bo[AR]d GAME: Tools and Methods for Architectural Heritage Augmentation

-AR/VR | - online workshop | -English


Required Skills: Beginner in 3D mesh modeling software.

Required Software: Blender 3.0 (macOs/Windows), Adobe Photoshop (macOs/Windows), Crazy Bump 1.22 (Windows preferred), Agisoft Metashape (macOs/Windows), Reallusion Character Creator (Just Windows)

Required Hardware: Laptop or PC supporting the mentioned softwares.
Maximum number of participating students: 100

Following a board game designed and implemented at MIT Design Heritage Lab, we will use state-of-art technologies (Photogrammetry, Materials and Rendering, and Character Design) to augment the game. The workshop will take place for five days, with three different modules from 27 June to 1 July. Finally, the workshop’s results will be published at   The real cultural representation of the orientalist world has been always filtered through the lens of Western ways. Anatolia, a land of diversity, has been often presented by its counter-image rather than the historical facts and interpretations. This workshop aims at the Silk Roads of Anatolia in the Seljuk period with a comprehensive focus on its tangible and intangible heritage. The journey will initiate with the 3D modeling of the related caravanserais and characters and continues to be augmented on an interactive and immersive multiplayer classic board game developed through the geospatial data collected during the land surveys. The specific board game chosen for this workshop is designed and implemented at the MIT Design Computation lab. The alpha version of this game targets the use of the collective intelligence of the gamers. In this workshop, the participants will design and implement AR elements within Blender, Agisoft Metashape, and Reallusion Character Creator to be applied to this board game by uploading and viewing using a platform designed and implemented by Prof. Takehiko Nagakura from MIT Computation Group at Architecture. Workshop Objectives and Outcomes The workshop aims to give all participants a diverse skill set for translating the historical data on the tangible and intangible heritage of this era by modeling, both buildings, and humans, and integrating the outcomes into a specific system to be broadcasted as AR using QR codes to further playtest the game as a learning platform. After attendance to the workshop, the contributors should be expertized in modeling and rendering caravanserais as heritage elements with proper materials in Blender, generating 3D spatial data using photogrammetric processing of randomly collected digital images in Agisoft Methashape, and modeling and spiriting up human models to talking characters in Reallusion Character Creator. Afterward, the results will be uploaded to DHP (Design Heritage Platform) to visualize the AR interaction.

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timezone: (GMT +3:00) Baghdad, Riyadh, Moscow, St. Petersburg
Start timeEnd timeDescription
2022-06-27 - 14:002022-06-27 - 18:00Introduction to the workshop, Gamification in cultural heritage, Special topics in modeling caravanserais within Blender. (Instructors: Dr. Guzden Varinlioglu, Sarvin Eshaghi, Sepehr Vaez Afshar)
2022-06-28 - 14:002022-06-28 - 18:00Module 1 (Photogrammetry): What is Agisoft Metashape?, Data Evaluation, Editing the photographs, Workflow and Process (Align- dense cloud- mesh- texture- model), Building a model, Building an orthophoto-Scale, Georeference, Merge (Advanced). (Instructor: Nur Erdemci)
2022-06-29 - 14:002022-06-29 - 18:00Module 2 (Materials and Rendering): Fundamentals of physically based rendering (PBR) materials and texture maps, Creating textures from photos, Introduction to procedural materials, UV mapping and texturing a 3D caravanserai model. (Instructor: Varlık Yücel)
2022-06-30 - 14:002022-06-30 - 18:00Module 3 (Character Design): Introduction to Character Creator, Creating a 3D Character by Using Headshot Plug-in, Editing the Model with Different Tools, Adding the Skin Texture, Creating Facial Expressions and Animations, Creating Scene (Instructor: Hilal Kaleli)
2022-07-01 - 14:002022-07-01 - 18:00Review of the outputs from the workshop participants - An introduction to DHP (Design Heritage Platform) - Uploading the results to DHP, Testing the models’ AR integration. (Instructors: Sepehr Vaez Afshar, Sarvin Eshaghi)


Guzden Varinlioglu Dr. Guzden Varinlioglu is an award-winning expert in computational design who has dedicated her research to the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. She is now bringing her 20 years of experience to the fields of immersive technologies, game design, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. She pioneered the designs for the collection, preservation, and dissemination of architectural heritage. Her work initiated the Digital Humanities Lab, VRLab, and digital fabrication team at the Izmir University of Economics. Dr. Varinlioglu has deepened her research at institutions worldwide through positions at Istanbul Techincal University, Texas A&M, and UCLA where she was a visiting scholar. Dr. Varinlioglu is currently a Fulbright Scholar at MIT.
Sarvin Eshaghi Sarvin Eshaghi studied for her undergraduate degree in Architectural Engineering, then continued for her graduate studies at Istanbul Technical University in Landscape Architecture. She focused her studies on serious games in the landscape architecture domain. She is also Co-Founder of OyuNest Inc., a company dealing with the production process of digital games.
Sepehr Vaez Afshar As an architect with a computer science background, Sepehr continued his master's studies in landscape architecture at ITU, combining his interests in gamification with the Virtual landscape. Currently, he is studying for his second master's in Architecture at Texas Tech University, focused on the intersection of urban studies, digital heritage, and data science. Additionally, he is the Co-Founder of OyuNest Inc., a company dealing with the Virtual landscape and game design process.
Hilal Kaleli Hilal Kaleli graduated from the architecture department in 2021. She is currently working for the Güzelbahçe Campus Architectural Design Competition at İzmir University of Economics as a rapporteur. And she focuses on serious games, cultural heritage, virtual environments topics.
Nur Erdemci Received her bachelor’s degree in art history from Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in 2018 and currently, she is a master’s student in Istanbul Technical University, history of architecture program. She worked as a project assistant in ANAMED and a teaching assistant in MSGSÜ. She is a research assistant in Boğsak Archaeological Survey since 2016. Her work focuses specifically on Late Antique, Byzantine architecture and digital humanities. Currently, she is working at ARTER.
Varlık Yücel Varlık Yücel is an architect who working as a 3D artist. He is co-founder of Lokko Studio. Lokko Studio provides visualization, virtual reality, and design services worldwide. With his studio he has completed over 200 projects in 18 different countries so far. He received various awards from national architectural, industrial and graphic design competitions. His collaborative virtual reality art project named “anı-görü” exhibited in bang. Prix 2019. Recently, he is working on his Ph.D. at Istanbul Technical University, Architectural Design Computing program.
Özgün Balaban Özgün Balaban is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. He is a computational design researcher and an electrical engineer. He received his Ph.D. from the Architecture and Sustainable Design Pillar at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in 2019, with the dissertation titled “Understanding Urban Leisure Walking Behaviour: Correlations Between Neighbourhood Features and Fitness Tracking Data”. His research interests are data-informed design and urban planning, machine learning in design, the use of game environments for design research, digital heritage, building information modelling, and geographic information system.

All workshops will accept 100 applications MAX.