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MA Student Alan Carrillo on the Wawel, 3D Modeling, and Templar Typology

April 24, 2019

As the Spring 2019 semester comes to a close, MA Student Alan Carrillo speaks on the models he’s being making in the Wired! Lab, what he’s learned in his first year, and how everything will come together in his thesis.

What are you working on in the Wired! Lab?
I am working on a digital reconstruction of the Wawel Royal Residence in Kraków. It is not merely a reconstruction of what exists today, but instead, we focus on tracing the different construction phases from its conception to the war period. The reconstruction is a part of Paul Jaskot’s broader project, Mapping German Construction. Our attention is currently on occupied Kraków during WWII. I work on one of three fronts, the other being the Ideal Plan and the Ghetto. Our interest in the Wawel stems from Hans Frank’s (the Governor-General of the Generalgouvernement) decision to make it his residence.

How does the project fit into your other academic or thesis work?
Before working here at Wired!, I worked on UCLA’s Paris, Past and Present project where we produced digital models of lost Parisian monuments. I came with a background on architectural modeling, but working on this project has helped me enhance my skills on how to cohesively visualize spaces of transition. Exposure to how we can use these newer methods within a larger framework has definitely influenced my approach to my own thesis. I hope to apply a similar methodology to my own work on analyzing Templar typology.

What is your thesis?
I hope to use digital modeling and GIS to analyze Templar construction. The Knights Templar were a military monastic order founded in the 12th c. following the First Crusade. Initially, they were charged with the responsibility of providing safe passage to pilgrims visiting Jerusalem, but they became a powerful and influential presence in medieval Europe. My work looks at how Templars used models and how we can use both analog and digital models to understand them better. Asking: Is there something new to learn using digital methods?

How has the Wired! Lab helped your work?
What truly sets the Wired! Lab apart from other digital humanities labs is the collaborative environment it produces. Students of varying disciplines come together to work on collaborative projects that draw on each individual’s strengths. This creates the opportunity for external input that helps you break from the monotony of working individually, and I think that’s the best part.

Image Credits: Alan Carrillo