Archiving the Digital: Current Efforts to Preserve Design Records

27.09.2013 | what’s on
by RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects
British Architectural Library

This innovative conference co-organised by the British Architectural Library and the Victoria & Albert Museum brings together noted UK and international experts.

Design firms and collecting institutions are seeking solutions to manage and preserve born-digital architectural records. Is long-term access possible – or are we still facing a Digital Dark Age? This innovative conference co-organised by the British Architectural Library and the Victoria & Albert Museum brings together noted UK and international experts who are tackling the shared problem of managing long-term access to digital design records including CAD, BIM, and 3D modelling. Speakers will assess the current challenges that face us to preserve and share these records and suggest new collaborations. Day two features site visits to John McAslan + Partners and Central Saint Martins King’s Cross to discover how practitioners and students create and maintain their designs in the virtual environment.

Advanced booking is essential please visit:


Thursday 17 October 2013
Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place (Lutyens Room)

1000 – 1030
Registration, tea and coffee

1030 – 1035
Wendy Fish, British Architectural Library, RIBA, Introduction to the day

1035 – 1045
Kurt Helfrich, British Architectural Library, RIBA, Overview: RIBA and Digital Records

1045 – 1245
Maygene F. Daniels, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, “Archiving Design Records in the OAIS Model”
Alex Ball, UKOLN, University of Bath, “Preserving Computer-Aided Design: Digital Preservation Coalition report” (2013)
Inés Zalduendo, Harvard University, “Collecting and Archiving Design Materials in an Evolving Born-Digital Landscape”
David Peyceré, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, “The GAUDI programme – what next?”

1245 – 1315
Q&A (moderated by Nathaniel Parks, Art Institute of Chicago)

1315 – 1415
Lunch (catered)

1415 – 1545
Stuart Jeffrey, Glasgow School of Art, “Emerging Challenges: 3-D Modelling Files”
Stuart Chalmers, Building Research Establishment, “Emerging Challenges: BIM”
Martien deVletter, Canadian Centre for Architecture, “Archaeology of the Digital”

1545 – 1630
Roundtable, future directions/collaborations (moderated by Dylan Evans, BAL, Kurt Helfrich, BAL, William Kilbride, Digital Preservation Coalition, Geoffrey Makstutis, Central Saint Martins and summary by Alex Tait, RIBA Practice)

Friday 18 October 2013
John McAslan + Partners Offices

1000 – 1030
Registration, tea and coffee

1030 – 1200
Hiro Aso, John McAslan + Partners, “King’s Cross project Design Archives”
Abraham Thomas, V&A, and Neil Hubbard, Heatherwick Studio, “Curating the Heatherwick Studio”
David Chambers, Aberrant Architecture, “Virtual Practice”

1200 – 1230
Q&A and Wrap Up (moderated Kurt Helfrich and Fiona Orsini, BAL)

1230 – 1330
Tours of John McAslan + Partners Office

1330 – 1430
Lunch (catered at McAslan Office)

1430 – 1600
Tour of Central Saint Martins King’s Cross (restricted numbers)

Who should come?
This event will interest:

  • Archivists, curators, architects/designers, librarians and information specialists and students who manage or expect to manage CAD data
  • Senior information officers and other managers with organisational oversight of information management which includes CAD data and data derived from related technologies
  • CAD technicians and specialists in all design industries and sectors

Why should you come?
Participants at the event will:

  • Learn about the nature of the problem and how it is being tackled by major institutions
  • Learn about emerging standards and professional practice in relation to the preservation of CAD, BIM and 3-D modelling
  • Meet international leaders and experts from a wide variety of backgrounds
  • Participate in a discussion on what future steps are needed

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