Heritage premises including World Heritage Sites (WHS).