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Ken’s Diligent Service in Beijing: Day 5

Guess what? Another meeting this morning. This one was really cool, though (not that the others weren't)—a demonstration from some folks in the Palace Museum's education department of some virtual renderings of buildings in the Forbidden City. After modeling the three main Harmony Halls (Supreme Harmony, Complete Harmony, and Preserving Harmony), their next project was to model our own dear Juanqinzhai, because it has, as the director of the initiative put it, “the most beautiful interiors in all the Forbidden City.”

They began by showing a dazzling, panoramic, 20-minute film that flew through an incredibly detailed rendering of the Studio of Exhaustion, zooming in on architectural details and presenting bird's-eye views that can't be reached in real life. They showed that for any particular detail, you could toggle between the pre- and post-restoration conditions with the touch of a button.

The intention of all this effort is to consider different ways of presenting the Forbidden City to the millions of tourists who visit here each year. One of the many challenges facing WMF and the Palace Museum is finding a way to balance protecting the Studio's fragile interiors while still allowing the greatest number of people to experience them. And incorporating the flythrough into an interactive interpretation center is one such way we're exploring.

This evening Nancy and Henry (pictured—sorry, not my best shot) have plans, so I'm off to explore Beijing on my own. We'll see if I'm back tomorrow…