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Re-Visions: Recording Architecture I

 

Book Cover Re-Visions: Recording Architecture I

Re-Visions: Recording Architecture I
Co-Author: Imdat As, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2004

Introduction

Throughout history methodologies of architectural representation emerged parallel to technological developments; the perspective as a representational construct, for instance, was developed in the Renaissance mainly for recording antique architecture, but soon it shaped the perception on, and the future production of architecture and urban space. Today, new computer technologies paved the way for new representational constructs; i.e. digital models, animations, virtual and augmented realities, immersive environments, 3D prints, and so on. Similar to the perspective, these emerging modes of representation modify conventional visual constructs and impact our understanding of space and architectural history.

Surprisingly little use of digital media techniques and motion graphics, has been made to describe important projects and themes in architectural history. How can our understanding and interpretation of the historically significant in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design be enhanced by using advanced digital media techniques? How does montage, the assembling and synchronizing of motion pictures, relate to our human perception and the way we experience architecture?

In Re:Visions--Recording Architecture we explored various modes of digital representation for the purpose of recording projects and themes in architectural history. Emphasis was primarily given to motion graphics. We discussed precedents where digital techniques have been used within a wider context of historical studies; such as Nezar Al Sayed's study of the metamorphosis of ancient Cairo, several projects on virtual "reconstructions" (e.g. the Palladio Project or the Unbuilt Monuments project), or other works that have sought to merge digital representations with views of actual sites (the Ename 942 Project). These and other projects have offered exciting glimpses into the power of digital media techniques. We further explored the potential and applicability of newer technologies, to understand what type of representational constructs are useful for what purpose.

The main objectives of the course were:

  1. To give a wider context of visual constructs throughout the history of architectural representation
  2. To describe and explore emerging modes of representation
  3. To introduce hands-on experience with motion graphics and related software
  4. To open a discourse on the interpretation and evaluation of digital media works.


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