Tag Archives: eCAADe

Wells Tracing Floor (eCAADe 2020)

In September 2020 we were due to visit Berlin to attend the eCAADe conference, however, COVID-19 shifted proceedings online. Our paper, written by the entire project team, documented and analysed the Medieval tracing floor at Wells cathedral using photogrammetry, reflectance transformation imaging and laser scanning. We presented a summary of our findings via a pre-recorded video and written paper. You can find links to these below, as well the paper abstract. We look forward to attending eCAADe and other conferences in person again once it’s safe to do so.

Documentation and analysis of a medieval tracing floor using photogrammetry, reflectance transformation imaging and laser scanning

Paper link

Video link

Abstract

The fifteenth-century tracing floor at Wells cathedral is an extremely rare survival in European architecture. Located in the roof space above the north porch, this plaster floor was used as a drawing and design tool by medieval masons, the lines and arcs inscribed into its surface enabling them to explore their ideas on a 1:1 scale. Many of these marks are difficult to see with the naked eye and existing studies of its geometry are reliant on manual retracing of its lines. This paper showcases the potential of digital surveying and analytical tools, namely photogrammetry, reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) and laser scanning, to extend our knowledge of the tracing floor and its use in the cathedral. It begins by comparing the recording processes and outputs of all three techniques, followed by a description of the digital retracing of the tracing floor to highlight lines and arcs on the surface. Finally, it compares these with digital surveys of the architecture of the cathedral cloister.

eCAADe 2016 – Tracing the Past presentation

At eCAADe 2016 (Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe) in Oulu, Finland, Nick presented a paper co-authored with Alex and JR discussing the advantages of different digital surveying methods for the project. The paper can be found via CUMINCAD here.

A contextualised digital heritage workshop led by Danilo Di Mascio was also organised, with help from Anetta Kepczynska-Walczak and myself, the details of which can be found here. We were very grateful for the support given by the University of Oulu, and were encouraged by the discussions held with participants, which provided an enjoyable couple of days leading up to the main conference. We hope to run the workshop again at eCAADe 2017 in Rome!

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