LLILAS Benson “Digital Scholarship in the Americas” Speaker Series
LLILAS Benson’s 2019 Digital Scholarship Fellow Andrea Alvarez will reveal a new approach to understanding the architectural drawings found in Fray Andrés de San Miguel’s manuscript, one of the gems in the Benson’s Genaro García Collection. Fr. Andres’ manuscript is a one-of-a-kind manual about the principles of “Carpintería de lo Blanco” or “Carpinteria de Lazo”–woodwork based on interlaced elements that covered the exposed part of church ceilings throughout colonial Latin America. Using 3D modeling and printing techniques, Alvarez has explored how selected “armaduras,” or wooden structures, from the friar’s work can be visualized and understood through digital technologies. After a brief introduction by UT-Austin School of Architecture Professor Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla, Andrea Alvarez will present the various stages of her methodology: the extraction of extensive geometric data in the manuscript and the recreation of the drawings in a 3D environment to expand our knowledge of these self-supporting structures. The presentation will unveil some of the complexities in the woodwork’s design, fabrication, and installation in 17th-century buildings, underscoring the importance of preserving and further researching Spanish colonial architecture.
Alvarez holds a Bachelors of Architecture from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, from which she graduated with honors in 2018. During her studies, Alvarez worked on researching and cataloging various Venezuelan and Latin American modern buildings as part of her thesis. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters of Architecture at UT-Austin School of Architecture, where her work focuses on historic preservation design and conservation techniques.