Mapping and Modeling Early Modern Venice

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

VMS 89S

Kristin Lanzoni

Katie McCusker, TA

Spring 2016: T 10:20am-12:50pm | Wired! Lab (Smith, Bay 11 2nd Floor, A233)

Beginning with Napoleon’s forced entry into the city in 1797 and the fall of a more than 1000 year old Republic, the urban landscape of Venice experienced notable change. Significant intervention included the destruction of many Renaissance monuments and, therefore, great loss to the architectural and artistic patrimony of the city. The goal of this Wired! course is to map the urban landscape of early modern Venice by re-constructing lost architectural gems of the fifteenth and sixteenth century along with their immediate surroundings. To accomplish this, students will work in groups to use digital tools, such as Google Sketch up, to translate historical and modern maps, prints, engravings and paintings into 3-D models. In addition to the exterior reconstruction of the buildings, students will use inventories and various imagery to recreate interior spaces. These monuments will be mapped onto present-day Venice. The course assumes no prior art historical or digital experience; students will be provided with the background necessary to understand the art and architectural history of early modern Venice, and the skills required for the digital technology. The outcome of the course will be an unprecedented reconfiguration of aspects of Venice as it appeared in the Renaissance and visual models that may be shared with a larger academic community. This course is a First Year Seminar and is open to first years only.

The Medieval Castle in Britain

Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

ARTHIST 290S – 01

Matthew Woodworth

Fall 2016: TTH 1:25-2:40pm | Wired! Lab (Smith, Bay 11 2nd Fl, Rm A233)

This class investigates the evolution of the British castle from the Norman Conquest through the end of the Tudor dynasty (i.e., 1066-1603). It begins with the mighty eleventh-century ruins scattered along the coast of Wales — the greatest surviving fortifications in the world, and the inspiration for those seen in Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. The course then surveys the development of British military architecture over the next five and half centuries. Dramatic changes in ground plan and topography were matched by sweeping changes in style, architectural fashion, materials, and the machinery of war. Students will use 3D modeling to map the location of castles in the British landscape, as well as make digital reconstructions (both external and internal) of how a vanished or ruinous castle would have appeared in its heyday. Formalist and technological concerns will be approached holistically and symbiotically: How did the appearance of the “ideal” castle change over time, and how did it adapt to new regimes, weapons, and economic forces? We will also investigate the historical accuracy of popular “siege engine” computer games such as Stronghold, Age of Empires, and Medieval: Total War.

The Medieval Castle in Britain (First Year Seminar): Fortresses, Technology, and Power

Spring 2015

ARTHIST 89S-02 | MEDREN 89S-01

Matthew Woodworth

Th 3:05-5:35pm| The Wired! Lab (Smith, Bay 11, A233)

This class investigates the evolution of the British castle from the Norman Conquest through the end of the Tudor dynasty (i.e., 1066-1603). It begins with the mighty eleventh-century ruins scattered along the coast of Wales — the greatest surviving fortifications in the world, and the inspiration for those seen in Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. The course then surveys the development of British military architecture over the next five and half centuries. Dramatic changes in ground plan and topography were matched by sweeping changes in style, architectural fashion, materials, and the machinery of war. Students will use 3D modeling to map the location of castles in the British landscape, as well as make digital reconstructions (both external and internal) of how a vanished or ruinous castle would have appeared in its heyday. Formalist and technological concerns will be approached holistically and symbiotically: How did the appearance of the “ideal” castle change over time, and how did it adapt to new regimes, weapons, and economic forces? We will also investigate the historical accuracy of popular “siege engine” computer games such as Stronghold, Age of Empires, and Medieval: Total War.

This course is open to first year students only. Due to popular demand, a special topics course has been created for other students. More information is available here.

The Mendicant Revolution

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

Caroline Bruzelius


This course examines the impact of two new religious orders, the Franciscans and Dominicans (mendicant friars), on cities, architecture, literature, painting and sculpture.

In the early 13th century, two men, Francis and Dominic, started religious movements that had a profound impact on the world. Although their institutions were different in many ways, they shared some common goals: outreach to the public through public sermons aimed at converting heretics, a spiritual vocation dedicated to imitating the poverty of Christ and the Apostles, and a focus on people living in cities. This became a profoundly urban movement, engaging with laymen in the public spaces of cities (squares, piazzas, markets) as well as in the private spaces of homes. Because of their public role, friars became immensely popular and influenced many aspects of late medieval life. Their use of imagery in painting and sculpture initiated new trends in the representation of sacred themes, for example. The importance of sermons as a mode of outreach to the public led to the invention of new types of texts, such as concordances, popularizing saint’s lives. They created a new type of urban convent for their communities that were often flanked by public piazzas for preaching.

Motion Graphics in Film & Video

Spring 2014

ARTSVIS 236S

Raquel Salvatella De Prada

WF 1:25-2:40 pm Social Science 229

This course explores motion graphics and post-production techniques to use in broadcast design, video and film production. Students first learn basic compositing using layers, animated text as well as keyframing and masking. Students then move to more advanced topics that include stabilization and tracking, green screen, rotoscoping, paint tools, color correction, 3D layers and special effects that can add exciting and creative touches to each student project, whether it is a film, documentary, visual experiment or animation. Importing media from a wide variety of applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier and Final Cut Pro is also covered.
Knowledge of editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Premier is required and familiarity with Photoshop and Illustrator is helpful. Instructor consent required.

The Museum Inside Out

Spring 2012

Caroline Bruzelius, Mark Olson

Elizabeth Baltes and Alexandra Dodson, TAs


Medieval sculpture often “floats” on white walls of museums with no suggestion of the richness of its historical context. The goal of this course was to explore the possibilities afforded by new media to inflect the presentation, mediation, and reconstruction of the original context for a work of art.

Using the collection of Medieval Sculpture in the Nasher Museum of Art as our laboratory, we reflected on how digital tools — laser scanning, photogrammetry, geo-mapping and restorative 2D/3D digital modeling — can offer non-invasive meditations on objects to assist visitors in their understanding of an object, its original setting, its history, its materiality. In other words, we aimed to trace what Appadurai calls “the social life of things.” Finally, against the uncritical embrace of new technology, we have been particularly interested in reflexive critical work on our own practices of visualization.

The course projects are multi-semester interventions with the goal of presenting student-designed digital models for the future exhibition of the Brummer collection, including an emphasis on the Brummer brothers as agents and dealers in the art market at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Paris: A City and Its Culture 1850-1930

VMS 338

Neil McWilliam


This class looks at Paris as an urban space and as an artistic center. It explores the city as a physical environment that has to be understood in terms of varied populations, economic activities, and cultural representations. Viewing Paris as a subject for art as well as a major center for training and exhibition, the class will include a research project that uses new technologies to map the growth and development of artistic activity in the city.

Politics and Modern Architecture

Spring 2018

ARTHIST 284 | HISTORY 263 | POLSCI 263 | PUBPOL 287

Paul Jaskot

WF 10:05-11:20am | Smith, Bay 10, A266

Given the needs for labor, materials, and legal permissions, architects in the modern period by definition intersect with interests of power. This course explores the role of political institutions and ideologies in the history of modern architecture. While the course focuses on European and North American examples, we will also include key case studies of non-Euroamerican architecture and politics. The course provides a foundational knowledge of the history of modern architecture as well as how political institutions and ideologies have influenced that development.

Reconstructing Ancient Worlds

Fall 2013

CLST 252LS

Maurizio Forte

XX

What did the Parthenon look like in the 5th century BCE? How spectacular was the view of the Giza Pyramids in third millennium BCE Egypt? The extraordinary growth of information and digital technologies in archaeology raises new questions about research methodology, knowledge and the dissemination of culture. In particular, the technologies of 3D data recording and representation such as computer vision, photogrammetry, and 3D laser scanning create information that has a complexity unimaginable a few years ago and whose codes of representation still must be defined and investigated. We do not adequately understand the cognitive processes that connect the geometric complexity of models with their representation. The key element on which we construct our codes, our maps, is the perception which first selects what is high-priority information and then transforms it into knowledge. The course aims explores these multidisciplinary issues, methods and technologies in the field of virtual and cyber archaeology and, more specifically, it is focused on the reconstruction and communication of the past through virtual reality and computer graphics.

Visual Culture of Venice

Spring 2018

VMS 89S | ISS 89S | MEDREN 89S | ENGLISH 89S

Kristin Huffman

W 11:45am-2:15pm | Wired! Lab (Smith, Bay 11, A233)

Description coming soon.