The memory of the architect
creation and preservation of born digital
architectural archives

Henk Vanstappen, immd.be
CVAa:
Centre of expertise coordinating the
archiving of private documents on the
architectural heritage in Flanders.
research questions
¤  survey: how are digital architectural
archival records created and managed?
research questions
¤  survey: how are digital architectural
archival records created and managed?
¤  case study: what st...
!"#$%"&"'%"($)*($+"$*,-&.#"-#/$
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8',)"9$.($4:+,*-&#...
objectives
¤  understanding of process of creation and
management of digital archives.
¤  anticipate problems with digit...
design proces?
“Designing is done with pencil and paper.
The CAD drawing is made by an employee.”
design proces?
“Designing is done with pencil and paper.
The CAD drawing is made by an employee.”

“We import an AutoCAD d...
lesson #1
An understanding of the design process is a
prerequisite to make decisions on
preservation actions.
importance & use?
“Our archive is a tool we use daily.”
importance & use?
“Our archive is a tool we use daily.”
“Files are moved to the basement once the
acceptance is signed. We...
lesson #2
Tell me how you use your archive, and I’ll
tell you how well it’s ordered.
lesson #3
Once a file is older than 10 years, attention
and care declines dramatically.
file format obsolesence?
file format obsolesence?

“Sometimes files can’t be read. We then try
to find a printed version and scan it.”
CAD software
lesson #4

Architects have little issues with
compatibility of files, formats and software
– for now.
security & back-up?

“Yes, it’s something we should do.”
lesson #5
Some architects like to live on the edge.
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23245**

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*
*
*
*
*

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projects
Christian Kieckens, HOUSE VM-D, OUDENBURG
Restructuring of a farm house (1995-2001)
file analysis
¤  5 projects files
¤  >20,000 files
¤  up to 65% duplicate files
¤  quasi duplicates (e.g. pdf)
¤  73 ...
media
media

Apple 655-0394 Quantum Fireball 1.2GB
50-Pin SCSI Hard Disk Drive
file format identification

unrecognized file formats (DROID v6.01)
!"#$%&'$%""(%)*+"%,-./$,""0%/.%&"%1'$)'22"!3**+,"'&%4*(%""(%5678%3"2$*(
>?
*;3""!&'(#<= %@//+%,"$%3")*+"(%4*(%""(4/1&'#"%#...
the treats
¤  obsolete / divergent file formats
¤  obsolete / licensed software
¤  obsolete operating systems
¤  obsol...
preservation file format?
¤  open format
¤  usage and software libraries
¤  geometry vs. intelligence (e.g. layers)
¤ ...
incompatibility 1

how to define a circle...
incompatibility 2

how to define a sphere (tesselation issue)
testbed
¤  matrix formats & software migrations
¤  visual check (!)
¤  reversibility tests
migrate 2D vwx

VWX (native)
migrate 2D vwx

VWX > DWG: tesselation
migrate 2D dwg

DWG (native)
migrate 2D dwg

DWG > DXF
migrate 2D dwg

DWG > STEP: intelligence lost
migrate 2D dwg

DWG > VRLM: more intelligence lost
migrate 3D skp
migrate 3D skp

skp > dwg: look & feel lost
reversibility 3D skp

skp > dwg > skp intelligence lost
reversibility 3D skp

skp > dwg > skp: stairs lost too...
turnkey?
availability	
  
3DM	
  

openess	
  

✖	
  

✖	
  

COLLADA	
  
DGN	
  

intelligence	
  

✖	
  
✖	
  

✖	
  

D...
3.
conclusions
recommendations 1
archival practice:
¤  document design process
¤  document hard- en software use
¤  redefine selection...
recommendations 2
preservation strategy:
¤  no turnkey solution
¤  define users
¤  define users’ expectations
¤  defin...
recommendations 3
expertise & research needs:
¤  update file format registries
¤  update file format identification tool...
www.immd.be/files/CVAaSurvey_rapport_final.pdf
www.immd.be/files/CADarchivering_rapport_final.pdf

henk@immd.be
The memory of the architect: archiving 2D and 3D born digital architectural archives
The memory of the architect: archiving 2D and 3D born digital architectural archives
The memory of the architect: archiving 2D and 3D born digital architectural archives
The memory of the architect: archiving 2D and 3D born digital architectural archives
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The memory of the architect: archiving 2D and 3D born digital architectural archives

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A presentation of a survey and testbed results, investigating the way architects manage their digital assets and a round up of issues when ingesting architects' bron digital archives

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The memory of the architect: archiving 2D and 3D born digital architectural archives

  1. 1. The memory of the architect creation and preservation of born digital architectural archives Henk Vanstappen, immd.be
  2. 2. CVAa: Centre of expertise coordinating the archiving of private documents on the architectural heritage in Flanders.
  3. 3. research questions ¤  survey: how are digital architectural archival records created and managed?
  4. 4. research questions ¤  survey: how are digital architectural archival records created and managed? ¤  case study: what steps are necessary at ingest and preservation?
  5. 5. !"#$%"&"'%"($)*($+"$*,-&.#"-#/$ -,"*0"$"($1"2*,.(%$)*($+.%.#*3"$415"-#"($ .($63**78"$*,-&.#"-#"(1',"*'8 8',)"9$.($4:+,*-&#$)*($&"#$ ;"(#,'7$63**78"$<,-&.#"-#'',*,-&.")"( 1. survey
  6. 6. objectives ¤  understanding of process of creation and management of digital archives. ¤  anticipate problems with digital sustainability. ¤  exploring possible win/win solutions.
  7. 7. design proces? “Designing is done with pencil and paper. The CAD drawing is made by an employee.”
  8. 8. design proces? “Designing is done with pencil and paper. The CAD drawing is made by an employee.” “We import an AutoCAD drawing into Sketch-up and convert it to 3D. The result is printed and updated with marker pen. We scan it again and edit it further in Photoshop.”
  9. 9. lesson #1 An understanding of the design process is a prerequisite to make decisions on preservation actions.
  10. 10. importance & use? “Our archive is a tool we use daily.”
  11. 11. importance & use? “Our archive is a tool we use daily.” “Files are moved to the basement once the acceptance is signed. We’ll only consult it in case of a legal dispute”
  12. 12. lesson #2 Tell me how you use your archive, and I’ll tell you how well it’s ordered.
  13. 13. lesson #3 Once a file is older than 10 years, attention and care declines dramatically.
  14. 14. file format obsolesence?
  15. 15. file format obsolesence? “Sometimes files can’t be read. We then try to find a printed version and scan it.”
  16. 16. CAD software
  17. 17. lesson #4 Architects have little issues with compatibility of files, formats and software – for now.
  18. 18. security & back-up? “Yes, it’s something we should do.”
  19. 19. lesson #5 Some architects like to live on the edge.
  20. 20. !"#$%&'"%()*&+(*,-"(*.%)%/+0*+"#$%/'#/11"+"#$%'&'(* * 23245** * * * * * * !"#$%&'&#'(&)*&)+,#-'($#'!"#$%&'(')*+'' ./0&12&#'3,2'&&#'$)14,2&1233)$)14,&5' ' ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! &&#'1$6&'62378',#'."7)$142'($#'4&2'9&#2)3%':;$$%6&'<)14,2&1233)$)14,&(&# =&#+':$#62$""&#' >?@A' ' 2. case study
  21. 21. projects
  22. 22. Christian Kieckens, HOUSE VM-D, OUDENBURG Restructuring of a farm house (1995-2001)
  23. 23. file analysis ¤  5 projects files ¤  >20,000 files ¤  up to 65% duplicate files ¤  quasi duplicates (e.g. pdf) ¤  73 different file formats
  24. 24. media
  25. 25. media Apple 655-0394 Quantum Fireball 1.2GB 50-Pin SCSI Hard Disk Drive
  26. 26. file format identification unrecognized file formats (DROID v6.01)
  27. 27. !"#$%&'$%""(%)*+"%,-./$,""0%/.%&"%1'$)'22"!3**+,"'&%4*(%""(%5678%3"2$*( >? *;3""!&'(#<= %@//+%,"$%3")*+"(%4*(%""(4/1&'#"%#"/A"$+'2B,"%4/+A"(%'2 )"!%#"2B,'0$=% vector formats variants C+/(("(% ,$$.DEE*,&2=*B=10E.+"2"+4*$'/(EB*&F.+"2"+4*$'/(F,*(&3//0=+$;%% ,$$.DEE"(=)'0'."&'*=/+#E)'0'E5678%% % ! G'#11+%HID%@*+'*($"(%4*(%,"$%5678F;/+A**$%3'J%,"$%"K./+$"+"(%1'$%L,'(/% divergent versions of IGES file format ! !
  28. 28. the treats ¤  obsolete / divergent file formats ¤  obsolete / licensed software ¤  obsolete operating systems ¤  obsolete hardware ¤  obsolete media ¤  bitrot
  29. 29. preservation file format? ¤  open format ¤  usage and software libraries ¤  geometry vs. intelligence (e.g. layers) ¤  reversibility ¤  external reference files (x-refs) ¤  … and try to keep it simple
  30. 30. incompatibility 1 how to define a circle...
  31. 31. incompatibility 2 how to define a sphere (tesselation issue)
  32. 32. testbed ¤  matrix formats & software migrations ¤  visual check (!) ¤  reversibility tests
  33. 33. migrate 2D vwx VWX (native)
  34. 34. migrate 2D vwx VWX > DWG: tesselation
  35. 35. migrate 2D dwg DWG (native)
  36. 36. migrate 2D dwg DWG > DXF
  37. 37. migrate 2D dwg DWG > STEP: intelligence lost
  38. 38. migrate 2D dwg DWG > VRLM: more intelligence lost
  39. 39. migrate 3D skp
  40. 40. migrate 3D skp skp > dwg: look & feel lost
  41. 41. reversibility 3D skp skp > dwg > skp intelligence lost
  42. 42. reversibility 3D skp skp > dwg > skp: stairs lost too...
  43. 43. turnkey? availability   3DM   openess   ✖   ✖   COLLADA   DGN   intelligence   ✖   ✖   ✖   DWG   ✖   DXF   ✖   IFC   other   ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   IGES   ✖   ✖   ✖   OBJ   ✖   PDF/A-­‐2/3   ✖   ✖   PDF/E   ✖   ✖   PDF/E-­‐2   ✖   PRC   ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   STEP   ✖   SVG   ✖   U3D   ✖   ✖   VRML   ✖   ✖   XRD   ✖   ✖  
  44. 44. 3. conclusions
  45. 45. recommendations 1 archival practice: ¤  document design process ¤  document hard- en software use ¤  redefine selection policies ¤  anticipate
  46. 46. recommendations 2 preservation strategy: ¤  no turnkey solution ¤  define users ¤  define users’ expectations ¤  define significant properties ¤  define migration pathway ¤  quality control
  47. 47. recommendations 3 expertise & research needs: ¤  update file format registries ¤  update file format identification tools ¤  document conversion methods & tools ¤  develop validation tools & tools ¤  develop CAD – qualified repositories ¤  research emulation strategies ¤  share expertise
  48. 48. www.immd.be/files/CVAaSurvey_rapport_final.pdf www.immd.be/files/CADarchivering_rapport_final.pdf henk@immd.be

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