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THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2016 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS Historical Architect Diane Favro and her 3D visions of Imperial Rome VALERIO VIALE D iane Favro, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, as well as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of the Arts and Architecture, is one of the most prominent experts in Ancient Roman architecture. Don't tell her that it is impossi- ble to travel back in time and space? She would say you that you're definitely wrong! In fact, going back two millen- nia ago and walking through the streets and the buildings of the "Caput Mundi" is possible. How? Through several advanced 3D models, which enable everyone to have an immersive, multisensorial experi- ence, which Diane contributed to create, through decades of research. Please, introduce yourself. Do you have Italian ancestry? What is your cultural back- ground and how did you grow fascinated by Ancient Roman era? I'm Diane Favro and I'm Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, as well as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of the Arts and Architecture. As far as my origins, at the beginning of the twentieth centu- ry, my grandparents emigrated from Northern Italy to Southern California. My family, on my father's side, hails from around Turin (capital of the Piedmont region), while on my mother's, it comes from around Lake Como. I grew up in the Santa Barbara community, rich in Northern Italian heritage. The local Piedmontese Group even orga- nizes an annual "Polenta party". I've always been very interest- ed in Italian culture and, in the 70s, I went to Florence, wishing to study at the local university. However, my plans got fouled up by the students' uprising. Therefore, I did a lot of inde- pendent studies and started focus- ing on Etruscan Art. Soon, I switched my attention to the Romans, because of the abun- dance in literature about their times and their daily lives, which was not the case with Etruscans. How do you manage your concurrent roles at UCLA? Being part of the Architecture Department, which is primarily a professional School, I've had the chance to work alongside archi- tects. It's stimulating the "crossover" between my studies in ancient architecture and the contemporary practice of this dis- cipline. In the 80s, I was one of the first to use computer modeling in my field. One of my early pro- jects, a reconstruction of ancient Rome, called "Rome Reborn", was on Google Earth. I've always been interested primarily in understanding how people live in a city and not just their gathering in religious and civic buildings, like temples and amphitheaters. As Associate Dean, I look at several disciplines and subjects simultaneously. It's interesting to see how they converge towards the same big issues, like progres- sive measures towards civil rights and the relation between human beings and environment. I've been also involved with digital and urban humanities, as well as served as President of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), which this year named me a Fellow for lifetime achievement. You pioneered 3D real time modeling for historical research and founded the UCLA Experiential Technologies Center. Tell us more about the projects, "Digital Karnak" and the "Digital Roman Forum." Continued to page 3 Architect Diane Favro. Photo Courtesy of D. Favro

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