The EAEA was founded in 1993 in Tampere, Finland, and has reconvened every two years since then. What had originally started as a platform for European academic institutes making active use of optical endoscopy instrumentation, gradually but steadily evolved into a wider range of design visualisation and simulation interests.
The founding meeting, hosted by the department of Architecture of Tampere University of Technology in Finland, was the first international meeting of experts in the field of architectural endoscopy, coming from fifteen universities.
The association was intended to become “a platform for communication and exchange of experiences, experimentation, research and collaboration in the field of endoscopy and environmental simulation.” Initially, the focus of the European Architectural Endoscopy Association lay exclusively upon the visual simulation of the effects of environmental interventions using optical instruments: ‘capturing’ photographic or analogue (video) images using physical scale models, generally using a viewing pipe.
Essentially, the first meeting was a gathering of academic professionals in this field, with the delegates representing institutes with some form of ‘endoscopic’ apparatus. During the conference the participants took part in a workshop session, using the facilities of the Tampere laboratory.
From the first session onward the exclusive focus on optical endoscopy began to shift, first gradually, then more and more steadily towards other environmental visualization opportunities, notably using digital media.
This clearly proved to be the case during the presentations of the second EAEA conference in 1995, hosted by the department of Spatial Simulation at the Vienna University of Technology. In particular, the interdisciplinary conference workshop – ‘the (in)visible city’ – stimulated the integration and comparison of analogue and emerging digital technologies.
For this workshop initiative participating institutes were sent a study model via the post and asked to prepare environmental simulations using their institute’s facilities. The varied results were presented and evaluated during the conference.
Similarly, an important element of the third meeting, held at the Architecture faculty at Delft University of Technology in 1997, was formed by a creative study initiative: the ‘Imaging Imagination’ workshop. Essentially, conceived as a professional confrontation between ‘Optical’ and ‘Digital’ Endoscopy. In this case study, the participants were free to choose between a physical modelling package and a digital file, incorporating texture mapped ‘facades’. Some fifteen visualisation proposals were prepared, brought to the conference and viewed and discussed during a special Imaging Imagination conference session.
Apart from the quality and content of visualization, the aspect of the Modelling as such also became a recurring theme. This was particularly the case during the fourth conference, at the Architecture faculty of the Dresden Technical University of 1999, whereby participants took part in an impromptu hands-on modelling exercise using an interior-scale model.
During the subsequent conferences (the 5thconference at the Institute of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Essen, the 6thconference at the faculty of Architecture at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, the 7thconference at the faculty of Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund and the 8thconference at the Moscow Institute of Architecture) the shift from ‘straightforward’ optical endoscopy towards new techniques and topical issues became more and more evident. Noteworthy developments included the increasingly adaptable, distinctive and indeed elegant modes of digital representation, but also the use of digital photography and film, the opportunities of combined media and graphics, but also the introduction of disciplines such as Experimental Aesthetics and Virtual Archaeology.
This led to recurring discussions concerning the association’s name. To what extent should endoscopy be considered a fitting ‘identity’ for the increasingly diverse enterprises of architectural imaging and environmental visualization addressed at the meetings?
Generally, the sentiment tended to be to uphold the established ‘label’ and to keep the EAEA fraternity relatively exclusive and small-scale in comparison to other, more computer-oriented academic and professional platforms.
During the 2009 Cottbus conference, the thematic differentiation of architectural visualisation approaches and interests once again became manifest during the varied presentations, leading to renewed discussions concerning the EAEA’s meaning and role.
What might be an appropriate name that would do justice to the reputation and tradition of (optical and digital) Endoscopy, whilst at the same time giving expression to the steadily unfolding of fields of interest?
Rather than Endoscopy, Envisioning was eventually agreed upon, as it was felt that this fittingly evokes the shared ambitions for a dynamic architectural visualisation practice and the continued exchange of ideas concerning the imaginative conception of future environments.
The EAEA – the European Architectural Envisioning Association.
It was hoped that this small, but significant, name change would broaden the appeal of the association on an international level, amongst academics involved with architectural visualisation in the broadest sense, researchers and teachers, whilst at the same time stimulating the deepening of the intellectual discourse. The following conferences in Delft 2011 and Milan 2013 proved a great success of this shift.
11 EAEA Conference | 2013 | Milan | Politecnico di Milano
10 EAEA Conference | 2011 | Delft | Delft University of Technology
09 EAEA Conference | 2009 | Cottbus | Brandenburg University of Technology
08 EAEA Conference | 2007 | Moscow | Moscow Institute of Architecture (MARCHI)
07 EAEA Conference | 2005 | Dortmund | University of Applied Sciences
06 EAEA Conference | 2003 | Bratislava | Slovak University of Technology
05 EAEA Conference | 2001 | Essen | University of Essen
04 EAEA Conference | 1999 | Dresden | Dresden University of Technology
03 EAEA Conference | 1997 | Delft | Delft University of Technology
02 EAEA Conference | 1995 | Vienna | Vienna University of Technology
01 EAEA Conference | 1993 | Tampere | Tampere University of Technology
A collection of previous EAEA conference papers is available on CUMINCAD.
last update: 12 April 2016 website by Mateusz Walczak