Theses Master's

And There Was Light: the Use of Projection Mapping for Historic Preservation

Chaiyatham, Preme

Projection mapping is a technology that allows us to visually create the environment without physically altering it. Although it has been widely employed in the entertainment sector, its use in the field of cultural heritage preservation has been limited. With no physical contact and complete reversibility, this technology should be more widely used in the preservation field. Despite a few precedent cases, it was confined to large institutions. As the technology has become increasingly accessible, it allows small and underfunded institutions, such as house museums, to employ it. Physical restoration can be expensive, or sometimes impossible, and beyond the means of smaller institutions.

As an interpretative tool, it enables these places to present their various histories, attract visitors, and provide interpretation in an innovative way. Its non-destructive and reversible manner distinguishes it from physical interpretation, which may require the removal or additions of materials. This allows us to temporarily and visually change the space into different time periods without requiring physical intervention allowing the space to remain in its current condition as a living document. Projection mapping has enormous potential, but it is a little known technology.

To begin promoting projection mapping, variables will need to be considered such as cost, size, calibration, and space limitations. The challenge of how to incorporate new technology without disrupting the historical environment as well as its implementation and maintenance need to be considered. These are issues that must be acknowledged before we can fully include this technology into our toolkit. This thesis attempts to establish a guideline to begin the use of this technology that is beneficial to the preservation of cultural assets and can be extensively adopted. It involves literature research, case study analysis, experiments and evaluation. This guideline attempts to clarify the processes of incorporating it into our interpretative toolboxes and advancing the discipline of preservation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Trienens, Amanda
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 3, 2022