Dynamic Heritage: The Possibilities of Digital Tools in Japanese Architectural Heritage Management | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


The traditional concept of architecture in Japan has the distinct feature of connecting the construction process with the result, the building itself. In recent years, however, this link is somewhat diminished, because of the change of the stakeholder’s roles, and the new challenge that heritage is facing. Digital surveying technologies are often used as tools for taking static snapshots of the present to archive. As such, they also have the potential to build dynamic virtual bridges between the tangible form of objects or buildings, the materials, and the concepts of the creators rooted in the cultural background of their time. This paper introduces a Dynamic Heritage model, a complex representation of Japanese architectural heritage to help the integration of digital tools for the maintenance of buildings in not just a practical but a conceptual way. The application of this model is illustrated by several projects executed in the field of archiving and preservation of Japanese heritage monuments during the corresponding author’s participation in the Design Researcher in Residence program at the KYOTO Design Lab of the Kyoto Institute of Technology. The 3D scanning project of the Shobo-ji and the enshrined Great Buddha in Gifu, for example, is delivered as a web browser-based Augmented Reality (AR)-application, to help visitors to understand the spatial concept of the building. Another example is the early 19th-century building designed by Goichi Takeda that was used to propose and execute an array of possible renovation directions for decorative elements based on a system of value transmission. These examples are aimed not merely to introduce isolated applications of the archived 3D data, but to propose the base for the development of a future framework to help the coordination of various stakeholders in Japanese heritage management.


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