“Imagine a classroom where, by wearing special VR glasses, pupils appear in some historical period, see it in digital reconstruction all its glory, with fortresses and palaces, temples and cities…”, presents attracting aspects of his profession architect-3D reconstructor Ruben Sargsyan, believing that every child who studied in such conditions would go to school with utmost pleasure.
Ruben compares his profession with an intensive care unit of the hospital. “Of course, the reconstruction institute as such is just being formed in Armenia but in the 21st century complementing history with just a text is not enough. As people say, it is better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times”, he substantiates his point of view.
Ruben is a research fellow and a graduate student at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. He was born in the family of architects and has applied to the Faculty of Design since his parents insisted that it is a high demand and more suitable profession. Nonetheless, during his years of study his insatiable love and interest in architecture and history always stimulated him to study and learn about these fields on his own. Later, using an opportunity, he has passed examinations on his beloved subjects and has become a graduate student at the Chair of the Theory, Restoration and Reconstruction of Architecture — already implementing in practice all the knowledge and skills that he has obtained in the field.
“Unlike to a restorer, a reconstructor gets a final form of a given structure by 3D modelling. For example, there is a structure of which only foundations are remained, and you do not have enough material for its restoration but by a reconstruction, based on the facts you have, you can get almost its precise image”, explains Ruben, noting that one of his works has been printed in Artak Movsisyan’s book “Ararat-Urartu”. It is his first professional achievement.
Today Ruben also practices his profession at the “Erebuni” historical and archaeological museum-reserve. He tells that he has met the present director of the museum Mikael Badalyan by accident during the archaeological excavations at the Odzaberd fortress archaeological site and common interests have stimulated future collaboration. “Working at the “Erebuni” museum is one of my achievements. Although the field of academia is underpaid but it does not restrict you from loving your work. I come home every day with a smile because I made something good today, got one step closer to my final goal “, Ruben says excitedly.
Soon will be published a book of 3D modelled projects of the young scholar, as well as together with the museum’s administration they intend to make 3D modelled exhibit related to the Kingdom of Van. It is not important how much you are paid what is more important how much you believe in what you are doing – this idea drives the hero of our story. “One day it happened so that I wanted to guide pupils visiting the museum to the fortress although my work is not related to the guides’ department. I was wearing the Urartian period soldier’s outfit reconstructed by my friend. Together with children we went to ‘conquer’ Argishti’s fortress. Children’s excitement was so great that I was no less excited”, says joyfully Ruben ‘the soldier’. In his opinion, presentation of Armenia to tourists should start from the Erebuni. He proudly recalls that when he was in Italy as a tourist the guide referring to him affirmed that you cannot impress Armenians with ancient history.
Ruben’s research topic is the Kingdom of Van – providing clues for many issues related to that period by 3D modelling. His ancestors are from Van. They have settled in Yerevan in 1915 and from that time on they live in the city center at the Grigor Lusavorich avenue. Throughout the years the city has grown around their place, and today, using his professional skills, he is going to reconstruct ancient Van — his ancestors’ city. Our hero opens up about his deep-rooted love toward his profession: “As funny as it may seem the first seeds of my interest appeared after watching “The Mummy”, especially after that episode when the girl returns in her mind to the past and imagines the actual look of that place”.
Ruben also says that he has visited the “Erebuni” museum for the first time when he was 18 years old, on his birthday. “There was a book about the Erebuni at home, I went through its pages by chance and became curious instantly. After two months I was recruited to army and that time was enough for me to understand that architecture and history are those fields that I want to work in. And over the years, step by step I got to my place”, he says shifting from past to present.
Besides 3D modelling, Ruben has an amateur job, he reconstructs the garments of a king, a queen and a high priest dating to BCE 1st century. “My personal experience shows that when I do any work its application finds itself later. We have such a rich historical heritage that even if we have an army of reconstructors there would always be a work to be done and for good work investors are always found. It would be great if our motherland with its rich historical past had many architect-reconstructors”, concludes the young scholar.
Edited by Lala Badoyan