Saturday, April 26, 2014

Plate Arrangement

P.S. it is a screen-cap. The proper file will be uploaded soon

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Divergence of the Buddhist Experience

Divergence of the Buddhist Experience

For long, Buddhism has spread and materialize its ideology and teachings through the experience created by architecture and ceremonies that the Buddhist perceive in order to plant and manifest the idea into ones mind. Divergence of Buddhist Experience is a virtual space that allows the user to illustrate and materialize their envisagement of the experience that they desire to enhance the Buddhist practices and ceremonies according to the individual preference. Each contribution from the user will then be used to form a creative network platform that act as an archive to store all the designed virtual spaces that can be shared and accessed by every user. The constructed virtual space must be used to house virtual 16 meters tall Phra Sri San Phet, the same as what the Grand Hall used to function. Each space will then be used for Buddhist practices and ceremonies, accessible by the people onsite and online.

The user who is on the real physical site of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet Grand Hall will be granted access to the design interface via the creative virtual headset consisting of a virtual ocular device with a camera attachment to record the surroundings, a hand gesture recognition device, and a built in open back headphone, allowing them to see, hear, and manipulate the virtual elements respectively, of both the design interface and the constructed virtual space. Only the user onsite will be able to construct the virtual space as they will be able to perceive and scrutinize the context, ambient atmosphere, and variables of the physical site. The user will be given the constructed virtual grammar that act as a foundation where they will be constructing upon. Every architectural design element must be placed on the same existing layout of the ruin.

The design interface aids the user by enabling the new perception through transition of reality such as the ability to see sound, enhancing the creativity and as well as truly understand every single choice and element that they choose. Each choice being made will be shown to the user instantly so that they may experience their creation in real time to achieve the desired effects. They will interact with the design interface through physical body contact with the virtual elements which will response with the user for every certain body gesture. Once the virtual space has been constructed, it will be stored in the online archive of each individual account. It is an interactive platform where different users can access and experience every virtual space through the same medium of the virtual headset and a 3d scanner to record their body and transform that into digital format into the online network. This network allows the Buddhist society from all around the world to form a new community through virtual space that doesn’t just give the user conventional spaces but a holistic archive where contribution creates the network itself. The users are able to interact with other online and onsite user who chooses the same space to perform the practices and ceremonies together.

This interactive network is designed to blur the demarcation of ideology on how Buddhist practices and ceremonies should be experience. Being a core of the space, the Buddha image act as a portal in which the user is able to materialize and manifest their thoughts of the new space should be. This space embraces different perspectives from both Buddhist and non-Buddhist user, creating a divergence to enhance the experience.   
the interior of Divergence of Buddhist Experience

Virtual Grammar

The original Grand Hall design will be use as a default virtual space where both the user onsite and online can come a use this same main channel of Divergence of the Buddhist experience. The space must be use to house a virtual 16 meters tall golden Buddha image. They will be carrying out Buddhist practices and ceremonies in front of the Buddha image.

The user can create their own roof, wall, column, and floor based on the same layout of the Grand Hall ruin. Each element will be a simple mass of architecture. However, the user can manipulate and tweak the surface of each element according to their own desire such as increasing the height of the wall and ceiling. They an add or subtract from all the surface of the elements.

The user can select all natural material to be applied to every architectural elements of their design. The feature was made to embrace the user who is also non Buddhist but choose to contribute to this virtual platform by the individual knowledge of his or her own religion. They can also apply the material to a specific point of the surface, creating a new pattern and atmosphere for the user of the space.

Candles will be the main artificial light source and one of the offerings the user will have. During the Wan Kao Pansa period the user will be able to manipulate the surface an form of the candle at will to create and mould for aesthetic quality. This candle will then be offered to the Buddha Image as the Tawaii Tian ceremony and a way of making merits. Candles can also be placed anywhere in the space to engulf the user with new arrangement of lighting.

Virtual Headset

The virtual glasses will be projecting the image from the world camera to enable the vision of the surrounding. The image of the virtual interface will be overlaid on top of the surrounding image and is interactive through the creative third eye on the top. On top is the creative third eye device is the leap motion sensor that tracks and recognizes the motion and hand gesture to enable the interaction between the user and the virtual interface. Each hand gesture will trigger the stimulation and response of the virtual space. The dual world camera is small in size and is mounted on to the virtual headset as devices for scanning the visual data the user is looking and sent the acquired data to the virtual glasses to be projected to the user. Because this real time virtual interface requires a lot of body movement, the tri lock system will ensure that the virtual headset is properly fasten to the users head without creating any discomfort to the user while carrying out the Buddhist practices and ceremonies. Gilded Thai ornaments are carefully designed onto the virtual headset as a symbol of human according to the pattern of Thai art. Each ornament on different part of the headset is derived from the costume pattern of the human in the Thai pattern, specifically the headwear part.

Final Reasearch: The Grand Hall of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

   The Grand Hall or Grand Vihara is once used to place the 16 meter tall Golden Buddha called Phra Sri Sanphet.  The is the hall that the Royals used to carry out and perform religious Buddhist ceremonies for the City of Ayutthaya. The plan of the Grand Hall has a strong axis that leads the people towards the Gigantic Buddha Image which was latter destroy by the Burmese army. Most part of the Grand Hall was destroyed in the fire due to the use of wood framing which causes the whole structure to collaspe. Only the walls and parts of colums was left to be seen at the current state so most of the part is a flat plane that is not often visited by the user.

However the left over part was enough to let the viewer envisage the space of what it would look like and how it is used during the period fo Krung Sri Ayutthaya. The transparent Vihara is the state of the Grand Hall before it was destroyed. The image is being overlayed onto the ruin which shares the same layout. The form and material is based on the layout and materiality of the ruin as well as the architectural style of Ayutthaya. The size of the grand hall is the biggest structure in Wat Phra Sri Sanphet because it must house the 16 meters tall golden Buddha Image as well as signifying the absolute power of the monarchy over Krung Sri Ayutthaya.

Most tourists is usually observing the ruin from a distant because most of the part is left open and visible to the eye therefore there is no need for the people to walk inside and observe the ruin. The common type of tourist is foreigners who travel in group tour so that they may understand what it is. The Grand is surrounded by four other ruins which is smaller in size and is used to carry out Buddhist ceremonies by local people during the period of Krung Sri Ayutthaya. The most visited ruin among the five is the Wihan PhraTri Lokanat because it is located before the entrance. The most common point of observation is the front part of the ruin which is the most significant view. Here the user can observe almost every architectural element of the ruin as well as sharing the same sequence of how the space is used before during the period of Ayutthaya. Another common point of observation is from the Chedi Phra Sri Sanphet which enables the user to see the Grand Hall ruin from above. Because the Chedi Phra Sri Sanpet is the most visited ruin in the area, this causes the Grand Hall to be observed as much as well.

The ruin of the Wat Phra SRi Sanphet Grand Hall

the stand of Phra Sri Sanphet were left intacted to the ruin

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Final Research: Sanphet Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Language is always a collage, borrowing. It is constant evolution but usually have a source. The Sanphet Maha Prasat Throne Hall is one of the significant buildings in Ayutthaya both political and architecture. As a book the palace is a fascinating story that now becomes a lost book. Paradox occurs due to interpretations were made. 
Any translation has mistake but in mistake everything is deviated. Archarological evidences, record, depiction, book, illustration, other Throne hall and replica are studied to visualize matter of fact and matter of concern of this throne hall. 
The throne hall was built by Somdet Phra Boromma Trilokkanat in 1991 B.E. and renovated in 2320 B.E. during Somdet Phrachaoyuhua Borommakot Period. 
  •  Only based of the structure is left nowadays and even it located next to Wat Pha Sri Sabphet but only few tourists visited here. 
  •  The filled ground level misunderstood the visitors. It was filled during the grand palace excavation in Rama V period. 
  •  The accessibility was divided into three levels, the king, Royalties and nobles. 
  •  In the past this throne hall was used to administer, receive envoys and arranged big ceremony such as coronation. 
  • Throne and Umbrella are the most significant elements in the grand palace throne hall. They are used to identify grand palace and palace. 
  •  Wall is load barring wall. It was influenced from western during late Ayutthaya period. 
  • Roof structure called ‘Ma Tang Mai. Only temple and palace can use this structure. It is adaptation from Khmer’s stone structure. 
  •  Garuda is symbolic of ‘King is demi god’ derived from Brahmin. 
  • Layer roof with delicate Kranok pattern indicates the owner dignity. The top peak roof called ‘Yod Prasat’. It is    symbol of grand palace throne hall and representing the importance part in this throne hall. 
Chakri Maha Prasat 

prof.Dr. Santi Leksukhum's hypothesis illustration

The drawing of ‘the past’ only bases on Prof. Dr. Santi Leksukhum’s hypothesis illustration which is one’s interpretation. Then what is the level of tolerance? How much deviation is acceptable? And which one is the most reliable? 

Palace of Public Opinions

The visitor is treated to a constantly morphing land­scape of public opinions. As the off-site public votes on issues (online), they become topics of discussion virtually represented at the site. 

The Palace of Public Opinions is an attempt to reim­agine our interaction and attitude towards political opinions. It offers a spatial and temporal interval that allows for public discussions and criticisms of political issues of the country to be generated. It serves as an interactive three dimensional diagrammatic archive of public opinions that deal with the underlying politics of the physical transformation of land and disputes over territorial ownership. The virtual space allows for the visitors to view real-time opinions. It also serves as a mass gathering space for when there are events such as an election. The visitors are encircled by the live virtual scoring process of the poll. This infrastruc­ture of public opinions is an operable representation of reality that is measured and evaluated by the citi­zens of today’s digital democratic society.

The Palace of Public Opinions, a real-time measure of public satisfaction and attitude towards the current political issues, takes on a collaborative approach in order to accumulate information which is used for observation, measurement and assessment of reality that has minimal amount of distortion and filtering. Current political status of the nation is then abstract­ed and translated into a spatial representation.

The virtual space treats human as a measuring tool to measure the values of both quantitative and qualita­tive public opinions. It aims to work as a generative platform where the matters of fact or the pragmatic reference to the real world will be observed and re­constructed as an abstraction of reality. It serves as a space where the non-pragmatic reference will be cre­ated upon. This includes the more specific interpreta­tion that is driven by culture, sophistication, emotion, imagination, or speculation. The users of the space will be able to experience this accumulative data spatially.

The project displays a symbiotic relationship between the past, the present and the future of the people, of the system and of their coexistence. Our lives inevita­bly revolve around politics either in a direct or indirect way. Since the beginning of civilization, humankind has created systems of governing where the most pow­erful entity is the one who would rule his constituents. We, the governed, rely our lives on the stability of our leader.

In recent years, social media has become influential and increasingly used in political context. Social net­work websites and blogging services become the cur­rent platform for political communication. They allow the public to actively and constantly participate not only to share information in general but also to give political opinions through the network.

In this era of digital democracy, the virtual space acts as a political communication platform that sources its data from an online infrastructure and monitors rea-time opinions of the citizens both quantitatively and qualitatively. The project speculates the working of political communication platform and how public opinions can be represented to offer access to a more transparent politics.

Data dynamically shifts as opinions are formed. Each issue is generated around the Sanphet Mahaprasat Palace. Each representation of issue is structured by two types of facts, facts about the issue and facts about the voters. The former comprises of what the is­sue is about and where it is happening in the country. The latter displays occupation and age-range which are factors necessary to know in order to understand the value of the opinions. Occupation here is classified into five sectors as follows

Primary Sector: agriculture, mining, forestry, farm­ing, grazing, hunting, fishing and quarrying.

Secondary Sector: metal working and smelting, auto­mobile production, textile production, chemical and engineering industries, aerospace mnufcturing, en­ergy utilities, shipbuilding and construction.

Tertiary Sector: retail and wholesale sales, transport and distribution, entertainment, restaurants, clerical services, media, tourism, insurance, banking, health­care and law.

Quaternary Sector: government, culture, libraries, sci­entific research, education, information technology
Quinary Sector: top executives or officials in fields as government, science, universities, nonprofit, health­care, culture and the media

The height tells how long the issue has been brought up for. The issue moves towards the center once it has been nominated by more than 50% of the eligible off-site voters.

The visualization of data within the virtual space is made possible with an aid of a digital prosthetics. A bionic contact lens becomes the tool for measurement and evaluation of public opinions, of reality. This digi­tal tool will be given to the first time eligible voter at the age of 18. It will be given out by a non-governmen­tal organization that only aims to provide public ac­cess to transparent politics. To wear it or not is up to one’s own decision.

The lens allows for the public to perceive representa­tions of opinions of their fellow citizens wherever they are in the country and to get an overall view of the country at the site. With modern scientific and tech­nological developments, we are now able to visualize and interact with live data. Yet despite these advances, this innovation is still speculative and subject to er­rors.

When we are entering into the digital age, the risk of being virtually fed with filtered information or being under government surveillance is greater than ever. The lens is, on the contrary, turning the uncertainty into an opportunity, a possibility. Instead of the gov­erning watching you, you are now watching the gov­ernment. 

The cultivation of opinions reflects the working of the nation’s political domain in its bright light of appraisal and respectively, the inevitable refusal and denial. We are assimilated to this political culture so deeply that undeniably we grumble and resent the system. Our discontents are eventually manifested in protests and mass gatherings. The Palace of Public Opinions ac­commodates public gatherings, allowing people to ex­change opinions, to make up their minds, to reassess reality.

Issues move in towards the ruins of the Sanphet Mahaprasat Palace according to current trend.
A virtual map on the sky represents current issues happening across the country.

Final Research: The Sanphet Mahaprasat Palace, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Drawing of the Sanphet Mahaprasat in the past based on the hypothesis of Dr.Santi Leksukhum,  the replica of the palace at Muang Boran (Ancient City) and information and documents from the Ayutthaya Research Center and the Fine Arts Department in Ayutthaya.

Ruins of The Sanphet Mahaprasat Palace, 2013
 The Sanphet Maprasat Palace is situated within the boundary of the Ayutthaya Royal Palace. The Royal Palace was divided into three distinct areas, the front or the outer, the middle and the rear or the inner. The Sanphet Maprasat is one of the three halls that is located in the middle area.

The The Sanphet Maprasat was built in the reign of King Borommatrailokanat. It was one of the most important structures of the whole Ayutthaya kingdom. It was used for royal purposes such as receiveing ambassadors from foreign countries.

Ruins of The Sanphet Mahaprasat Palace, 2013
It was also used for other purposes. Coronations of significant kings Autthaya, including Phra Phetracha, Phra Chao Sua, Phra Chao Ekathat, Phra Chao Uthumphon, took place here. It also hold the tonsure ceremony during the reign of Phra Phetracha.

The Sanphet Mahaprasat Palace signifies the centralization of power, the power that the monarch holds supreme authority in governing the nation. The architecture of the building symbolizes religious beliefs. The five-tiered roof symbolizes Mount Meru which is the place where the gods reside, and the belief in the idea of the Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The kings had divine power and were considered an avatar of god, the incarnation of the Vishnu, or more commonly known in Thai as Narayana, the supreme god that preserves, sustains and governs the universe.

Significant events that happened during the time mainly revolved around the aspects of conflicts, trading and foreign settlements. These issues deal with territory, land use, land ownership and transformation of land which have great impacts on the development of the nation. During Ayutthaya period, the Portuguese came and built their quarter, churches and trading stations on a plot of land that was allocated by the king as opposed to the Dutch whose interests laid solely in trading. Their soldiers served the kings of Ayutthaya in exchange for trade privileges. The French’s advancement in technology was applied to the design and construction of fortifications and city walls while the English did not fare very well and had bad relations with the country. The power of Ayutthaya was also challenged by both the internal and external conflicts. Good political relationship with the Portuguese and the Dutch resulted in them volunteering to help serve Ayutthaya in various uprisings. These issues have great impacts on the development of the nation.

Final Presentation: Language of Thai Architecture

Thai architecture could be interpreted as language. One building is a compound set of paragraphs, sentences, words and letters that composing a story. A building can tell matter of fact and matter of concern by Latour. The hidden story behind its skin origin, culture, period, status, hierarchy, duty, power and wealthy.

One story consists of many paragraphs and in one paragraph there are many sentences that narrate different stories and each sentences is a compound of many words. Each word has different meaning and this meaning comes from letters that have different roots combining together to create one meaning.

Every element that is selected to compose a story is crucial to shape the right story.

So if architecture is a language then one must be able to speak it.
The dictionary was designed in 3 dimensional space as Thai architecture has much more dimensions than language. Structure of the dictionary is arranged by resolution of the elements, which are building block, ornament, pattern, material and finish consecutively.

‘Represents a thing in all its complexity’ from Latour’s lecture.  A thing doesn’t have only matter of fact but also contradictory and controversial natures of matter of concern.  A gable of a palace can tell both status, power, hierarchy, wealthy of the owner and art and culture, style, influence, economic in that period. Every element in Thai architecture communicates differently. If one single primary element of Thai pattern changes, the entire meaning and possession will change.

A word in dictionary presents visual, name and root of the element. The position and accessibility of it presents hierarchy and rule that acquired from the architecture’s strict grammar.

Showing all its complexity one can’t read it. Gombrich’s the perception of order explains about the different between seeing, looking, attending and reading. Eyes select only some part to read to attend to look and to see. The resolution of seeing ability decreases respectively to the level of contemporary disable that specific part.

These varieties of visions can guide and teach the audience through the strict grammar.

Language is always a collage, borrowing. It is constant evolution but usually have a source. The Sanphet Maha Prasat Throne Hall is one of the significant buildings in Ayutthaya both political and architecture. As a book the palace is a fascinating story that now becomes a lost book. Paradox occurs due to interpretations were made.

Any translation has mistake but in mistake everything is deviated. Archarological evidences, record, depiction, book, illustration, other Throne hall and replica are studied to visualize matter of fact and matter of concern of this throne hall.
The throne hall was built by Somdet Phra Boromma Trilokkanat in 1991 B.E. and renovated in 2320 B.E. during Somdet Phrachaoyuhua Borommakot Period.

  • Only based of the structure is left nowadays and even it located next to Wat Pha Sri Sabphet but only few tourists visited here.
  • The filled ground level misunderstood the visitors. It was filled during the grand palace excavation in Rama V period.
  •  The accessibility was divided into three levels, the king, Royalties and nobles.
  • In the past this throne hall was used to administer, receive envoys and arranged big ceremony such as coronation.
  • Throne and Umbrella are the most significant elements in the grand palace throne hall. They are used to identify grand palace and palace.
  • Wall is load barring wall. It was influenced from western during late Ayutthaya period.
  • Roof structure called ‘Ma Tang Mai. Only temple and palace can use this structure. It is adaptation from Khmer’s stone structure.
  • Garuda is symbolic of ‘King is demi god’ derived from Brahmin.
  • Layer roof with delicate Kranok pattern indicates the owner dignity. The top peak roof called ‘Yod Prasat’. It is symbol of grand palace throne hall and representing the importance part in this throne hall.

The drawing of ‘the past’ only bases on Prof. Dr. Santi Leksukhum’s hypothesis illustration which is one’s interpretation. Then what is the level of tolerance? How much deviation is acceptable? And which one is the most reliable?

Any language is in constant evolution and change. It is natural of it to evolve. This tolerance needs to be regulated by a specific institution for a specific language.
Thai language is administered by The Royal Institute, Rajchabandittayasatan.
The obligation of the institute is to act as consultant on academic matter,
to compile dictionaries, encyclopedias, terminologies and coin new words
and to establish criteria of Thai usage in order to preserve and promote Thai language.

Likewise, This virtual space acts as consultant on academic matter. It allows archeologists to explore and share their experience to find the tolerance, deviation, regulation, change and evolution of the rich Thai architecture language and also to preserve and promote the language.

In the space audiences will translate their ideas to 3d virtual model using translating tools.  Due to regularness of Thai architecture it can be translated by many tools one is Thai typewriter.

Typewriter can be interpreted as translating tool that translates idea, intangible, to physical, typed paper. To translate the idea the typist has to learn the language.

  •         Ability to write the language
  •         Ability to type and cognitive
The typewriter

  •         Ability to translate to typography

  •          Ability to read and understand the meaning
During the invention of Thai typewriter two Thai consonants were eliminated because of not having enough keys. The revolution of Thai was the result of translating English typewriter to Thai typewriter and these two alphabets officially disappear from Thai language.

However Typewriter is just an example of all translating tool. This virtual 3d diagram shows the differences between different means of expression. Body languages, verbal, are the most fundamental tools that require the least learning process. The datascape manifests the process of translating idea to physical through wide range of tools both accessibility and sensibility.

The virtual space will teach its language by displaying the learning process step by step according to position of the audience that will be detected by GPS tracker.

Goggle is mediator that leads audience to experience the augmented reality by taking images with video camera, modifying the image based on virtual space and input action then real time displaying it on glasses.

The goggle is attached with motion capture system for real-time analysis of hand movements using infrared cameras.

The augmented space will give the audience pre-conceive idea of what this space does and how to use it before entering.

The circulation of the audience will be controlled by virtual architecture that real time changing to lead the audience through the sequence of perception.

The first stage, the space displays various translating tools. The audience can explore different tools and learn language of each tool before choosing a tool to work with.

Different tools require different language and grammar. For Thai typewriter, it requires abilities to read and type Thai. 

The audience will be taught Thai name of every single element.    

To exploring Thai architecture the audience have to type the virtual typewriter to create 3d space. Using written language to translate your idea.

After learn its language, the typewriter will circulate around that person. This interface allows the audience access to the dictionary to use as reference while exploring the space.
Next sequence, the audience will enter to three-dimensional dictionary. The visitor will learn and understand relationship and rule of each element. To study the element in details, the interface allows to access the specific elements by rearrange the specific part closer the person.

Then, the visitor can explore and experiment Thai architecture. While still access to the dictionary with the interface that circulate around each person

While exploring the regularness of Thai architecture, the grammar will auto correct the composing and also allow revolution of Thai architecture by adding and subtraction the dictionary.

Thanks to the regularness of Thai architecture margin of auto correct and revolution can be found.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Final Research on " Wat Mahathat : Great Relics of Buddha "

                                                     A S H W A T I   T E R E S A  J O S E P H                                           
                                              Religious Temple at Ancient City Ayutthaya

Wat Mahathat : Isometric Diagram of Past and Present Context

Now as ruins, Wat Mahathat used to be a Temple idolized for major worship containing the Buddha’s relics. Surrounded by canals in the past, the main royal ceremony included the Barge ceremony which included the King travelling from the Grand Hall to offer prayers and sacrifices at Wat Mahathat. Standing as tall as 50 meters, Wat Mahathat symbolized the major religious site within the city. Constant addition of stupas and increment of height to the main prang of the temple was done in order to symbolze the structures grandeur and influence of Buddhism. Sheltering the supreme patriarch, Wat Mahathat emerged as an important monastery and religious centre. History dates it as collapsing twice during the reign of two kings, consequently bothered with theft and robbery as well as beheading the Buddha statues during the Thai-Burmese War.

VI3 Members at Wat Mahathat Ruins
Declared as a World Heritage Site within the Historical Park of Ayuthaya, Wat Mahathat is left as ruins for visitors to observe. However, the structure still remains as a ruin making the main tourist attraction as the Buddha’s head stuck in a Bodhi Tree. The main circulation involves of passing this attraction afterwards proceeding to the grand vihara and later to the actual main prang further passing the monastery structure. Two gates border the site based on an east west axis symbolizing how axial plans developed in Hinduism carrying on to Buddhism. Many stupas of Various heights are placed surrounding the main prang in order to embellish and make the main prang look more huge in size.

 VI3 Members at the Ubosot (Monastery) Ruin                                                                               Wat Mahathat Ruins at Sunset

Research on Past and Present Conditions

Wat Mahathat, the most holy and nominated structure of Ayuthaya City. Containing within the main prang is the Buddha's relic. Constructed mainly of laterite in the lower part to be topped in the upper part with brick and mortar. Now only the base remains, the collapsed part being probably looted after the fall of the kingdom. The prang collapsed twice, second collapse during the reign of King Rama VI. Continuous additions of various types of chedis, stupas were added to nominate the main prang and constant renovations were done in order to make it larger than the other structures. Placing smaller stupas, a clever method approached to make the taller and larger prang to stand out.
Present Wat Mahathat as Ruins : Location of  Market ,People Circulation, Spotlights.
1. Crow Bad Omen: Legend has it that just before when they city had collapsed, two crows had fought above the Wat Mahathat and supposedly died by falling on to the spire of the prang, their body pierced. This was recorded as one of the bad omen for the kingdom.

2. Reconstruction : Wat Mahathat, literally meaning "Great Relics of Buddha" should be constructed as large and elegant as possible (belief) since it houses the Buddhas relic. Built at a before 38 meters that collapsed, it was reconstructed again to reach a critical height of 42 meters in order to signify the religion's importance within the city.(However other sources mention that the new height went up to 50 meters) Mainly the prang collapsed due to the heavily ornate statues of garuda and devas that was built on the upper part of the main prang. However, now it remains as ruin. The base projects on sides hinting the presence of porch which may have been added during later reconstruction.

3. Royal Barge Ceremony : A Boat ceremony where the King had to travel from the Grand Palace in his barge along with other royal people to offer praise and worship to the Buddhas relics. In the past, Mahathat was surrounded by water canals making waterway the only possible way to travel to Mahathat.

4. Vihan Luang : Approximately 40 by 20 metres in size, this main vihan contained a mural painting of Vessantara Jataka. The deisgn of the vihan is known for its Early Ayuthaya era's square pattern with vertical lines. Currently this is the first place that current tourists enter after witnessing the fallen head of Buddha(stuck in Bodhi tree).

5. Ubosot: The Monastery is believed to be constructed  during the reign of King Boromrachathiraj I completed  in King Ramesuans time. This monastery is believed to be the residence of the Supreme Patriarch and other monks that lived nearby in other smaller ubosots. Another bad omen that followed was the consequent deaths of the patriarchs, one after the other that also proved as a bad omen for the fall of the kingdom. Their bodies were laid side by side at Mahathat.

6. Buddha's Relic : The main prang housed the relics of Buddha which made it the foundation and religious symbolic centre of the kingdom. This follows the practice of many countries who follows the Mandala concept where to imitate Mount Meru(centre of Universe) results in a square shaped town layout. Situated at the heart being the Buddha's  relic, which was protected entombed in a crypt beneath the ground (15 meters deep) in a seven layered pagoda, each of different material namely pewter,silver,nag(amalgam of copper and gold), twice of wood with gold spire, crystal layers, dark gamet topped with emeralds and rubies, the innermost gold box with lid containing the relic in sandalwood oil.

7. Beheaded Buddha Statues: Many stone buddha statues are located within the borders which is supposed to convey the life cycles of Buddha reaching to enlightenment. These however were beheaded during the Burmese captivity of the kingdom. Current tourist circulation occurs path through here, where a huge Buddhas statue(not beheaded) is present to which many pray and worship.

8. Buddhas Fallen Head : Stuck in a Bodhi Tree's roots, this proves to be the most attracted spot for tourists to take photographs of. The past recordings say the head might have been fallen from a thief who was stealing it or that it had fallen during the war.

9. Current Market and Ticket Counter : Located on the Southern side of Wat Mahathat is the current Market(small scale) which follows the Ticket Counter (Thai Citizen :20 Baht, Foreigner : 50 Baht).

Wat Mahathat Analysis from Ash Joseph on Vimeo.

Final Presentation : R2S

A S H W A T I   T E R E S A   J O S E P H
A Section of Digital Prosthetics : Receptacle for the Renounced Structures

R2S Receptacle for Renounced Structures from Ash Joseph on Vimeo.

  R 2 S   T h e s i s

Man's fight against time and decay, an inevitable thought of which the solution itself is brought by architecture. Something built becoming permanent. But this function of architecture preserving itself is yet attacked by nature's calamities and perpetual rhythm. Time never stops its duty of playing the role as the  Decaying or Preserving Master. In order to capture these decaying elements, it is necessary to invent something permanent that would embed in the history of mankind for the future generations.

Humans are obsessed with preserving structure. The result of this preoccupying thought of conserving and maintaining has caused an effect of constructing structures, erecting foundations and establishing boundaries between cultures. Since centuries as the permanent buildings itself are deteriorating at a large rate, these structures modify in reaction to Time. The UNESCO, an existing global organization already however provides preserving heritages after its 10 passing of criteria. Exceptional, outstanding, testimonial these are their tags of passing; as a result, some are left out. An excuse would be that they do not represent as the highest achievable masterpiece in human/natural history that serves as an exceptional testimony. 

R2S Virtual Debate from Ash Joseph on Vimeo.

Therefore an institution is called for that guarantees to store all that is historically essential to future generations. Verifying identity, the user enters an existing ruin, chooses his interested part that guides him to the connected issue witnessing the networks. Further involving in simultaneous discussions and debates the user casts his opinion in the R2S resulting in activating the structure's nomination. Crowd sourcing plays a huge role that may take one to interact with higher authorities regarding the issue. Thus providing a democratic way of preserving structures at its full to be easily conveyed virtually to other individuals who are not able to experience the real site. A library of data composed of particularly exposed, unenclosed, unprotected, decaying ruins.The team of innovators would work on establishing a virtual world embodying the experience of immersive environment dealing with : virtual perceptions and virtual feeling.

In terms of virtual perception, as  'matters of fact', the most outstanding, most worthy, most notable stands out globally. As 'matters of concern', they do too. In this case the purple green colored orchid being an uncommon sight for me as an outsider in the Flower Market. And at some point, something so ordinary as a Buddha's fallen head stuck in a Bodhi tree could be 'Matters of Nothing'.One such example of a fact  could be the Saweta Chatra Throne, a powerful monarch communication tool used to signify absolute power through an ornate throne. The Barcelona chair compared to the previous throne becomes as Matters of concern which at first acting as a status symbol later loses its value perhaps, because of mass production.

 Hierarchy, nomination, order, axis, framing were some terms associated in analysing these things.Diving more into a research phase, Ayuthaya as a site is chosen to evaluate the importance of nomination. The reason being already preserved by the UNESCO due to its contribution in rich history and Thai architecture. Currently, Wat Mahathat that contained the Buddhas relics, in the past being the most holy and religious site is placed in an east west axis. Most highest structure at a before 50 meters that time, nomination of religion plays a part within the ruling of a city.

Who decides this tag of nomination that has been followed since centuries? Pre-conceived perception does this. During my journey through the Pak Klong Talat where all flowers had the same potential of selling, it was my personal curiosity that played in judging what is important? As a fact, Latour mentions as how things fade away when appearing in mass resulting in a texture whereas the same thing individually would act as an image memory. Here the orchid stands out to me which is not in mass quantity unlike the other flowers.

The pavilion titled 'Renascita Di Valore' is an attempt to question this perception of how things are seemingly valuable but at the same time not, through a medium of filtering planes within a grid system. The user is required to enter this Virtual Pavilion and accordingly comparing the Saweta Chatra Throne and Barcelona Chair in a series of sequence that question  which personally stands out due to virtual perception. The grids provide a y-axis of time and x-axis of nomination.

Here,  Ayuthaya as an already preserved site passes for all the nomination rules given by UNESCO World Heritage. The challenge however is to question about those ruins which are unenclosed, open to major destruction, not protected just because they lack the tag of nomination given globally.The Receptacle for Renounced Structures or R2S platform would therefore make a space specifically for these ruins that do not qualify as World Heritages. Due to political, economical, social or religious concerns they are excluded. R2S having its own technology of V-Eye and V-Glove would enhance the virtual feeling of the structure. Acting as a 3D preservation space R2S would grant the qualification of protection resulting from polling of votes and opinions from a connected network of people around the globe. Even though if the site won't be nominated to that extent, the virtual space still allows it to be preserved permanently by 3D mapping technologyVirtually Preserved in Time !

R2S Virtual Tools for Interaction

The Virtual Eye Wear, received upon entering Wat Mahathat allows for scanning of the fingerprints of the individual in order for further accurate interaction depending on which finger is used within the R2S environment. The v-eye, similar looking to a pair of goggles consists of high sensitive embedded scanner on the surface exterior glass. The V-Eye also contains a GPS Tracker, located at the center. The tracker ensures the position of the user movement along the R2S Interface, this movement is later added on to the system of networks that convey data graphics to the upcoming participants. The surface glass is curved allowing a maximum  180 degree visible accessibility of the R2S space giving a panoramic view to the user. The heavy Glass surface is held by a  transparent holder( to avoid blocking maximum view) as well as a supporting plastic frame for maximum support. The V-eye enables the participant in the R2S interface to view the space virtually combined with real environment of Wat Mahathat.

R2S Tool : V-Eye from Ash Joseph on Vimeo.

V-Glove (Single Hand)
Along with the V-Eye, combined with V-Glove allows for enhanced experience in an immersive environment. The glove is sensitive to the touch followed by three main fingers :
- Index finger = Switch to Real Environment (Wat Mahathat) or other choosing options
- Middle finger = To join Debate or Discussions
- Ring finger = Casting Opinions/Polling of Votes
Participant should make sure that the V-Glove is always contained within the scanning vision of the V-Eye or else the tracking of hand movements and interaction with V-Glove are unable to recognize. The moment the individual's fingers are scanned in through the V-Eye, the fingerprints are stored within the database to relate with the further decisions made by the user.Each Tip of the glove contains a touch sensor that informs the R2S of what has to be displayed accordingly.

R2S Tool : V-Glove from Ash Joseph on Vimeo.

R2S Architectural Interface

Isometric of  R2S Space

Criteria for Selection of Structures:
1. Structures entered are to be man-made or man-made combined with natural environment, hence crowd sourcing acting as the major input.
2. R2S institution focuses on decaying, exposed, unenclosed, unprotected ruins.
3. Any nation, organization, community, state, region, group (2 or more) can enter their desired structure.
3. The result of these structures to enter the network permanently is ultimately dependent on the participating people to decide.
4.Judgement is made by analyzing opinions, majority votes related on issue.
5. In the end, R2S institution would guarantee protection of the structure from its fund.
6. All passing structures are however mapped digitally to form a place within networks.

Isometric Taxonomy created for classification of entered sites within the R2S Interface

Initial Research Phase How the R2S Works?

Khao Phreah Wihan, a ruin located exactly on the overlapping borders of Cambodia and Thailand was an interesting start as to the related political and social  issues developed. An ancient hindu temple built during the Khmer empire.  Situated atop a cliff named Dangrek Mountains, this temple resulted in a long called dispute between two countries of Thailand and Cambodia on an international level. Recently claimed as a World Heritage site, now the Khao Phreah Wihan belongs to Cambodia, last judgement taken by the International High Court of Justice.

Khao Phreah Wihan : Already nominated site by UNESCO
Following diagram depicts how this issue of "the temple belongs to whom?" would have worked out given the architectural interface of R2S.

Stage 1: The Visitor enters Wat Mahathat with his identity verified and witnessing the networks and grid system of R2S that are already activated by other users present on the site. Later, the user chooses an interesting part of the Mahathat ruin, the buddha statue which happens to be influenced by Khmer architecure. This "Khmer" influence acts as the common link between the visitor's interest and the contained issue within the R2S Space that leads him , in this case to the"Khao Phreah Wihan", dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.

Stage 2 : After having the visitor brought into this issue, the visitor if not interested in the issue may wish to choose to exit the interface by using the index finger via the V-Glove. Or else may continue on with briefing of the issue shown in virtual graphics and motions. The history of the Issue is laid out (shown in different colored boxes) :
1978 - Cambodian Refugees Expulsion
2008 - Military Dispute
2008 - Ownership Dispute
These related history gives the user the clue of what is currently occurring about the existing ruin. This is the point where the user has already chosen the issue, and the related ruin would overlap on the Wat Mahathat ruin allowing the user to compare and contrast between the two ruins given.Later on, further research on issue regarding the common key word "Khmer Empire" is brought in, since this was the key to the participant's start of interest. How Khmer relates to this issue is signified at the end of Stage 2.

Khao Phreah Wihan : If it worked within the R2S Interface
Stage 3 :  User is shown the current issues and news by virtual planes that helps to decide in casting his later opinion. After analyzing the given terms and state of situation surrounding the issue, the user may cast his opinion or poll his vote regarding on the ownership dispute. This is critical, since the answer is directly resulted in the nomination of the Khao Phreah Wiharn Ruin Issue. This one individuals poll or vote may result in drastic change of the Ruin's Position within the R2S Networks. 

After the polling, The user can either exit or enter a current debate/discussion thereby allowing interaction with virtual people who are not physically present in the site. Further this debate/discussion is recorded as a date that can be accessed by any type of social media including facebook,twitter,google +, etc. 

Stage 4 : The user is free to witness higher authorities involved in the matter, be it politically or socially. Direct interaction is guaranteed dependent on the participant's interest in the issue. Witnessing of Political meetings are made possible publicly making it a democratic way of viewing the issue. System being more transparent and not held within the bounds of law/authority.

Stage 5 : The issue having developed to be taken action by the ICJ (international Court of Justice) continues according to news, at this point the user may/may not be involved as recognized member from the R2S Interface to get involved with the higher powers. This is the most highest point where the R2S is granted authority based on a  democratic crowd supportive way.
At the end based on the most discussed issue or failure to end up in an un-recognized ruin the R2S  would eventually permanently map the ruins using 3d Mapping Technology and the ruin would be virtually preserved inTime within the R2S.

Further Research Phase : Renounced Structures around the Globe

1. Ruins of Ani : An Armenian City-state situated in the Turkish Province of Kars. Having a History of various trade routes and known for its famous religious buildings(churches,mosques), palaces, fortifications. Ani stood out as one  among the  technologically and artistically advanced structures in the world. After the earthquake of 1319, Ani was a forgotten city state (known for its glory) and resulted in abandonment.

2. Negev Mosque : Undergone many change in its physical use, the mosque located in Israel, currently serves as a call center employing many Muslim women (among the Bedouin Community) to work and re-inforce support for the females in the Muslim society.

3. Gol Gumbaz : Located in Karnataka, India this mausoleum is of Mohammad Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur. Influenced by Deccan architecture, the structure has simplistic dome deisgn. Vistied by many locals, this mausoleum is not yet declalred as a Heirtage site.

4. Naqshe-E-Rustam : A Necropolis, in Persepolis. Contains many mural carvings depicting old history and habitation. aqshe-E-Rustam contains many tombs and oversized rocks. However now severely damaged and victim of lot of excavations.

5. Salona City : An Ancient city located now in Croatia. Influenced by then Roman Architecture under their rule, Salona city possesses many characteristics such like public baths, amphitheaters, aqueducts, forum, roman walls, etc. Highly saturated with christian architecture, the reason of many big churches, baptisteries, basilicas, this city was destroyed largely during the invasion of Avars and Slavs during the 4th and 5th century. Now this site serves as a major study site for Christian religious architecture.

6. Caesarea City : A Town located between Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel.Served in the past as an administrative center of Judaea Province(Roman Empire) built by Herod the Great. Abandonment followed by the Arab Conquest and later by Mamluk conquest.
7. Jama Masjid : Principle mosque in Delhi, India. Houses several relics and currently active as a mosque for a capacity of 25,000 worshipers. Built by the same king Shahjahan  who built the Taj Mahal and Red Fort(delhi). Associated issue being 2006 explosions within the mosque making 13 people in total injured.


8. Arabian Oryx Sanctuary : Listed since 1994 as a world heritage, this was the first to be removed from the Heritage list in 2007.The major issue concerned was the discovery of oil within the site that lead to poaching and habitat degradation of the wild animals(reducing sacntaury by 90% by the government). The government later willingly agreeing to its de-listing.

9. Dresden Elbe Valley : Listed in 2006 By UNESCO, located in Dresden, Germany. The controversial bridge construction led to its de-nomination from the Heritage List of UNESCO. UNESCO waited till 2008 to see whether the construction ceases, and later de-listed it in 2009.