AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Affairs
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts


STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6

An Atlas of Dust

May 3, 2021 – May 14, 2021
Across New York City
Research Question

This workshop will teach students to document, analyze and interpret the atmospheric pollution that is encrusted on the building facades of the Columbia campus. Students will achieve an understanding of existing buildings as long term passive environmental sensors that can give us clues to past microclimates.

Students will work in and out of the Preservation Technology Lab, in collaboration with the CyArk Foundation, which is specialized in the 3D capture of heritage sites, data processing, and creating immersive experiences that convey the power of built heritage.

Project questions include:

  • Is it possible to map, document, isolate and visualize in 3D the layer of dust encrusted on building facades?
  • If so, can we recognize discernable patterns of how the dust settled on the facades?
  • What can these dust patterns teach us about the history of the weather and environmental pollution?
  • Can we learn to read buildings as long term environmental sensors encrypted with valuable material data about pollution?

Through hands-on training led by Professor Jorge Otero-Pailos in collaboration with the CyArk Foundation, students will learn to 3D scan buildings using laser scanning and photogrammetry. We will 3D scan buildings on the Columbia campus. Students will:

  • learn how to process the data into 3D models viewable online.
  • experiment with various digital imaging techniques to isolate the layers of dust on the buildings so they can be visualized independently.
  • learn to analyze and interpret the dust patterns by correlating the 3D maps of dust with historical weather and pollution information, including prevailing winds, yearly rainfall, and historical air quality data.
  • learn digital humanities tools for making their analysis and interpretations available to the public through tagging videos and documents to the 3D dust patterns and 3D building scans.
Output and Findings
The workshop will result in interactive 3D scans of buildings that allow the public to visualize the patterns of pollution and understand their meaning and value for understanding climate change.

Other 2021 workshops

Screen shot 2021 03 17 at 4.41.07 pm
Envisioning Climate: A Virtual Reality Workshop
May 17, 2021 – May 28, 2021
Wang other natures 24
Other Natures
Across New York City
May 17, 2021 – May 28, 2021
Screen shot 2021 03 18 at 8.21.57 am
Building Biography: A Living Archive of Columbia GSAPP
Across New York City
May 12, 2021 – May 26, 2021
Model Fictions
Across New York City
May 5, 2021 – May 17, 2021
Multigenerational Housing for New York City
Across New York City
May 3, 2021 – May 17, 2021
Screen shot 2021 03 17 at 4.09.54 pm
Pushing past 2020: Looking for Equitable Solutions to Post Covid New York City
Across New York City
May 3, 2021 – May 17, 2021
Img 8821
New Paradigms of Residual Space
Across New York City
May 3, 2021 – May 14, 2021
Screen shot 2021 03 17 at 5.01.46 pm
Streets for People
Across New York City
May 3, 2021 – May 14, 2021