(Børre Johan Ludvigsen)
I was born in Fredrikstad, Norway on March 1, 1946. In 1951 my father took a job as a mooring master (ship's pilot) with Tapline (the Trans Arabian Pipleine Company) in Saida, Lebanon which was my home until they returned to Norway in 1971.
My schooling was first 7 years at the Tapline School in Saida and then 5 years at ACS (the American Community School) in Beirut where I graduated from high school in 1964.
In 1970 I qualified as an architect from the School of Architecture at the then Kingston College of Art, now Kingston University at Kingston-upon-Thames just west of London, England.
After practicing architect as an assistant in Fredrikstad, Norway until 1980, I started my own architectural practice with two collegues in 1981 which was also the year I was introduced to computing. One of my first jobs in private practice was project consultant on the development of a building specifications program for architects at the Østfold College in Halden, which is about 40kms from Fredrikstad and 150km southeast of Oslo.
In 1987 I was invited to become visiting professor of information technology at the Oslo School of Architecture. During my two years there, I established courses in computer usage, computer aided design and presentation.
After 10 years in private practice both as a designing architect and software consultant to the building industry, I went into teaching and research as an associate professor in the department of computer science at Østfold University College in 1990. My responsibility was establishing and teaching a third year curriculum in multimedia. I am now full professor in the department teaching software design and researching information architecture (designing and constructing digital environments).
From April 2016 I have been professor emeritus at HiØ.
As my childhood was spent in Lebanon, where my parents allowed me great freedom to mix with friends in the local community - I have always felt a strong affinity to the culture of Lebanon and the Levant. (A consequence of which is also a reasonable fluency in colloquial Arabic.) While the war in Lebanon was an impediment to returning (which was always the intention after a short period in getting to know my parents' country, Norway), the relative peace of recent years has allowed me to revisit. My attachment to Lebanon has been an inspiration in creating the World-Wide Web server of cultural information about Lebanon and the Levant which I have named "Al Mashriq".
The interest in culture and history in great part due to inspiring school teachers in a cultural environment has has allowed me to work in that field both professionally and in leasure. During the late 1980's I was employed as consultant in marine archaeology at the Borgarsyssel County Museum in Sarpsborg. At that time I carried out a marine archaelogical survey of the old port of Smaugshavna in Østfold. Another survay was of finds of white caolin clay pipes in the harbour of Loshavn at Lista in the south of Norway. The survey was published as a report by the county conservation office. Finally, I was responsible for the excavation of an 18th century clay pipe factory at Larkollen near Moss in Østfold
As a practicing architect for over 20 years, I have had the opportunity to design and see built a wide variety of buildings. These include private and social housing, industry and office buildings, hotels, public administration buildings and several churches. There have also been various industrial and graphic design projects including liturgical furniture, elements and printed presentational material. An example is the design and configuration of the workstations for the new Oslo Air Traffic Control Center - drawings here and pictures here.
Starting in 1993, I have been responsible for several research and development projects in our department. These have been mainly based on the various uses of the Internet in teaching and research. In addition to Al Mashriq, our main work at present is the real time multimedia streaming projects for UNINETT which includes a video-on-demand service for the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget): http://media.hiof.no/. Earlier projects no longer under developement, but part of the pioneering development of Internet use in Norway are a series of projects for Norwegian National Broadcasting (NRK) and "Home on the Web" - a multimedia remote workplace.
In 1997 I helped establish the Digital Documentation Center at the American University in Beirut, which is an ongoing project that includes research and publications from various departments and some remarkable digitized collections from the library archives. Not least of which is Aftim Acra's seminal research on solar disinfection of drinking water.
- Barre Ludvigsen
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