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Research + Work

In addition to studios, workshops, laboratories, lecture and seminar rooms, the college has a number of specialized facilities which support its programs.



The Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites (CERHAS) is an interdisciplinary research and media lab at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). The Mission of CERHAS is to unite research, education and public awareness through innovative and accessible high-quality multi-media presentations, and to connect the importance of our heritage to our modern conditions in meaningful ways.

What we do.
CERHAS begins with land and the human touch on it. CERHAS then aims to re-create environments now degraded or disappeared, or environments which suggest alternatives to real places, using computer modeling and associated dynamic techniques. The spatial visualizations are then formulated as immersive exploratory environments in order to deliver rich interactive multimedia content experiences. The mastery of atmospheric virtual environments, controlled interactivity, spatialized information design, and layered media treatments, positions CERHAS to deliver cutting-edge outcomes across multiple audiences, applications, and topic areas. CERHAS has created works for public education in schools, interactive exhibits for museums, videos and exhibits for historic and archaeological sites, interactive DVDs, and works in other media.

Interactive Media Re-defined.
At CERHAS we are expanding the meaning of interactive media as we develop new ways to approach cultural heritage content.

1. Vivid spatial animations evoke the INTERACTING dimensions of human cultural experience as immersed in architectural and landscape settings.

2. Inclusive INTERACTIONS among diverse disciplinary and cultural perspectives illuminate the meanings of heritage sites and topics for life today.

3. Multiple content layers and INTERACTIVE navigation choices invite visitors to choose their routes through a rich array of experiences.

4. Shared viewing spaces (in our exhibit designs) encourage visitors to INTERACT with each other in discussing and selecting content.

5. Our exhibit space designs create INTERACTIONS among physical features, content panels, and virtual media treatments, creating a unified experience that reinforces take-home concepts.

CERHAS is dedicated to sound scholarship as the basis for all we do. We hold our reconstructions to high and precise standards, and involve scholarly authorities in the planning and execution of all our projects. Within our own team we can draw on expertise in architectural history and practice, archaeology, history, public education, and presentation of material for a variety of audiences as well as media expertise.


The value of exploration.
While accurate scholarship is basic to our work, CERHAS values the ability of our programs to present a variety of voices and points of view. Our interactive media lend themselves to reflecting the open-endedness of knowledge. We can offer and juxtapose ideas from different people, places, and times, as parts of interactive journeys through learning environments.  The particular emphasis on spatial and geographic orientation makes these journeys memorable, and helps people develop their own questions for further learning. In physical exhibit designs, CERHAS has set out to reflect a similar spatial experience: to embody the same spatial principles as the sites themselves.


Collaborative and Funding Partners have included:

  • Behringer Crawford Museum
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan
  • Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Friends of Whitewater Shaker Village
  • George Gund Foundation
  • Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
  • Institute for Aegean Prehistory
  • Midwest Regional Humanities Center
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • Ohio Arts and Humanities Councils
  • Ohio Board of Regents
  • Ohio Historical Society
  • Ohio River Way Inc
  • Ohio State University Newark
  • University of Tuebingen
  • US National Park Service