Digital reconstructions and the geometry of temple fragments
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Digital reconstruction of architectural heritage remains an ambiguous and uncertain science. On one hand, technological advances endow the power to develop visualization that replicate the original heritage in realistic detail. On the other, the processes and methods used in replication raise many questions about the relationship of the replication forms to the original heritage. Despite these limitations, it is also possible to see 'old ' heritage in 'new' ways through digital representation. This paper addresses the acquisition, analysis and re-construction of the geometry of stone fragments found in early Hindu temple architecture from 600-1500 CE. The geometry of a superstructure surface is encoded in parametric form to capture a class or 'space' of geometric forms rather than a singular artifact. Then, a corner unit of construction is reconstructed from an existing temple, capturing a singular motif, from which multiple copies (physical and digital) can be made. Finally, these two fragments are combined in a 'kit of parts' construction that sheds new light on the analysis of surviving material evidence, the inherent geometric relations that the temple builders grappled with, principles of stone cutting and the interplay of geometric structure and ornament in the surfaces of stone temples.
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