University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Installation for Interpretation of Archaeological Sites. The Portus Visualisation Project
Javier Pereda

Last modified: 2011-12-20


Visual communication tools help to convey a message between two subjects or targets.  The visual communication process is not limited only to typographical or static imagery.  I believe there are several disciplines that can benefit from an interdisciplinary approach by blending visual communication methods.  In this case Archaeology and Museum Studies.

This project presents the designer’s interpretation of an archaeological site in order to produce material for the case study. The installation involves several technological elements that complement each other to provide the best interpretation and enhance experimentation. Among other technologies, the installation utilizes Augmented Reality, 3D Modelling, Projection Mapping and 3D Printing to assist in the interpretation of the site.

The project will be using the site of Portus, Italy as the example for visualization and will focus exclusively on one of the warehouses. The methodology developed for this project will be transposable to almost any archaeological site. The project attempts also to generalize and standardize a process for the development of these types of installations and interfaces. As we progressively become more multi-skilled, the boundaries between industries become less visible and it is difficult to pre-plan when we require to bring other specialists into the field. The familiarization with these types of projects can motivate other industries to become more open to collaborative research.

I believe that one of the main obstacles hindering the implementation of this technology is usually monetary. For this reason this project has promoted the idea of utilizing ‘open source’ and accessible technologies in order to facilitate the distribution of content. I am attempting to produce a minimum cost project in which open source elements like the Flash Spark Library or the Arduino chipset play essential roles.

I think this will motivate other researchers to start introducing this technology and implementing it within more projects, thus promoting interdisciplinarity. This is a project that can be used for experimentation (Archaeologists) or presentation (Museums).


augmented reality, flash, papervision, projectional mapping, 3d, rendering, 3d print, museology