Looking North towards the Milk Tower of the Midway Barn at Taliesin.
Laser scanning the Wupatki Pueblo and processing point cloud data in the tablet.
This summer, I worked as a Research Fellow for the Center for Architectural Conservation (CAC) at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Wupatki National Monument in Arizona.
During my time at Taliesin, I worked on documenting and analyzing the physical fabric of the Midway Barn, one of the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed farms. Based on the point cloud data from last year, I focused on creating a 3D architectural model using software such as ReCap and SketchUp. The digital model was then used for updating basic architectural drawings. Meanwhile, our team conducted a coarse scale condition survey highlighting major or common on-site issues. This helps the FLLW Foundation identify and prioritize repair needs. After spending three weeks living and working on site, we came back to CAC and worked on the report summarizing methodology, research, findings, and drawings.
At Wupatki, I worked on documentation and developing the conditions assessment method of the Wupatki Pueblo, a 900-year-old stone masonry complex with over 100 rooms. Our team completed the first site-wide rapid assessment survey (RAS) by continuously discussing and updating the codebook. This methodology will then be used to determine the most at-risk Pueblo walls and offer further monitoring in a regular route. In the meantime, I also worked on site recording, including laser scanning of all four units, photographing wall elevations to be processed in Agisoft, and annotating the location of the opening, drainage, and slope of ground filling. This integrated data collection further helped refine the conservation and management plan related to escalating climate issues at this site.
Both of my internships provided the chance for me to apply the knowledge and skills gained during my first year's study in the HSPV program into practice. These courses included Preservation Theories (HPSV 660), Documentation and Recording (HSPV 600 and HSPV 601), Digital Media (HSPV 624), and Conservation Science (HSPV 555). Moreover, when considering approaches to either condition assessment or visual representation, I have learned that conservation practice should always be a choice of comprehensive and relatively optimal solutions, with no absolute answers.
Overall, It was an invaluable opportunity working on-site with professionals from a variety of fields, including the CAC team, the FLLW Foundation, the NPS team, scholars from the University of Minho, and crew members from the Conservation Legacy's Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (ALCC). The fascinating landscape and the close encounter with many stunning architectural masterpieces, both at Taliesin and Wupatki, further contributed to this incredible internship experience.