3.1051 Center for the Study of Architecture (51)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 14 Feb 90 20:55:29 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1051. Wednesday, 14 Feb 1990.

Date: Tue, 13 Feb 90 10:17:00 EST
From: N_EITELJORG@cc.brynmawr.edu
Subject: Re: 3.1036 call for information: CAI for history (90)

Donald Spaeth asked about programs for teaching history. What follows
is *not* a description of programs, but a description of a budding data
base and information center which should be of interest.

Computer-assisted drafting and design (CADD) programs, originally
developed for architects and engineers, can provide scholars or students
architectural history or archaeology with three-dimensional drawings and
accurate data about buildings or excavations (all dimensions). Users
may create virtually any view the mind might imagine quickly, easily,
and accurately. Furthermore, CADD techniques involve the placement of
different elements on separate "layers" (comparable to transparent
overlays on a paper drawing) so that groups of material may be viewed in
a variety of combinations and without the distractions of temporarily
unwanted information, e.g., only elements of the drawing from specific
time spans or only elements made of specified material(s). The use of
layers also permits competing reconstructions to be kept together in a
common drawing. Each reconstruction must be properly connected to the
actual finds, but each can be seen independently.

The Center for the Study of Architecture (CSA) was established to apply
CADD technology to the recording of information about ancient structures
and excavations. The Center will maintain an archive of full and
accurate information regarding buildings and excavations - in CADD form
- for all who are interested. Personnel at CSA will also work to make
certain that architectural historians and excavators have the opportunity
to examine and evaluate the most current technological aids as they
work. Personnel will also work with scholars to assist them in choosing
the appropriate CADD program(s), learning to use them, modifying them for
individual needs, and setting up appropriate recording techniques. As
CADD programs develop, the Center will serve as a clearing house for
archaeologists so that advances in the technology will be publicized
promptly and so that all may learn from the experience of others who are
using the new technology. To that end CSA publishes a newletter on a qua
rterly basis (available at no charge) and has published two booklets,
one about CADD for scholars, and one about 3-d surveying techniques (out
of print as of this writing). Harrison Eiteljorg, II, Director, CSA,
Bitnet or internet: n_eiteljorg@brynmawr; P.O. Box 60, Bryn Mawr,
PA 19010, U.S.A.