The project aims to digitally simulate the evolution of the real estate strategy of the leading families of the Sion region in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland, between the 17th and 18th centuries. This project is based on the work carried out in the early 1980s by François-Olivier Dubuis and Antoine Lugon.
This project implies a series of questions and challenges, on the one hand, of being able to reconstruct in virtual form the town of Sion at that time; on the other hand, of being able to retrace the history of each building through the archive documents generated by the various successions of purchase and sale of these properties.
The project makes use of virtual reality tools and the digitalization of sources relating to the buildings. These sources are kept in the archives of the Bourgeoisie de Sion and those of the Chapter of Sion Cathedral. The project also aims to call upon handwritten recognition to facilitate research in the corpus.
A project to analyze the corpus of sources is also being defined with the University of Lausanne. This would involve studying the socio-economic evolution of Sion during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Eventually, it will be possible to walk around the town of Sion during that period and learn more about the history of the building and the real estate strategy of the family, and the socio-economic profile, and evolution of its inhabitants. A prototype has been developed during the autumn of 2019 and has shown the full potential of such an approach.