Publications

  • Proportional Systems in the Design of the Cathedral of St. George of the Greeks, Cyprus
    Proportional Systems in the Design of the Cathedral of St. George of the Greeks, Cyprus Cawthorne, Douglas; Irodotou, Romylos The cathedral of St. George of the Greeks was built in the 14th – 15th c. in Famagusta, Cyprus to accommodate the religious needs of the Greek orthodox community living under a Frankish aristocracy. Its design is a hybrid of western European and Greek orthodox architectural traditions which reflect the political and social circumstances of its creation. This paper examines the degree to which the underlying design methods employed can be extrapolat-ed from the physical remains of the building, the historical sources bearing upon its interpretation and comparisons with related structures. Results are presented of a recent (2016) photogrammetric survey of the building and a new digital reconstruction of the church derived from it. These are used to quantify, assess and illustrate a three dimensional armature of regulatory proportions which it is proposed for reasons of ecclesiastical philosophy and practical execution, were employed to shape the building’s physical form. This publication arose from new and original digital survey work carried out in the north of Cyprus by Romylos Irodotou as part of his De Montfort University MArch dissertation in 2016. From the photogrammetry survey data the authors reconstructed the cathedral church of St George of the Greeks and undertook a historical and proportional analysis of it drawing on wide range of sources and placing its concept and development within a broader context of late medieval architectural practice and orthodox Christian belief. The publication is a significant contribution to the study of byzantine/Christian orthodox architecture in the Levant and proposes a novel design hypothesis based on number and geometry for the characteristic hybrid aisled cross-in-square plan found in churches of this period in this region.
  • Hidden but not lost; Exploring the Great Hall at Boughton House
    Hidden but not lost; Exploring the Great Hall at Boughton House Gration, Jonathan Roy; Cawthorne, Douglas This is an abstract of a presentation delivered at CAA2015 in Siena which describes preliminary doctoral research on the creation of high resolution, textured digital reconstructions and novel visualisations of several historical phases of the Great Hall of Boughton House in England. Boughton House (1538-1910) is a sprawling country house built around 7 courtyards with twelve entrances, 52 chimney stacks and 365 windows. Its nickname “The English Versailles” is understandable. The focus of this paper is the Great Hall, which has been the central space of the house since its first establishment as a manor house on this site. The most eye catching element of the Great Hall is undoubtedly the wonderfully painted ceiling by Louis Chéron of 1705 depicting the Apotheosis of Hercules. The wainscoting panels appear to be of the same date, but are in fact additions of a restoration campaign in 1911. The panelling replaced a series of Corinthian pilasters of the same period as the painting by Chéron. The painted barrel vaulted ceiling however hides an earlier phase of this space, the Tudor Great Hall. The Tudor ceiling with its carved wind braces and quatrefoil patterns is still in a remarkable state of preservation although hidden behind its painted plaster successor. An original doorway dating to this period has also remained in situ. In addition there exist detailed inventories of furnishings many of which can be traced and there is also a valuable art collection which adorned the space and is still retained by the family. Using these sources and a conservation level examination of the extant fabric including laser scanning, photogrammetry and HDR texture capturing it is possible to reconstruct the earlier phases of the architectural features of the Great Hall, its contents and furnishings. The paper examines the challenges of doing so, the creation of digital reconstructions of the phases in the history of the Great Hall and issues of diminishing levels of certainty achievable the further back in time one goes. It also examines comparisons of various forms of evidence that inform and influence the end result. The need to exercise balanced evaluation is examined when combining physical evidence and remains, such as tangible objects and textures that are preserved in situ and elements of which only intangible archival evidence remains. In order to create authenticated and trusted 3D digital reconstructions, particular research methodologies from the digital humanities have been combined with the practice based methodology of heritage conservation and restoration. Applying the rigorous standards of physical conservation and restoration to digital reconstructions is presented as a quality control measure that ensures all elements of the reconstructed 3D models can be authenticated, avoiding the temptation of modelling for effect instead of fact. This ongoing project is presented as a specific example of the work that the Digital Building Heritage Group at De Montfort University undertakes, making the past of architectural heritage accessible through the creation of engaging digital reconstructions based on thorough academic research. Work undertaken as part of PhD research at De Montfort University.
  • Driving Engagement in Heritage Sites Using Personal Mobile Technology
    Driving Engagement in Heritage Sites Using Personal Mobile Technology Corah, Thom; Cawthorne, Douglas In a recent UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project researchers from De Montfort University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Durham have collaborated with two community heritage groups to produce two innovative new mobile apps. The project and the apps are intended to address particular issues surrounding the use of mobile digital technologies for co-production of community heritage interpretation in community archaeology and to examine how the explanatory and interrogatory potential of mobile device software can be used to build community led interpretive paradigms for post excavation analysis, presentation and education in community archaeology projects. The use of smartphone and tablet devices has been growing significantly over the past five years and is now becoming more common in heritage and museum settings. The aim is often to further develop public engagement with tangible and intangible cultural heritage, explain and explore existing information about artefacts, sites and cultures and present new information in engaging, accessible and meaningful ways to a range of audiences. Community archaeology groups are becoming alert to this trend and wish to engage with it too, particularly for 3D exploration of built archaeology and the artefacts associated with it. This poses a number of challenges to these aims that differ from those for artefacts and documents in museum settings alone. It also poses contextual challenges in relation to specific and highly engaged user groups like community archaeologists. This paper describes the completed apps which have been designed to address some of these unique challenges of interpreting and exploring 3D digitally reconstructed historic buildings on mobile platforms for community archaeology and heritage groups. Concepts underlying the design and implementation of the apps are addressed and examples of their use in two specific archaeological projects in England are described; a Roman bath house in Northumberland and an historic urban fabric in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. The paper focusses upon paradigms adopted for visualisation and exploration and also upon the web-based management methods. Principal Investigator Dr. Douglas Cawthorne, Digital Building Heritage Group, De Montfort University Co-Investigators: Mr. Thom Corah, Facuty of Technology, De Montfort University Dr. David Petts, Department of Archaeology, University of Durham Dr. Chris King, Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham
  • A Prototype Audio-Tactile Map System with an Advanced Auditory Display
    A Prototype Audio-Tactile Map System with an Advanced Auditory Display O'Sullivan, Liam; Picinali, Lorenzo; Gerino, Andrea; Cawthorne, Douglas Tactile surfaces can display information in a variety of applications for all users, but can be of particular benefit to blind and visually impaired individuals. One example is the use of paper-based tactile maps as navigational aids for interior and exterior spaces; visually impaired individuals may use these to practice and learn a route prior to journeying. The addition of an interactive auditory display can enhance such interfaces by providing additional information. This article presents a prototype system which tracks the actions of a user's hands over a tactile surface and responds with sonic feedback. The initial application is an Audio-Tactile Map (ATM); the auditory display provides verbalised information as well as environmental sounds useful for navigation. Two versions of the interface are presented; a desktop version intended as a large-format information point and a mobile version which uses a tablet computer overlain with tactile paper. Details of these implementations are provided, including observations drawn from the participation of a partially-sighted individual in the design process. A usability test with five visually impaired subjects also gives a favourable assessment of the mobile version. Departments and organaitaions involved in the research are noted below; School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland (O'Sullivan) Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College, London, UK (Picinali) Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK (Gerino) Digital Building Heritage Group, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK (Cawthorne)
  • Authenticating Anastylosis: Para Data in the Digital Reconstruction of Greyfrairs Church Leicester and the Tomb of King Richard III
    Authenticating Anastylosis: Para Data in the Digital Reconstruction of Greyfrairs Church Leicester and the Tomb of King Richard III Cawthorne, Douglas; Davies, Steffan Creating visualisations of historic buildings and interiors from partial evidence requires realistically implementable strategies for managing the evidence upon which they are based and for documenting the decisions taken concerning the selection and value judgements made about that evidence. This paradata is essential for scholarly audiences for whom the degree of authentication and probability of correctness are central issues in developing trusted research. Several methods of generating this paradata are already recorded in the literature but while often systematic they are also complex and largely text based and for this reason it is recognised that their use is still the exception rather than the norm. In early 2014 Archaeologists at the University of Leicester in the UK discovered the remains of King Richard III, who died in 1485. This internationally important archaeological discovery prompted Leicester City Council to commission the Digital Building Heritage Group at De Montfort University to use the newly discovered archaeological evidence and pre-existing literary and circumstantial evidence to create a highly detailed digital reconstruction for public exhibition of the now lost church and medieval precinct in which the king was buried. The international scrutiny surrounding this case required particular quality control over the paradata and the required development time for the reconstruction also required that any process used should be efficient, and practical to implement in a compressed time-frame. Experience was therefore drawn from quality control techniques in processes in the construction industry to authenticate decision-making using a particular form of drawing we call “body-maps”. These are graphic representations which specify options applicable to generic 2D and 3D representations of buildings and artefacts allow their development and change in design, allow the recording, over marking and notation of selections made, alternatives proposed, final decisions arrived at and official endorsement or “signing off” of the final visualisation. We have found this diagram based approach a time and cost efficient vehicle for generating a rich and accurate paradata record and one which can be easily stored digitally and retrieved for future examination. One of its advantages is that because they are largely graphical in format the “body-map” drawings can be read in chronological sequence and so provide a narrative with minimal use of explicitly narrative text. Factors which affect the method’s use are the need for personnel who can use simple computer based drawing packages like Sketchup and Photoshop to create and modify the base “body-maps” and a willingness amongst the participants to engage in basic hand-drawing diagramming and over-marking on paper print-outs. Interestingly we found that formal drawing ability has little if any effect upon the utility of the process with all participants from a range of backgrounds able to intuitively engage with it. Furthermore the process actively encourages thoughtful and reflective practice and the development of shared frames of reference between different disciplines. This paper explains the detail of the process we have developed, with examples of body-maps and their use, the resulting reconstructions and the methods we propose to archive and curate the paradata arising from it. Documentation of an innovative documentation methodology developed in the course of a project comissioned by Leicester City Council to create exhibition content for their King Richard III visitor center which opened in 2015, in Leicester, UK.
  • Audio Tactile Maps (ATM) System for the Exploration of Digital Heritage Buildings by Visually-impaired Individuals - First Prototype and Preliminary Evaluation
    Audio Tactile Maps (ATM) System for the Exploration of Digital Heritage Buildings by Visually-impaired Individuals - First Prototype and Preliminary Evaluation O'Sullivan, Liam; Picinali, Lorenzo; Feakes, C.; Cawthorne, Douglas Navigation within historic spaces requires analysis of a variety of acoustic, proprioceptive and tactile cues; a task that is well-developed in many visually-impaired individuals but for which sighted individuals rely almost entirely on vision. For the visually-impaired, the creation of a cognitive map of a space can be a long process for which the individual may repeat various paths numerous times. While this action is typically performed by the individual on-site, it is of some interest to investigate to what degree this task can be performed off-site using a virtual simulator. We propose a tactile map navigation system with interactive auditory display. The system is based on a paper tactile map upon which the user’s hands are tracked. Audio feedback provides; (i) information on user-selected map features, (ii) dynamic navigation information as the hand is moved, (iii) guidance on how to reach the location of one hand (arrival point) from the location of the other hand (departure point) and (iv) additional interactive 3D-audio cues useful for navigation. This paper presents an overview of the initial technical development stage, reporting observations from preliminary evaluations with a blind individual. The system will be beneficial to visually impaired visitors to heritage sites; we describe one such site which is being used to further assess our prototype. P.I. Dr. Lorenzo Piccinali, Faculty of Technology, DMU
  • A Prototype Interactive Tactile Display with Auditory Feedback
    A Prototype Interactive Tactile Display with Auditory Feedback O'Sullivan, Liam; Picinali, Lorenzo; Cawthorne, Douglas Tactile surfaces can display useful information in a variety of applications for blind, visually-impaired and even sighted users. One example is the use of paper-based tactile maps as navigational aids for interior and exterior spaces; visually- impaired individuals may use these to practice and learn a route prior to journeying. The addition of an interactive auditory display could enhance such tactile interfaces by providing additional information. This paper presents pre- liminary work on a prototype multi-modal interface which tracks the actions of a user’s hands over a tactile surface and responds with sonic feedback. The initial application being considered is an Auditory Tactile Map (ATM); the auditory display provides verbalised information as well as environmental sounds useful for navigation. Another pro- posed implementation adds interactivity to reproductions of museum exhibits, making these more accessible to the visually-impaired and allowing exploration of their tactile affordances while preserving the original works. Liam O’Sullivan School of Engineering Trinity College Dublin, Lorenzo Picinali Faculty of Technology De Montfort University Leicester, Douglas Cawthorne Digital Building Heritage Group De Montfort University Leicester.
  • An analysis on separability for Memetic Computing automatic design
    An analysis on separability for Memetic Computing automatic design Caraffini, Fabio; Neri, Ferrante; Picinali, Lorenzo
  • Non-visual identification, localization, and selection of entities of interest in a 3D environment
    Non-visual identification, localization, and selection of entities of interest in a 3D environment Menelas, B.; Picinali, Lorenzo; Bourdot, P.; Katz, B. F. G.
  • Exploration of architectural spaces by blind people using auditory virtual reality for the construction of spatial knowledge
    Exploration of architectural spaces by blind people using auditory virtual reality for the construction of spatial knowledge Picinali, Lorenzo; Afonso, Amandine; Denis, Michel; Katz, B. F. G.

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