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    What Architectural Historians can Learn from Augmented Reality Technologies?

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2011)

    London, UK, 6 - 8 July 2011


    Tessa Morrison and Ning Gu


    Architectural historians can often be confronted with want seems to be insurmountable problems when examining buildings in cityscape or the cityscape itself, and often reconstructions of the cityscape can be problematic. Generally when reconstructing an ancient or lost cityscape it is very unlikely that there will be a detailed plan, let alone elevations or sections to assist in the reconstruction. Evidence of the cityscape can exist as recorded descriptions, illustrated landscapes, government records, street plans (which if old plans can sometime conflict with each other), photographs and directories that record the owners and the purpose of each building. From this rudimentary evidence architectural historians attempt to reconstruct changing cityscapes. Visualising architectural ideas and concepts through digital images is now an established architectural practice and with each new development in digital technology new research and design practices have also been developed. 2D drawing and graphic design programs such Corel Draw and Illustrator give architects a tool for simplifying corrections, editing plans and developing professional presentations. However, for the architectural historian these programs provided a unique research tool for historic research. The development of conventional 3D modelling programs such as ArchiCAD brought a new element into architectural historical research. ArchiCAD led to a greater understanding of the spatial arrangements and relationships of individual building. Augmented Reality (AR) system is a technology that can insert digital information into the designers’ physical environment. AR appears in literature usually in conjunction with the virtual reality and is an environment where the additional information generated by a computer is inserted into the user’s view of a real world scene. This paper examines whether this new technology can enhance studies into architectural history. What can Architectural Historians learn from AR technologies?


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