We develop, test,
and use the latest 

technology to preserve
cultural heritage across

the globe. 

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We create Innovative design Solutions for cultural heritage

SOE provides history-centered design services for clients across multiple industries. From architectural renderings using real world scanning data to research and presentations that stand up to regulatory commission reviews we present dynamic content through rich interactions between users and historical objects.

Our recent Design work
Architectural Rendering1/5
SOE specializes in architectural rendering, animation and visualizations for historic buildings & objects. We use reality capture tools in tandem with professional rendering software to produce eye catching renderings of both interiors and exteriors.
Historic Period Design2/5
We work with leaders in the production industry to provide period specific research and design services for television, film and theater. Whether it's providing period specific research for 19th century tea etiquette, or sourcing wood stamped wall paper, we guarantee that your work will withstand the strictest scrutiny from your audience.
Visual Communication 3/5
SOE works with clients and communities to design presentations, marketing material, way-finding systems, architectural graphics, signage, exhibit design, retail design and themed spaces. We present dynamic content through rich interactions between users and historical objects.
Experience Design4/5
We design experiences that create culturally relevant solutions to enhance user engagement and satisfaction. SOE develops Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and 360 Video to create touch-points that communicate, entertain, and educate people about cultural heritage. We're committed to designing inclusive experiences that are accessible to all users.
Exhibition & Fabrication5/5
We work with clients such as museums, visitor centers, heritage parks, themed entertainment venues, trade shows, corporate environments, expositions, and retail stores to create environments that communicate. Our work often combines architecture, interior design, graphic design, experience and interactive design, multimedia and technology, lighting, audio, and other disciplines to create multilayered narratives within and around historic sites.

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Reality Capture for Cultural heritage preservation

Our studio provides photo-realistic 3D assets for documentation purposes, video animation, and visual effects. We use photogrammetry and laser scanning to deliver turn key assets to client specifications, as well as multi-stage decimation files for Level of Detail systems.

Our recent Scanning work
Our process

Our reality capture process incorporates many important details that are vital to successfully creating accurate 3D assets. We work with our clients to select the best digitization approach based on project constraints such as budget, time, and goals.

In-depth strategic planning  ensures flawless execution of scanning at a minimal inconvenience to site custodians. We begin each reality capture project by researching and assessing provenance, scale, form, and texture, as well as understanding site plans, accessibility, environmental/lighting conditions, and potential security concerns. During the planning phase we work with our clients to distill the project goals in order to define the most appropriate scanning approach. After taking all of these factors into account we create 3D mock-ups that demonstrate our approach for on-site capture. 
A number of different non-invasive 3D scanning methods exist, each with their own advantages and limitations, and recording cultural heritage usually requires that we deploy a combination of these methods to achieve high detail and accurate results. In our experience, laser scanners give the most accurate depth and relief information, while photogrammetry and panoramic photography provide accurate color and texture data. For some projects, photogrammetry alone is sufficient providing a high-yielding balance of depth and color data. We always conduct draft processing in the field to ensure capture of all necessary data.
Processing 3D data is extensive and requires skill, artistry, and powerful equipment. SOE has the computing power and storage capacity to process large data sets in a timely manner. Since we capture high resolution data, post processing is the longest project phase for creating virtual replicas. The total processing time for each project depends on the amount of data captured, in addition to the number and complexity of objects scanned. 
Every 3D asset requires some level of post processing for any desired output. In some instances we have to fill small holes within our data set, and as preservationists we have expertise to appropriately fill in lacunae or missing texture information in a manner that respects the material authenticity of an object.
At every project conclusion we ensure the digital preservation of acquired data ensuring this data remains accessible and usable to our clients for years to come.

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we create cutting edge documentation processes

We conduct documentation with the latest digital tools, which sets us apart from other historic preservation practices. Our strategic, technological approach and fast execution are a solid recipe for documenting objects and sites while you focus on your core project.

Our recent documentation work
Our process

As historic preservation specialists we understand that each project requires its own strategic documentation approach, and we're uniquely qualified to help you determine the output best suited for your needs.

Reality Capture1/5
We use laser scanners and photogrammetry to obtain accurate measurement & color information of an object or site. These tools gives us an edge compared to traditional documentation methods of hand measuring, drawing and modeling, which are extremely user intensive, time consuming, and can result in inconsistencies.
Point Cloud2/5
The scanning data we collect contains millions of colorized points that capture details down to millimeter accuracy. With this level of accuracy, we can produce models that are ensured to be usable by multiple industries that all have different standards and tolerances for their measurement requirements.
Architectural 3D Model (BIM)3/5
Ready 3D models support the planning and design needs of any project, and we've mastered the technology for converting 3D point clouds into Building Information Models (BIM). Capturing precise data from laser scanning and photogrammetry allows us to efficiently and accurately produce 3D models with any level of detail.
Architectural Drawings4/5
In addition to converting 3D point clouds for BIM, we can also create 2D as-built drawings of architectural sites and elements.
We use digital 3D models and 2D drawings to efficiently produce existing conditions and cultural resource surveys.

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Visualization for a new generation of preservation

Our studio fosters the development and adoption of digital imaging technologies for artworks, artifacts, and sites. We collaborate with experts from around the world in engineering, preservation, architecture, and museum/library science.

Our recent digital imaging work
Our process

We work with our clients to select the best digitization approach based on project constraints such as budget, time, and goals. Our process incorporates many important details that are vital for creating accurate 3D assets.

We provide x-ray services for conservators, building construction and artistic purposes. We have the ability to see through paintings, artifacts and building walls using portable x-ray machines. All of our radiography machines are operated by state certified professionals.
Thermal Infrared (IR) 2/5
SOE uses thermal infrared (IR) imaging to perform non-destructive inspections of building elements. IR technology can detect how energy is leaking from historic building envelopes and can significantly enhance clients abilities to understand and execute heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) installations. Additionally, IR can identify problems with the electrical and mechanical installations under full-load operating conditions.
Ground Penetrating Radar 3/5
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) provides a quiet non-destructive, robust and flexible approach to identify hidden elements within a building’s foundation. Often times blueprints, schematics and other information can have significant deviations from the physical locations of what is underground. SOE’s Ground penetrating radar services can not only save your team thousands of dollars but also limit the destructive testing needed to identify unseen elements within historically significant sites.
XRF Spectrometer Analysis4/5
One of the biggest fears when working with cultural heritage is the improper identification and destruction of historic objects. Our XRF spectrometer services reveal important information about the raw materials and manufacturing techniques used in historic buildings and artifacts. XRF can assist in determining artists working methods to aid conservation and restoration of items ranging from 18th century door handles to medieval manuscripts.
Digital Conservation5/5
SOE uses high resolution cameras to document and digitally restore cultural heritage objects. Through our technology focused methods we theorise, collect and analyse data, in order to support systematic evidence-based conservation.

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We Take pride in presenting meaningful and effective information

Our studio conducts historical and archival research for exhibitions, architectural design, designation reports, historic resource surveys, and landmarks preservation commission (LPC) applications. We offer research & presentation services for nonprofits, private firms, government agencies, and universities, and give presentations, lectures, and workshops related to our research & practice.

Our recent Research & Presentation work
Historical Research at the National Archives
Washington D.C., USA
Archival Research
Our process

Our background in preservation makes us expert guides into the world of historic research for compliance with local, state, and federal laws regarding cultural resources.

Develop & Define Research Needs1/4
Before any research project we work with our clients to define the project goals and distill the scope & timeline. Using this information, we develop a research question to inform our approach. 
Identify Collections & Repositories2/4
We use online databases to identify relevant collections and evaluate the extent of materials that suit the project needs with archival finding aids and collection guides.
After identifying collections and repositories we contact archival staff to understand what source materials are available remotely, as well as potential copyright issues.
 In some cases, it is necessary to visit archives to process primary source materials in person. We are equipped to digitize relevant materials using high resolution flatbed scanners and digital cameras. We also specialize in scanning and digitally restoring photograph negatives and color positive film slides. 

Our toolbox

We insist on having the right tools to get new digital workflows out there fast for historic preservation projects.
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Laser Scanning
Laser Scanning is a non-invasive 3D recording method that uses laser pulses to measure the distance from a scanner sensor to an object. This information is converted into a series of xyz coordinates that are plotted in 3D space known as a ‘point cloud.’ We use an HDR enabled laser scanner to produce accurate metrological recordings of an object’s form and texture. In our process we use laser data as a scaled digital ‘canvas’ onto which we can overlay colorized texture data.
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Photogrammetry is the process of taking a series of 2D images to create a 3D model of an object or surface. It involves taking hundreds of overlapping photographs of an object from many different angles and stitching them together in the specialized software Reality Capture. Over the past year our studio has extensively researched and tested photogrammetry workflows, and we’ve found that under ideal conditions photogrammetry can record 3D data of a surface to an accuracy on par with other laser scanning systems available today.
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Panoramic Photography
To capture both accurate and high-resolution color of a flat or gently curved surface we use panoramic photography. In our process we take overlapping, high-resolution images of the surface of the artwork from a single point using a telephoto lens and panoramic tripod head. After, we stitch the photos together with the software PTGui, which corrects geometric distortions and creates a single composite image file. For artworks with little to no relief, panoramic photography can be used to accurately record color and texture information, and the resulting render can be modeled onto a virtual 3D canvas. 
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Spectral Imaging
Spectral imaging is used to collect spectroscopic and imaging information on objects. These analytical techniques can be used to identify chemical makeup at the individual points of the image (pixels) allowing a chemical map of the imaged area to be produced. Our studio is equipped to use both hyperspectral and multispectral imaging techniques, and we’ve explored the application of digital x-ray, UV and thermal imaging for cultural heritage.
our office
123 Bowery
4th Floor
New York, NY 10002