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Japanese Architecture in Virtual Reality

What do 3D computer modeling, virtual reality, and rare architecture books have in common?

Beginning this semester, the K.W. Dumke Fine Arts & Architecture Library is exploring our unique collections through use of new technologies and virtual environments. We will begin this initiative by building three-dimensional models of Japanese teahouses from architectural plans in our collection. The teahouse plans were created in the traditional Japanese style: scaled popup drawings for workers to visualize and build from. Plans like these are no longer created, and our teahouse set is one of very few copies left in the world.

Since these plans were purchased, the library has been searching for ways to provide access while still preserving the fragile documents for future use. The advent of consumer-level 3d modeling and virtual reality technologies provide new opportunities to fulfill these goals. Soon, you will be able to walk through our teahouses in virtual reality, taking in the scale, design, and layout, almost as if you’re standing in the original structure!

We believe this application of technology to unique library resources will create exciting new avenues for the public to access and explore our collections. Stay tuned to this blog for more news as this project progresses.

Any questions or suggestions should be directed to Luke Leither at

Many thanks to the MUSE Project for their support in this effort.

Luke Leither
Assistant Head of Fine Arts & Architecture Library

View the original article on the Creativity and Innovation Services Blog

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