In order to have a better understanding of what this visionary incunabulum contains, I am, with my project, proposing to use graphical and architectural forms of analysis instead of purely using literary models, traditionally associated with scholarly work in the past. For this reason, I propose a methodology of study, which allows an understanding of Poliphilus’ descriptions through the visualization of images, that is: Formas Imaginisque Poliphili, meaning “imaginary models of Poliphilus,” revealed. Please note that the resulting reconstructions are not by all means technologically optimal renditions, nor are they perfect compared to what can be done with a professional computer animator or modeler. They are, however, at least a first attempt to visualize those gardens, palaces, and architectural masterpieces, which have inspired theorists and practitioners over the centuries. Hopefully with the aid of foundations or financial institutions that are sensitive to the Humanities, Heritage Sciences, and the Arts, I hope that this project can continue to expand and mature, so as to be informative or “dream” inspiring as the original did with its cryptic descriptions, and beautiful woodcuts.
By utilizing the technology of today with the history and traditions of the past, this project aims to develop a series of digital, artist reconstructions of the architecture and landscapes described in this enigmatic book of the first Renaissance. Since I was dealing with building and environmental design, the passages were quite familiar to those of a basic design background: research, vignettes, scale-measurement-proportion, practical simulations, et cetera. I also employed experience and methods developed during my previous work with Heritage, Conservation, and Cultural projects, such as Bologna, San Francisco, et cetera. In addition, literary resources, such as the works of Vitruvius, Leon Battista Alberti, as well as the works of contemporary experts were reconsidered in order to arrive at a critical and regional development of architectural vocabulary needed to realize these artist reconstructions.
Critical reading of the text, as well as important treatises dating before 1499 (Alberti, Filarete, Vitruvius, etc.), bibliographical reading, etc.
Vignette sketching exercises: concepts, reconstructions, details, and proportion/scale exercises using Alberti’s “cordicelle” method based on the Golden Rule, etc.
Technical, cultural (including philological), and field research: Materials of construction and archetypes described in the Hypnerotomachia; field trips to significant, important sites, and on-site documentation (surveys, photographs, etc.); access and use of resources at important libraries for historical and philological research (needed to confront challenges in visual or contextual interpretation).
Forming a “database” of information, from text references, with information collected and developed above.
Vectorial reconstructions (2D cad drawings of façades, plans, sections, and details) in scale.
Three-dimensional, polygon reconstructions (3D modelling), based on 2D studies.
Adding materials: designing and reconstructing finishes, and updating models in the form of “texture”, based on on-site photographic documentation. All texture is custom designed, directly from prime material.
Environmental simulation (incorporating models with visualisation software to include lighting, shade, etc. for final renditions).