Digital architecture archives (Henk Vanstappen and Wim Lowet)
The memory of the architect. Creation and preservation of born digital architectural archives
CVAs : center of expertise coordinating the archiving of private documents for the architectural heritage in Flanders.
DATABLE : consultancy in sustainable digital collection management.
Completed research steps :
- survey : how are digital architectural archival records created and managed
- case study : what steps are necessary at ingest and preservation
1. Born-digital architectural archives
Softwares being used ... drawing and design (sketchup and autocad mainly) + presentation and visualisation (Adobe mainly) - 2D + 3D geometry (vector based) - Intelligence (layers, text, look and feel, behaviour, complexity grow in each version)
2. preservation issues
i. seldom open technologies
problems with automatic file format identification and validation
few alternatives = greater risk for obsolescence (mac vs windows for proprietary software, some aren't cross platforms)
ii.often problems with backward compatibility
some files versions are too old to be opened by recent versions of the softwares
iii.technology is complex
each program has its own underlying method to define geometrical forms
3. policies for preservation
- migration vs emulation
- importance of knowledge about the collection
- importance of central storage
- importance of making choices
→ OS migration
→ employees leave firm (expertise)
→ failure in software company
→ raise in license costs
→ legal department
→ future generations
Use cases can be varied( post construction management, website publishing, book publishing, exhibitions...)
Is editing necessary? Is look and feel important? Does text need to remain in the same font? How about layers?
2 major options
→ emulation/software preservation
1. Migration to open format
→ file format specs published
→ no licensing issues
→ software tools available
→ no significant information lost
→ reversible to original
Some tests have been done to STEP
lots of layers vanished
same with VMRL
what do you want to emulate?
→ document original software versions
→ archive original software
→ complex technology
→ licensing issues
Important things to have in mind:
knowledge about the collection
Documentation of the working process.
Understanding about design process is a prerequisite to make decisions about the preservation actions.
Case : MDMA project
clear naming convention and folder organisation
knowledge of collection (arrangement, design process)
knowledge of stakeholders, use cases, threats, options, costs and gains
Also : 3D doesn't just apply to architecture Film preservation, sculpture etc...