Thesis: Mónica P. Ortiz Cortés
Documentation and Data Management Strategies for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
Managers of historic sites must address issues of visitation, conservation, documentation, recording, and educational programs as part of their responsibilities on a daily basis. As a result, vast amounts of data in varying formats have to be organized to satisfy both current and future needs. Due to the absence of a universal preservation management methodology, often the best methods and most useful software for the needs of the site are difficult to identify, expensive to deploy, have a questionable long-term service life and have difficulty addressing the wide range of factors at play on an historic site. Data that is collected is often not processed to a level where it can have long term usefulness resulting in swollen servers that contain vast amounts of data that can be difficult to isolate for a given need. In house solutions often are conceived out of necessity, typically are unique to a given site and often result in data that serves only a narrow range of functions. Adding to this complex web, sites are often dependent on outside forces to help with the collection process.Still, different parties can often arrive at different solutions, even when focusing on the same resource, resulting in the redundancy of labor and data.
Focusing on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West office space, as a case study, this thesis attempts to evaluate and compare past and current data collection methods used by both Taliesin, as well as outside parties, in an effort to identify a common foundation on which a Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform could be constructed. The modern use ofBuilding Information Modeling (BIM) has great potential for historic sites, but the high costs and steep learning curves associated with the leading BIM software significantly reduces the likelihood that they will find solid traction in the management of historic sites in the near future. As a result, an additional goal is to identify a cost-effective digital methodology that employs BIM style management, which can address several current issues. These includes 1) helping to reduce data collection redundancy, 2) offering a resource that can meet the wide range of needs of the Taliesin management team on both a day-to-day, as well as a long term basis, and 3) offering solutions to meet the needs of outside parties without having to radically modify or redoexisting data.