In collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut and the project Virtual Interiors: as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research, the PURE 3D project co-organised an expert meeting to discuss challenges and opportunities related to the management and access of archives of virtual spaces and the creation of digital infrastructures for virtual spaces at the occasion of the exhibition MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio, now on display at Het Nieuwe Instituut until September 4. 

More and more design studios, cultural heritage, and academic institutions develop 3D models and virtual environments to visualize spaces for multiple purposes such as design, representation, simulation, analysis, and interaction. Often such developments are project-based and therefore these models and virtual environments tend to lose their original function or gradually stop functioning due to changes in hardware and software and/or user interfaces. This does not only result in loss of investments, but also misses the potential of reusing these digital objects and environments in new forms: designs, exhibitions and research for different user communities or for the general public.

The distinction between 3D models as digital objects and as virtual environments is not clear-cut. However, these objects and environments have the spatial dimension in common which has an impact on the processes of managing and making archives available; hence Archiving Virtual Spaces. The expert-meeting will focus on four interrelated aspects of archival practices of virtual spaces that order the presentations and discussions of the event: 1) archival black holes, 2) archival re-use, 3) archival reconstruction, and 4) archival interactions.