Immersive Learning for Lost Architectural Heritage

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Immersive Learning for Lost Architectural Heritage

Jesse Rafeiro 1, Ana Tomé 2,3 Maria Nazário

1 TTokyo College, The University of Tokyo Institutes for Advanced Study, The University of Tokyo, Hongo,
Tokyo 113-8654, Japan;

2 Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability (CERIS), Department of Civil Engineering,
Architecture and Environment (DECivil), 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
3 Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal


This paper presents the creation of an immersive learning experience of the lost 16th-century Monastery of Madre de Deus, now the National Tile Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. It builds upon previous virtual reconstruction research which resulted in several digital models accompanied by paradata supporting the construction of different hypotheses. Reinforced by a review of relevant literature intersecting virtual heritage dissemination, research transparency and immersive learning, this paper details an immersive experience created with Shapespark 2.9.7, an online platform designed for architectural walkthroughs but repurposed for heritage dissemination. The result is a prototype that takes place in the existing building wherein the visitor can be transported to equivalent spaces of the 16th or 17th century to gain first-hand experiences of speculative pasts. While the constraints of the Shapespark platform necessitated a counterintuitive narrative workaround, this enabled creative associations to be made between the physical and virtual and the past and present. This paper identifies various advantages and disadvantages of the platform in the context of immersive learning and the long-term virtual sustainability of lost architectural heritage.

Keywords: immersive learning; immersive experience; digital storytelling; virtual reconstruction; paradata; intangible heritage; lost architectural heritage; Poor Clares; Colettine monastery; Historic Building Information Modelling (HBIM)

Sustainability 2024, 16(3), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16031156

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