2023 Activity Report vol.13:Shibaura Institute of Technology

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2023 vol.13 (Course C)

Tokyo Digital Heritage Workshop

Report from School of Architecture, Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT)
Professor Ikuro Shimizu and Associate Professor Rumi Okazaki

1. Overview of workshop

 A total of 11 people (nine students and two faculty members) from the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa University (AAU) visited the School of Architecture, Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) for the Tokyo Digital Heritage Workshop, held from July 26 to August 4, 2023. 23 people (two faculty members and 21 students) from SIT and several scholars and professionals from different universities and companies also joined. The participants deepened their knowledge of 3D digital archives for architectural heritage through lectures, exercises, experiences, discussions, and more. They also discussed ways to use this in the future.

 Addis Ababa has experienced dramatic economic and population growth in recent years, and many large‑scale redevelopment projects are underway. As these progress, however, architectural heritage is being torn down. Meanwhile, high‑rise office buildings and tower apartment blocks are being constructed in Tokyo, aiming to make use of limited land within the central area, and historic districts face the risk of demolition. In light of the situation in both these cities, workshop participants engaged in practical learning about techniques to create 3D digital archives of historic districts, including architectural heritage, and ways to use this.

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The workshop participants

2. Lectures and exercises for 3D model creation

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Left: Taking a photo; Right: Creating a 3D model on the computer

 The participants engaged in practical learning about creating 3D models through photogrammetry via lectures and exercises. They gained experience of the different stages of creating 3D models, such as camera settings, taking pictures, and using software, in preparation for fieldwork.

3. 3D measuring exercises (Edo‑Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum)

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Photographing the Elevated Granary from Amami‑Oshima Island
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3D model of the Elevated Granary from Amami‑Oshima Island created by the students

 The students split into four groups at the Edo‑Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, where each group was responsible for documenting one building. They gathered data to create 3D models using cameras and laser scanners as well as making drawings and sketches by hand.

4. Groupwork and final presentations

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The final presentations

 Each group created an overview, made a 3D model of their building and summarized their investigation for a presentation. This developed into active discussions about their thoughts on 3D digital archives from the exercises, as well as the potential and limitations of their applications in Japan and Ethiopia in the future.

5. Experiencing VR technology (ZEXAVERSE TOKYO)

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Upper left: Taking photos; Upper right: Creating a 3D avatar using the photos
Lower left: Gaming experience with mobile VR equipment using goggles; Lower right: VR gaming experience on a computer screen

 The participants experienced multiple types of VR at ZEXAVERSE TOKYO in Ginza. This facility has a service that takes photos of a person with 130 single‑lens reflex cameras to create an avatar, a 3D game that uses mobile VR equipment, and a VR game operated on a computer screen. Through these, the students considered ways of using their 3D architectural heritage models.

6. Introduction to AR technology (HoloLab Inc.)

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Experiencing AR technology

 On the final day of the workshop, Kaoru Nakamura and Sachi Yamada from HoloLab Inc. introduced examples of projects for urban development that make use of AR technology. The participants tried out tools such as HoloLens and iPad to read the QR codes on the map that was spread out on the table that were converted into AR buildings. This was a great opportunity to learn new techniques for urban design with citizen participation.

7. Next steps

 During this workshop, the School of Architecture, SIT and EiABC, AAU, signed an MoU. Students from SIT will visit AAU and participate in a workshop to conduct research projects in the historic district this fall. We hope to further develop our exchanges between the two institutes in the future.