Title

Digital Design: Understanding Architecture and Urbanism in Roman Africa through Students’ Digital Visualizations

Streaming Media

Submission Type

20-minute Presentation

Abstract

Working in small groups, students in my seminar, Digital Rome: Visualizing Ancient Roman Urbanism in North Africa, create digital reconstructions (primarily in SketchUp) of select ancient Roman cities in North Africa and try to answer a deceptively simple question, what determined the urban fabric of these ancient cities? This course, which is directly connected to my own research, examines the ‘individuality within regularity’ of Roman cities, and our analyses in the course focus on major cities such as Carthage and Lepcis Magna as well as little known cities such as Meninx (Jerba, Tunisia). Class discussions have four foci: ‘Roman Africa,’ ‘Roman Architecture and Urbanism,’ ‘Architecture, Urbanism, and the Digital Realm,’ and ‘Digital Humanities Pedagogy.’ Parallel to the class discussions, the students are working in teams of three and four and are digitally modeling ancient Roman cities. The groups make three presentations during the term, and each presentation is organized around a major research question that is answered through their use of the 3D visualization of their ancient city.

While this course was created in an architecture program at a large public university, the last two iterations of this course have been offered at small private liberal arts colleges. This paper addresses the teaching of this course at liberal arts colleges, specifically the re-imagining of the course in this setting, assessing the learning outcomes, and the impact of the student work on my scholarship.

Session

Mapping & Digital Projects, Presentation

Start Date

5-18-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

5-18-2016 3:15 PM

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May 18th, 2:00 PM May 18th, 3:15 PM

Digital Design: Understanding Architecture and Urbanism in Roman Africa through Students’ Digital Visualizations

Working in small groups, students in my seminar, Digital Rome: Visualizing Ancient Roman Urbanism in North Africa, create digital reconstructions (primarily in SketchUp) of select ancient Roman cities in North Africa and try to answer a deceptively simple question, what determined the urban fabric of these ancient cities? This course, which is directly connected to my own research, examines the ‘individuality within regularity’ of Roman cities, and our analyses in the course focus on major cities such as Carthage and Lepcis Magna as well as little known cities such as Meninx (Jerba, Tunisia). Class discussions have four foci: ‘Roman Africa,’ ‘Roman Architecture and Urbanism,’ ‘Architecture, Urbanism, and the Digital Realm,’ and ‘Digital Humanities Pedagogy.’ Parallel to the class discussions, the students are working in teams of three and four and are digitally modeling ancient Roman cities. The groups make three presentations during the term, and each presentation is organized around a major research question that is answered through their use of the 3D visualization of their ancient city.

While this course was created in an architecture program at a large public university, the last two iterations of this course have been offered at small private liberal arts colleges. This paper addresses the teaching of this course at liberal arts colleges, specifically the re-imagining of the course in this setting, assessing the learning outcomes, and the impact of the student work on my scholarship.