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Digital Technology to Preserve New Zealand’s Architectural History

Photo Credit: Victoria University of Wellington

An exhibition at the Wellington Museum, which was organised in partnership with the Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Architecture and Design, will showcase how digital technology can help document New Zealand’s architectural history.

According to a recent press release, Immersive Legacies: 320 The Terrace exhibition explores how the country’s architectural heritage can be documented using a range of digital technology.

About Immersive Legacies: 320 The Terrace Exhibition

  • The exhibition follows the making of the digital heritage in order to showcase how technology makes it possible to capture the architectural heritage virtually.
  • The exhibition presents the residential flats at 320 The Terrace, or The Gordon Wilson Flats, as a case study for the generation of digital heritage.
  • Led by the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design, the project is designed to show how virtual reality technologies can provide new ways of exploring and understanding heritage buildings.
  • The exhibition introduces a variety of virtual reality experiences that present the building throughout its lifetime.
  • The project began as part of the University’s Summer Scholarship programme, with two Master students and an undergraduate student developing a VR experience to recreate the flats within the building.
  • They looked at the original plans for the flats and used computer modelling software to produce a digital version of the layout.
  • Moreover, they also visited the site to collect data on the layout and design. While there, they took thousands of photos of the interior and exterior.

How Emerging Tech Boost Historical Architecture Experience

  • These celebrate the opportunities provided by the digital reconstruction of heritage, and how emerging digital technology use in architectural history enrich the representation and experience of historical architecture.
  • The Chief Operating Officer of the University, who will be opening the exhibition, explained that it is an exciting project that provides innovative new tools to enable cities to resolve the tension between preserving unsafe and outdated buildings, as well as urban renewal.
  • In addition, it is an excellent use of virtual reality technology to enable buildings and oral histories to be digitally preserved for future generations to explore.
  • The exhibition will showcase the strengths of the University in virtual reality technologies and the exciting possibilities open to students at the School of Design.
  • Furthermore, this will be a perfect opportunity for prospective students as well as their parents to get a hands-on experience with this kind of technology.
  • Add to that, the chance of getting a glimpse of the cutting edge work the University’s students are able to achieve.
  • By presenting the making of digital heritage, Immersive Legacies invites visitors to reflect on the role these emerging technologies can play for recording and communicating heritage sites in the future, in New Zealand and abroad.
  • The Immersive Legacies: 320 The Terrace exhibition runs from 19 October at the Museum, and there is an opening event on Friday 18 October. The exhibition is part of Wellington Heritage Week.


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