Roman Forum Project
DHARMA Lab uses both traditional and innovative methods of documentation of World Heritage sites. In July 2010, the DHARMA Lab, in cooperation with the Sopritendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, undertook a project at the Roman Forum, a World Heritage site —the center of political, religious, commercial, and judicial life in ancient Rome—to measure, document, and draw large areas of the historic site. Employing the latest optical technology, a high definition-surveying laser, and Gigapan the team was able to document the existing state of the site in unprecedented detail. Traditional methods of hand-measuring and photogrammetry were conducted to supplement the data gathered through this digital technique. In a continuing partnership with the Soprintendenza, the D.H.A.R.M.A. Lab produced detailed architectural drawings, a 3-D digital model, and high-resolution panoramic photographs, with detailed analysis forthcoming.
Students at Notre Dame have spend the Fall 2010 in the World Heritage Studies course, under the Historic Preservation concentration at the school, rendering the data scanned at the Roman Forum site in vellum and water color. To date these are the most precise measured drawings that have been made from this ancient city, the cradle of western civilization. We are presently in conversation with UNESCO and the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the Archaeological Service, Rome to create a joint exhibit on the documentation of the Forum from the 19th through the early 21st century tentatively in late summer 2013/2014.
Permission was granted by the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni, Archeologici di Roma, Ministry of Heritage and Culture to accurately measure and draw the monuments and ruins at the Roman Forum. Working on site in July 2010 a team of Notre Dame School of Architecture faculty and students produced 27 scans, 30 digital panoramic photography views, in addition to collecting hand-measured data. Over the following months, the DHARMA team produced a series of detailed drawings and watercolors based on the raw field data and panoramic views. Many of the original and derivative works and research findings were displayed in a 2014 Exhibit in Rome and detailed in various publications.