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The Future of the Past: Reconstructing St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury

Griffin, Howard (2020) The Future of the Past: Reconstructing St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury. In: AMPS Conference "Connections: exploring heritage, architecture, cities, art media", 29-30 Jun 2020, Canterbury, UK. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:82010)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

The use of digital technologies to re-present heritage has become a familiar situation across the sector. The development of technologies, such as 3D scanners, 3D modelling software and virtual reality hardware, means that the heritage industry has a palette of emerging tools that can assist with the communication of heritage knowledge. The term ‘Virtual Heritage’ is now a familiar phrase, used in a number of applications. Addison (2000) categorises three methodologies through which digital technologies interact with heritage as documentation, representation and dissemination.

St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury, is one of the three constituent parts of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site, considered the starting point to the Christianisation of England, was created in 597 by Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. A victim of Henry VIII’s reformation of the monasteries, the abbey and monastery closed in 1538, falling into disrepair and eventual destruction. Today, the ruined site is managed by English Heritage, attracting almost 20,000 visitors each year.

Architectural Visualisation is an expanding profession, with architects, clients, planners and the public demanding ever more realistic visualisations of yet to be built spaces. However, the skills needed to create the yet unbuilt can also be applied to what was built. In 2010, the School of Architecture at the University of Kent developed a postgraduate course in visualisation, aimed at addressing this burgeoning need. Part of the course invites students to apply their visualisation skills to heritage scenarios. Between 2013 to 2017, students worked with English Heritage, digitally recreating the Abbey, developing a model to be converted into a virtual reality experience for visitors to the site.

This paper will outline the project, evaluate the appropriateness for students, the effectiveness for visitors and will argue that the use of digital technologies is an essential practice for archaeological sites.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Virtual Heritage, Virtual Reality, Visualisation, Digital Heritage, English Heritage, Student Project
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Depositing User: Howard Griffin
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2020 12:36 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:13 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82010 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Griffin, Howard: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4930-1520
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