PhD Research exhibited at Potenziale 3 I aut. architektur und tirol (october 2021 – february 2022)

Theresa Uitz

Wall and ceiling paintings have frequently been used to expand the built architectural volume into fictive picture spaces. They became relevant as part of an overall architectural spatial strategy during the Renaissance but especially during 17th and 18th-century Baroque. These baroque paintings, exuberant worlds of colours, were very architectural and excel in their expansion of the built volume into depth. Surprisingly, however, the relationship between these artworks, their fictive space, and the architectural surface that lies underneath has scarcely been researched through digital methods.

The project UP! combines hands-on methods for 3D space capturing and reverse-models the painting’s fictive architecture resulting in a variety of outcomes that attempt to add to the contemporary practice of texture mapping. It endeavours to provide a new method for spatial analyses alongside more traditional methods in the hope that a computer-generated model may possess further possibilities to improve knowledge transfer. 

Because ceiling paintings are in essence projected images on mostly single or double-curved architectural surfaces, their production drove the investigations on perspectival rules as well as the scientific understanding of projection for artistic production. The research investigates the correlation between image and topology, texture and geometry, and its relevance for space. The grid of projection allows the exhibited research to be linked to contemporary architectural practice, as e.g., cutting edge technology like Augmented Reality texture mapping still refers to the grid as a method for image mapping onto geometry. The free-floating model illustrates these techniques by using structured light scanning for aligned texture mapping. UP!’s studies range from preliminary scanning tests in local churches of Innsbruck to three-dimensionalised works of Andrea Mantegna or Andrea Pozzo’s work in Vienna.

The project was exhibited at “potenziale 3 – einblicke in die forschungslandschaft der architekturfakultät der universität innsbruck” (fr, 15.10.2021 – sa, 12.02.2022) in the digital lab: interacts

Link to homepage:

Acknowledgements: model produced with the generous support of Michael Schwaiger. All images by the author. Animations were rendered with the open-source software Mandelbulb 3D.