Tag Archives: 3D visualizations

Programme for Workshop on 3D and the History of Crime

The History of Crime and the Courts in Three Dimensions

Tuesday 20th October, Sussex Humanities Lab, Silverstone Building, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9SH. Campus Map

Registration: Please register via the Eventbrite page


9:00: Coffee
9:30: Linda Mulcahy (LSE), and Emma Rowden (Sydney), Unicorns and Urinals: Why do modern courts look the way they do?
10:15: Valeria Vitale (King’s London), An Ontology for 3D Visualization in Cultural Heritage
11:00: – Coffee
11:20: Tim Hitchcock, Re-imagining the Voice of the Defendant at the Old Bailey.
11:50: Nick Webb (Liverpool), Analysing historic works of architecture using digital techniques.
12:30-1:20: Lunch.


Professor Linda Mulcahy (LSE), and Dr Emma Rowden (UTS Sydney): Unicorns and Urinals: Why do modern courts look the way they do?

In this paper we will explore the history of ideas about court design and why it is that contemporary English courts look the way they do. Drawing on the findings of a Leverhulme grant we will explore the principles and claims underpinning debate about how the different actors in the trial are positioned in the courtroom. In particular we are keen to identify the conditions of possibility that have made the form and content of the various centralised design guides produced since 1970 legitimate. We argue that in addition to concerns about how design facilitates due process the history of court design has been progressively fuelled by fears about lay users of the justice system.

Valeria Vitale (King’s College, London): An Ontology for 3D Visualization in Cultural Heritage

The use of 3D computer graphics and modelling techniques in the study of the ancient world has been mainly limited to the display of traditional research. Often, their value has been assessed merely on aesthetic quality. Behind every scholarly 3D visualisation is a thorough study of excavation records, iconographic documentation, literary sources, artistic canons. However, this research is not always detectable in the final outcome, and 3D visualisations do not seem able to meet the standards of scientific method (reproducibility) and academic publishing (references and peer-review)… More specifically, an ontology for 3D visualisation in cultural heritage could, in the first place, define and describe the components of the 3D model and their relationships. This would help rebuilding data and metadata if the visual component was not readable anymore, enhancing accessibility, sustainability and longevity of the information. Through a dedicated ontology, a researcher could also assess the degree of speculation involved in the creation of each 3D element and its relationship with sources and referents, thus presenting 3D visualisation as a scientific hypothesis and not an «exact reconstruction».

Tim Hitchcock (University of Sussex): Re-imagining the Voice of the Defendant at the Old Bailey

When the sessions house at the Old Bailey was rebuilt in the 1770s, a traditional open courtroom was transformed in to a fully enclosed space, with a new and complex internal layout. The relative positions of the judge, jury, defendants and witnesses where substantially reconfigured. This presentation represents a preliminary attempt to capture the significance of that transition in sound: to explore how the different actors in the legal drama of a trial heard, both their own voice, and that of other participants. By modelling the location of different speakers in the courtroom both before and after the rebuilding, and acknowledging the very different sense of space encountered in a room open to the elements, to one enclosed by four walls, this paper seeks to help recapture the eighteenth century experience of being tried and sentenced at the Old Bailey.

Nick Webb (University of Liverpool, School of Architecture): Analysing historic works of architecture using digital techniques

This presentation will discuss the use of digital techniques to analyse significant works of architecture, whether they exist, are destroyed or are not built at all. A methodology is introduced for future research employing digital tools in this context. Examples will show how the process augments research already undertaken by architectural historians, who provide traditional critique and analysis, by testing such studies further using a range of contemporary digital techniques. The findings demonstrate the significance of the process of constructing digital representations of architectural artefacts. This is important, as inferences have to be made due to representational source data such as architectural drawings almost always being incomplete. Therefore parallel study into the architect, their architecture and the contemporary context they worked within has to be investigated in order to fill in gaps in an informed way. The study of such primary and secondary source data may also reveal lines of enquiry that can be investigated using digital techniques. The key here is the advanced knowledge that digital tools bring compared to the critique of a work of architecture that was carried out in a pre-digital context.

Download programme (pdf)

Workshop: The History of Crime and the Courts in Three Dimensions

We are very pleased to be able to announce details of the project’s third workshop, which will focus on historical 3D reconstruction and visualization and on the importance of the physical space of the courtroom in influencing and mediating experiences of justice. This is closely related to key strands in the project’s Voices of Authority research theme.

Event Details

This half-day workshop addresses the ways in which historians can use 3D modelling to better understand and communicate the experience of standing trial in the past. Part of the Digital Panopticon research programme, speakers from history, digital humanities, architecture and the law will consider how the exploration of physical space is changing historical understandings of crime and the courts.

Tuesday 20 October, 9:00-13:00, Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton.

It is free of charge and anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome, but space may be limited, so please register in advance.

Provisional Timetable

9:00 – Coffee
9:30 – Linda Mulcahy (LSE), and Emma Rowden (Sydney), Title to be confirmed.
10:15 – Valeria Vitale (King’s London), An Ontology for 3D Visualization in Cultural Heritage
11:00 – Coffee
11:20 – Tim Hitchcock, Re-imagining the Defendant’s Experience at the Old Bailey in 3D.
11:50 –  Nick Webb (Liverpool),  Title to be confirmed (sound and cathedrals).

Event booking page