Friday, December 25, 2009
(image of G Hay 100x UV, sourced from Arch Daily)
Among million odd ways to look, re-look, study, map, analyse and archive architecture, I believe this adds another truly remarkable milestone in how we understand history of architecture. I found this interview on Arch Daily Interviews section and the ingenuity of the field's logic and the absolutely beautiful images just convinced me of the numerous possible visions of the past that this newly discovered lens may be able to gaze at. The interview is with Natasha Loeblich by Sarah Wesseler. Natasha is introduced as "Architectural paint analyst Natasha Loeblich traces the histories of structures ranging from Revolutionary War-era buildings at Colonial Williamsburg to the Forbidden City in Beijing by studying what’s on their walls."
(image of Sample BRS14, visible light, 100x magnification, sourced from Arch Daily)
This method of analysing paint isn't new to Art History or Archaeology, but to do so for more contemporary buildings brings it into a different light, somehow acknowledging the status of modern artefacts and doing a conservative paint analysis of Villa Savoy, Chandigarh or even Kanchenjunga apartments. Or investigating the flooding patterns in Bombay through paint samples from numerous ground floor apartments.
To have professionals of Architectural History and Conservation peering down microscopes to investigate patterns of one of these mega-events, wondering if like rings of a tree trunk, will we be able to understand revolutions, depressions, wars, famines and floods through a microscopic cross section of paint layers deposited on almost every building, elevation and interiors designed to last, will certainly be a sight to behold...