Accepted paper:

Digital strategies for comparing floor plans of vernacular architecture

Author:

Patricia Alkhoven (Meertens Institute (KNAW))

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I will explore several digital strategies to gain insight how ideas about vernacular architecture developed during the reconstruction period after the Worls War II in the Netherlands based on visual evidence.

Paper long abstract:

This paper gains insight in digital strategies for comparing floor plans of vernacular architecture. It focuses on the automatic identification and categorization of floor plans of a case study based on the archive of the "Bureau Wederopbouw Boerderijen" (Office for Farm Reconstruction, 1940-1955) with data of 7700 Dutch farmhouses that were destroyed during World War II and were rebuilt - reconstructed or redeveloped in a new form - between 1940 and 1955. A test-set was digitized of about 1000 drawings (floor plans of new farmhouses, sketches of destroyed farmhouses) to examine how ideas about vernacular architecture developed during the reconstruction period based on visual evidence. In this paper I will explore several strategies - from forensics to pattern recognition and visualization methods - to find out more about their usefulness in this specific research question as well as in art- and architectural history in general to answer questions about change, distribution, typology, genre, etc. Using these techniques, the floor plans of the farmhouse need to be divided into different symbols that can then be recognized by the software concerned.

panel P009
Symbolism in vernacular architecture, vernacular architecture as symbol: new examples and perspectives