Communication, Technology, and Digital Culture for the Conservation and Enhancement of the Architectural Heritage

Communication, Technology, and Digital Culture for the Conservation and Enhancement of the Architectural Heritage

Francesca Fatta (Mediterranea University of di Reggio Calabria, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8379-2.ch016


In this chapter the main issue is focused on the reconstruction of Reggio and Messina after the earthquake of 1908 has been an opportunity to address the broken and - what is much more difficult and required - the rebalancing of memory and identity of places. Between July 2013 and September 2014 two teams of researchers at the University of Reggio and the MAP CNRS Marseille have formed a partnership to test new communications systems, technology and digital culture applied to cultural and architectural heritage. The responsibilities of the MAP CNRS, directed by Prof. Livio De Luca and the field of investigation and experimentation defined by Atelier of thesis of Prof. Francesca Fatta, found an interaction system useful for the definition of design systems for a Museum of collective memory in Reggio Calabria. The digital experiments were compared with the taking of photogrammetric works recovered from the earthquake of 1908 in Reggio, three-dimensional modeling and integrated reading systems aimed at the restoration and augmented reality.
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The city of Reggio Calabria, its local context and history have played an important role in the determination of the this research. The earthquake of 1908 destroyed a large part of the memory of these places.

On December 28, 1908 at 5:21 a roar shook the area of the Strait of Messina. It was a devastating earthquake, one of the worst ever occurred in Europe that destroyed Messina, Reggio Calabria and dozens of other towns of the Tyrrhenian coast, killing more than 100,000 people.

The Russian Navy's cruiser, Aurora, and some British military ships who were in the Strait at that time, brought first aid. Then the news spread, certainly not as fast as it can happen in our day, and the machinery of international solidarity was set in motion. On the spot came the queen Elena to bring comfort and to manifest the presence of the Kingdom of Italy close to the earthquake victims. An event of enormous scope that was accomplished in a period of a few minutes, and that changed that part of the world that would never be the same again.

On this catastrophe that has dramatically changed the face of a part of the country has been said and written, often creating opportunities for discussion and debate among scholars, educators, researchers and experts in the art of designing and constructing buildings, cities, territories and landscapes. The contribution that we want to provide in this debate concerns a particular project for the recovery of the historical memory of these places.

The earthquake of Reggio and Messina was perhaps the first event of our era “celebrated” with media coverage from newspapers and movies of the early 900 documentary materials relating to news reports, both Italian and foreign, awesome movies, photographs, postcards, and numerous reports.

The catastrophe, in this circumstance, assumed the value of a “representation” that did not just tell the tragedy, but revived with a great echo through the stories of the survivors, the emotions and hardships of many villages destroyed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interactive Mapping: Interactive processes are the fundamental principle on which is based the knowledge process applied on the virtual museum and communication of cultural good. According to an hypertext design is possible proposing cultural personalized routes depending on the user who uses it.

Immersive Reality: It represents the next step of augmented reality and builds up itself through the immersion in a specific room: the “cave” (virtual automatic ambient), to develop an immersive virtual reality in which some projectors are toward three or more displays. In this case an high definition projection system with 3D special glasses has been made, searching for multi-sensorial effects (3D sound).

Virtual Museum: It is one of the more explicit forms with which a museum tries to promote itself. It renews interest for the works of art in its inside, in a more and more competitive contest, also difficult for its establishment. In this case it comes to finding all those methodological principles that define its design.

Modeling: It refers to the translation of point clouds in a solid representation of the surveyed object. In this case point clouds able to give a modeling as close to material reality have been used.

Memory/Communication: The virtualization museum process is an innovative system aimed to the safeguard of cultural good collective memory, and to its communication related to advanced technological processes.

Representation: It is focusing on the increasingly topical value of the representation as expressive means and as purpose of knowledge. In this sense the representation is both object and tool of advanced technologies applications.

Augmented Reality: The enrichment of sensorial perception of a subject through the use of 3D architectural models integrated in a dynamic scene. In this case the augmented reality is focused in the definition of scenes reconstruction of disappeared architectures.

Reflex: The system of photo taken replaced the most expensive and complex systems (laser scanner, total station). Generating point clouds for the elaboration of tridimensional models. In this circumstance have learned computer systems of useful programs for this defined-low cost approach.

Valorization: Term that implies the awareness of cultural good, its enhancement is not never aimed to the single artifact, but to which that represents in the field of collective memory.

Semantic Annotation: Concerning specific fields in an work taken by the point cloud. At the MAP CNRS specific systems of Semantic Annotation, that here are taken for the riding of partition walls aimed to the restoration, have been defined.

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