Palimpsest – Collective memory through Virtual Reality

Created at the Bartlett School of Architecture / Interactive Architecture, Palimpsest uses 3D scanning and virtual reality to record urban spaces and the communities that live in them. The project aims to question/test the implication if the past, present, and future city could exist in the same place, layering personal stories and local histories of the city at a 1:1 scale.

In 1998, researchers discovered that mathematical proofs by Archimedes had been overwritten with biblical texts by monks in the 13th century. Documents such as this, with previous erasures still visible beneath the primary text, are known as palimpsests. Architecture can also be a palimpsest: as cities and buildings are modified and re-purposed, traces of their previous lives remain visible.

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