Digital Architectural Reconstruction: New Media Technology And Their Use As Educational Tools In The Arabian Gulf
Free (open access)
R. W. Hawker
The Department of Art and Design at Zayed University has instigated a collaborative research project incorporating faculty and student work in cooperation with the archaeological staff at the National Museum of Ras al- Khaimah focused on documenting the vernacular architecture of Ras al- Khaimah. The project is important for a number of reasons, including the massive development now undertaken in the United Arab Emirates and the fact that all our students are female in a still male-dominated society. Keywords: traditional architecture, reconstruction, Arab and Islamic world, United Arab Emirates. 1 Introduction At the Department of Art and Design in Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), students and faculty are working together in collaboration with staff from the National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah. We are using digital media to record and document historic material culture, especially traditional architecture, in the northern emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. While the technical applications of these programs has led to fascinating results from the perspective of historians, the use of new media to record old ideas touches on a number of sociological issues specific to the cultural context in which we work. Our use of digital media to document, reconstruct and explore historic architecture is drawing us into a series of contradictions. In a society obsessed by modernity and sometimes bewildered by its spectacular jump from pre-industrial to post-modern, new media bridges the gap between
traditional architecture, reconstruction, Arab and Islamic world, United Arab Emirates.