Visualising history

Timeline Travel – architectural history experienced from a new angle

“Timeline Travel: An Alternative Tool for Architectural History Learning and Teaching” was international project funded within the framework of the 2017 Erasmus+ KA203 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Grants, coordinated by the Gaziantep University in cooperation with University of Bologna, University of Humanities and Economics in Łódź and Yeditepe University besides several associated partners and collaborators.

Project Background

Architectural history classes are usually described as one of “the least enjoyable courses” by undergraduate architecture students. Most of them feel themselves forced to learn the history of the buildings and try to memorize their construction dates, builders or styles, rather than discovering analogies or establishing bonds between history and the architecture evolving with it. In order to change this, Timeline Travel Project created an alternative architectural history teaching and learning tool that triggers visual cognition with the help of a timeline and a map. Accessible through, this tool is designed so that it can be used both as a teaching/learning/research companion and as an e-learning platform. The project website shows the buildings of a city on the timeline and on the map, and it is possible to go forward and backward in time to see changes in architecture and style, and learn about the buildings by clicking on them. It gives the learners the chance of making time travel while studying architectural history.

The Timeline Travel website presents timelines for historic cities, such as Istanbul, Edirne, Bursa and Gaziantep in Turkey or Rome and Ravenna in Italy, and allows to trace the development of Byzantine, Ottoman, Late Classic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture in these cities. With the Timeline Travel Tool it is also possible to create architectural history timelines for other cities as well as timelines of art works, historical events or people.

New Development: Timeline Travel Mobile App

Even after the runtime of the project, lead strategist Muzaffer Özgüleş from Gaziantep University carried the work further by developing a mobile application for Timeline Travel (software was created by Brandwolf; visual design created in collaboration with University of Bologna design team, headed by Stefano Ascari, Adjunct Professor at the Design Faculty).

Now with this mobile application, you may easily create the timelines you wish. What is more, you could not only prepare building-, person- or event timelines, you may create any sort of timeline with any kind of data, in order to visualize and put it in chronological order. For instance, you may exploit Timeline Travel Mobile App to organize the places that you travelled, important events of your life, books you read or photos of your loved ones. Once you created a new user account, you may prepare new timelines from the admin panel, and if you wish, you may propose them to the editors to make them publicly available.