Department of
Architecture and Built Environment
 

Image of Bernadette Devilat

Bernadette Devilat

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering

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Biography

Bernadette is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, part of the Architecture, Culture & Tectonics Research group. She supports several courses and is the Deputy Course Director of the MArch Advanced Architecture Design. Regarding research, she is leading Phase 3 of the 3D for Heritage India Research project: 'Applicability and scalability of a sustainable re-construction framework for seismic-prone heritage areas of Gujarat, India' funded by AHRC and DCMS, and also the EWAP Grant: 'Documenting the Heritage Churches of Chiloé: the record as a knowledge transfer for conservation'.

She has a PhD in Architectural Design from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), and a Master in Architecture from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, with teaching experience at those universities. Dr Devilat is also the co-founder of DLA Scan Architectural Studio, with several built designs in Chile.

In 2016, she created and led BScan, a 3D laser scanning teaching cluster at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, focusing on representation and digital preservation. She is a member of professional associations and a peer-reviewer for the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. She has obtained funding and scholarships to carry out her research. Dr Devilat has presented her research as a key and guest speaker in several seminars, presented papers at International Conferences, published in journals, and books, and exhibited internationally.

From 2020 to 2023, she worked at the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage (CAUGH) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), collaborating with the research project on the Hawara Pyramid and Labyrinth, Egypt and obtaining internal and external funding to lead research projects as Principal Investigator. She led 'Surveying Heritage Buildings In Ahmedabad, India: Empowering Local Action And Skills For Heritage Conservation', and 'Sustainable approaches for the conservation of built heritage at risk based on advanced recording technologies' funded by NTU. She also led: 'A sustainable re-construction method for seismic-prone heritage areas of India based on advanced recording technologies' phases 1 and 2, in collaboration with international partners, externally funded by AHRC/DCMS. An interview about her research is available to view here.

Expertise Summary

Her research includes novel ways of improving heritage intervention in seismic-prone settlements, which started after the 2005 earthquake in Tarapacá, Chile, when she co-founded the Tarapacá Project, building a Community Library; as a prototype. She developed housing strategies via her MA, contributing to her work at the Heritage Reconstruction Programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development after the 2010 earthquake in Chile.

In her PhD studies, she created inventive uses of technologies in response to the constant risk of destruction for three heritage areas in Chile affected by high-magnitude earthquakes in 2005 and 2010. Using terrestrial 3D laser scanning (LiDAR), she introduced an in-depth understanding of contextual information-social, spatial and architectural-to improve post-earthquake recovery and resilience, and developed alternative re-construction design strategies. She studied how heritage areas of Chile have been adapting to earthquakes, also analysing the transformation of some of its monuments over time and exploiting the role of the digital record in the context of technological advances, rooted in the international debate about heritage conservation. Her PhD visual work has been awarded twice and exhibited several times internationally. More recently, she has expanded this work to seismic areas of Gujarat, India, with international collaborations.

In her architectural practice, she developed a remote architectural design for a house in Chile based on 3D laser scanning of the site, exploring this method as a new form of architectural representation, which has been exhibited and published. Dr Devilat has also used these methods to document several buildings in London while training students, exploring their role as digital versions that can last longer than the physical constructions, which is especially relevant for heritage at risk of damage or destruction, such as in the case of earthquakes.

Teaching Summary

Supporting tutor at:

ABEE4114: Design Thesis Project

ABEE4053: Culture and Context in Practice

ABEE4006: Building with the Past

ABEE1006: Architectural Humanities 1

Research Summary

1. Research Grant: Documenting the heritage churches of Chiloé: the record as a knowledge transfer for conservation, a grant from the Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP), Oxford Brookes… read more

Current Research

1. Research Grant: Documenting the heritage churches of Chiloé: the record as a knowledge transfer for conservation, a grant from the Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP), Oxford Brookes University, funded by Arcadia - a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.' Research Team: Dr B. Devilat (PI), Dr Felipe Lanuza (Research Fellow) University of Nottingham; Dr Umberto Bonomo (collaborator) & Santiago Bernales (Research Assistant), Centro del Patrimonio Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (CENPUC); Natalia Cruz (collaborator), Fundación Iglesias de Chiloé and Dr Lorenzo Berg (collaborator), Universidad de Chile. Supported by Prof M. Gamal Abdelmonem CAUGH NTU. October 2022 to October 2024.

2. Research Grant: 'Applicability and scalability of a sustainable re-construction framework for seismic-prone heritage areas of Gujarat, India', funded via the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the joint call: AHRC -DCMS Partnership on Global Cultural Heritages and the Challenges of Natural Disasters and Climate Change: 2022 Follow-on Funding Call. Project Reference: AH/X006832/1. Research Team: Dr B. Devilat (PI), Dr Felipe Lanuza (Co-I), University of Nottingham; Prof M. Gamal Abdelmonem (Co-I), CAUGH NTU; Dr Jigna Desai (Co-I), Mrudula Mane and Nigar Shaikh (Research Associates) and Saatvika Pancholi (Research Assistant) from the Center for Heritage Conservation CEPT Research and Development Foundation (CHC CRDF); and the Hunnarshala Foundation and the Gujarat Institute for Disaster Management (GIDM) as Project Partners. February 2023 to March 2024 www.3d4heritageindia.com

Past Research

2023: Research Equipment internal grant. 3D laser scanner equipment & computer cluster for the ACT Research Group. Faculty of Engineering. University of Nottingham. Dec 2023 to March 2024

2022: Research Grant: 'Sustainable approaches for the conservation of built heritage at risk based on advanced recording technologies', funded via the Talent Fund for Sustainable Futures, Nottingham Trent University. PI: B. Devilat. August 2022 to May 2023.

2021: Research Grant: 'A sustainable re-construction method for seismic-prone heritage areas of India based on advanced recording technologies- Phase 2', funded via the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the joint call: Culture Heritage & Climate Change. Project Reference: AH/V00638X/1 (given as an extension of the previous project after an application for the cohort of funded projects). Research Team: Dr B. Devilat (PI), Professor M. Gamal Abdelmonem (Co-I), Dr Felipe Lanuza (RF), CAUGH NTU; Dr Jigna Desai (Co-I), Mrudula Mane (RA) and Zeus Pithawalla (RA), CHC CEPT Research and Development Foundation; and Dr Rohit Jigyasu (Co-I) and Sukrit Sen (RA), ICCROM. Project Partners: Hunnarshala Foundation and Gujarat Institute for Disaster Management (GIDM). December 2021 to July 2022.

2020: Research Grant: 'A sustainable re-construction method for seismic-prone heritage areas of India based on advanced recording technologies', funded via the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the joint call: AHRC Urgency Grants highlight notice for Proposals Addressing Impacts on Cultural Heritage resulting from Natural Disasters and Climate Change. Project Reference: AH/V00638X/1. Research Team: Dr B. Devilat (PI), Professor M. Gamal Abdelmonem (Co-I), Dr Felipe Lanuza (RF), CAUGH NTU; Dr Jigna Desai (Co-I), CHC CEPT Research and Development Foundation; and Dr Rohit Jigyasu (Co-I), ICCROM. Project Partner: Hunnarshala Foundation. November 2020 to November 2021.

2020: Research Grant: 'Surveying heritage buildings in Ahmedabad, India: empowering local action and skills for heritage conservation', funded via the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) QR Research Funds NTU. Research Team: Dr B. Devilat (PI), Professor M. Gamal Abdelmonem (Co-I), CAUGH NTU; Dr Jigna Desai (Co-I) and Mrudula Mane (RA), CHC CEPT Research and Development Foundation, India. November 2020 to July 2021.

Department of Architecture and Built Environment

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