Critical Conservation at the Harvard Graduate School of Design addresses social [in] justice in the built environment by studying the intersection of cultural meaning, identity and physical and historical context. In coursework and individual research students analyze the underlying forces that affect how history is written, the frames that create historical narratives, and how these affect decisions about existing context. The Critical Conservation program asks its students to investigate: what, why, and who determines the conservation /destruction/construction balance; for what end and for whose benefit are decisions being made; whose history is being told; whose future is being created; who is included; and most especially who is excluded? Answering these questions helps lay a more and ethical foundation for designers in their work.