We have visited the Hochshule Luzern – Design & Kunst, also known as Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences. There, and over the last years, a great team of designers, historians, textile specialists and web designers has developed silkmemory.ch, a web portal that offers abundant information about the legacy of Zurich silk industry. Their work and ours in SILKNOW has many aspects in common, so we took the opportunity to visit their new school and learn more about their project. We also studied some avenues for future collaboration, and ongoing mutual learning. Corporate archives of companies involved in silk textile manufacture, teaching materials for design schools, user experience of online catalogs, digital modeling of traditional weaving techniques… these issues and some others provided food for thought during a very useful workshop.
In the photograph: Andrea Weber Marin, Alexis Schwarzenbach, Tina Tomovic, Claudia Schmid from Hochshule Luzern – Design & Kunst and from Universitat de València: Cristina Portales and Jorge Sebastián.
Thanks to all of them for a warm welcome and many smart insights.
On the 24th September, our project coordinators visited the EASD (School of Arts and Design) in Valencia, Spain, and presented the project to students of last semester Fashion Design Course led by Prof. Mar Moya.
The team was composed by members from the SSH team: Ester Alba, Jorge Sebastián and Mar Gaitán introduced the project and explained to young designers the importance of silk heritage and the evolution of designs in silk along European history. Later, Cristina Portalés from the ICT team, showed our Virtual Loom and how it can be used to preserve historical weaving techniques but also to get inspired and boost creativity.
They will apply all this knowledge in an amazing fashion collection that they will present at the beginning of 2020.
From the 18th to the 21st September, Dr. Ester Alba, our Dissemination and Exploitation manager travelled to Kazakhstan in order to attend the 2019 General Assembly of the Silk Road Universities Network. This year’s theme was the “Role of Universities for Transforming Silk Roads into Peace Roads with Prominent Human Heritages” As Sungdon Hwang, SUN’s Secretary-General, said: “The most valuable lesson from the history of the Silk Road is that the key to peaceful coexistence and collective prosperity is to treat individual differences as a cause for celebration rather than segregation, best captured in Silkroadia-the spirit of ancient Silk Road.”
On the 27th June, we held an event at the Museo del Traje in Madrid for fashion schools, technologists, museum curators and universities. This celebration served as a forum to establish common points between cultural heritage and technology, weaving our past into the future.
SILKNOW was introduced by Dr. Ester Alba, dissemination and
exploitation manager, who showcased the importance of silk heritage for the European
economical, industrial and cultural development both in the past and in the
present. This presentation was followed by an interview between, Dr. Cristina
Portalés, senior researcher, and Dr. Rodrigo Martín Galán, Research Progamme
Officer (European Commission). They discussed about the growing connection
between humanities and technology in European projects.
On the 28th June, SILKNOW had its first review meeting at the Instituto Cervantes at an impressive meeting room covered by an imposing glass dome. All work packages were presented and the future paths for the project were traced. After a discussion, the work done so far in SILKNOW was approved with the according to the EU standards.
After a whole year working, we are happy to announce that the first versions of the SILKNOW Thesaurus and Virtual Loom are already done and will shortly be open for everyone to use them are quickly moving forward.
The specialized SILKNOW multilingual thesaurus is being carried out by experts in textile terminology and art historians, and computationally implemented by experts in text mining and multi-/cross-linguality and semantic extraction from text. Controlled vocabularies are essential for researchers as they allow them to be as accurate as possible when defining a term (for conservation and curation purposes) especially in cataloguing, conservation and curation. The SILKNOW thesaurus is designed to connect various textiles located in diverse collections and to standardize a widespread and fragile heritage.
The Virtual Loom is being designed and implemented by computer
scientists with expertise in interactive 3D graphics, being supported by
experts in historical weaving techniques. So far, we have implemented
the basic techniques (plain weave, twill and
satin) and a pictured weaving technique (damask). As input, the Virtual
Loom takes an image, which is interactively processed to discern
between the background and the yarns. This information, together with
mathematical models of the weaving techniques, are computationally
merged to produce a virtual model of textiles’ internal structure. The
Virtual Loom is of interest for the creative industries and education
sector, as users are able to use different weaving techniques for a
given image, choose yarns’ colors, navigate through the virtual model
and produce 3D printed models.
After one year working to preserve silk heritage, we can just say…wow! We haven’t just worked hard to protect silk; we have been breathing and living it: we became youtubers, we have defended social equality and we have met people as crazy for silk as we are.
The SILKNOW team has met in 4
different locations: Valencia, Lyon, Bled and Madrid. During these meetings we
have shared and accomplished our tasks in order to prepare the SILKNOW tools
and we have discussed the project´s future steps.
Especially, we wove our friendship. Hopefully, you will weave with us our past into the future!
SILKNOW is celebrating its first year running by holding an event at the Museo del Traje in Madrid
This meeting will serve
as a forum for dialogue with different agents (museums, tourism agencies,
creative industries, innovation centers, universities …) that will serve to
establish points of encounter between cultural heritage and technology, weaving
the past into the future.
SILKNOW will be briefly
presented, and then an interview with the EC project officer Rodrigo
Martín-Galán will take place.
Let’s keep weaving our past into the future!
Conectando historias: de los tejidos al big data.
SILKNOW celebrará su primer año con un evento en el Museo del Traje en Madrid
Esta reunión servirá como forum para el diálogo con diferentes agentes (museos, turismo, industrias creativas, centros de innovación, universidades…) en el que se establecerán puntos de enuentro entre el patrimonio cultural y la tecnología, tejiendo nuestro pasado hacia el futuro.
SILKNOW será brevemente introducido por la Dra. Ester Alba, profesora titular de la Univeristat de València, seguido por una entrevista dirigida por la Dra. Cristina Portalés con el Técnico del Programa de Investigación de la Comisión Europea, Rodrigo Martín-Galán.
¡Sigamos tejiendo nuestro pasado hacia el futuro!
Place / Lugar: Museo del Traje, Av. Juan de Herrera, 2, 28040, Madrid
Time / Hora: 19:00h.
RSVP / SRC: silknow (at) uv (dot) es
Silk had been part of European creativity from its beginning. Even though, we tend to think in silk as a luxurious item from a distant past, it is a very much alive heritage present in today’s fashion designers and their creations. In order to demonstrate so, SILKNOW lunched an international campaign with professional models and international designers such as Francis Montesinos. This editorial was recorded in Garin 1820, a fabric that still weaves with the ancient techniques.