On the 25th and 26th of November, the SILKNOW team held an online meeting to discuss the project’s progress. This is the second meeting held virtually, due to the COVID-19 circumstances. It was, initially planned to take place in Palermo, with our partner UNIPA as host.
Each team from each work package presented their advancements & progress and we continued our task of cooperation on the interdisciplinary work.
We discuss and make some steps in the integration of all of our tools that would be available through ADASilk website.
Also, we scheduled the evaluation calendar & content, that will be open to evaluators soon.
The University of Valencia (Universitat de València), a SILKNOW Project partner, organized from 30th November to 4th December 2020 the congress “Weaving Europe. Online International Conference on Silk heritage and Digital Technologies“.
The organization of this conference was shared with all the other partners of the European Project SILKNOW, and entirely sponsored by the Conselleria d’Innovació, Universitats, Ciència i Societat Digital, from the valencian autonomous government, Generalitat Valenciana. (Science, Universities & Digital Innovation Department).
For 5 days, technicians, experts, researchers, students and creatives gathered, in a virtual way, in a meeting focused on silk heritage, its conservation and restoration, its digitization, about information technologies (ICT), tourism, creative industries, social innovation and communication of textile heritage.
After few months of an open call for papers, a sum of fifteen communications were selected, which were presented in four simultaneous panels during one of the main days of the meeting.
Registration for the congress was very well received, with more than 150 registered people during the days in which the conferences were held.
Due to the COVID-19 socio-sanitary circumstances, the conference organization made up for the virtual modality, facilitating the participation of more than 50 speakers. All these virtual sessions have been recorded on video, for later dissemination, thus allowing their subsequent viewing.
In addition, the authors will see their presentations published in a proceedings book, which will be available both printed & digital.
The Università degli Studi di Palermo will participate at the Sharper Night. This event aims to involve all citizens in the discovery of what a researcher does and which is their role in building the future of society through the investigation of the world based on facts, observations and the ability to adapt and interpret increasingly complex and evolving social and cultural contexts.
During this event, we will showcase the importance of silk heritage and a live demonstration on the Virtual Loom will be done.
El material didáctico La Ruta de la Seda ha sido especialmente diseñado para el aprendizaje de español a través de diferentes aspectos relacionados con la seda en Europa. El objetivo de su publicación en el portal SILKNOW es el de difundir nuestro patrimonio cultural y poner en valor el intercambio cultural que supuso y todavía supone la producción y el comercio de la seda.
El material puede ser utilizado por estudiantes de nivel B1 de español para el aprendizaje autónomo y también por profesores para el trabajo dentro de un curso, en el aula o fuera de ella. La Ruta de la seda consta de cuatro temas relacionados con la Ruta de la seda y las huellas que ha dejado en nuestra historia y nuestro presente:
Las ciudades de la Ruta de la Seda
Historia de la seda en Europa
Procesos y creación de la seda
Historia de la moda
Cada uno de los temas puede trabajarse de manera independiente, supone aproximadamente tres horas de trabajo e incluye tres capítulos y un total de 18 actividades interactivas para aprender variados contenidos culturales, ampliar el repertorio léxico y consolidar su conocimiento gramatical.
Las actividades se han desarrollado en variadas dinámicas como arrastrar, colorear, elegir opciones, escribir, relacionar, etc. Ofrece una retroalimentación automática que permite al alumno conocer si ha realizado correctamente la actividad, y si lo requiere, puede siempre acceder al sistema de corrección automático, que ofrece la solución de la actividad. Al final de cada tema el alumno accede a una actividad de autoevaluación para revisar los contenidos más relevantes. Igualmente, la plataforma ofrece un sistema de seguimiento automático que indica al alumno qué ha hecho y qué le falta por hacer, y sitúa al alumno en el punto en el que dejó la última sesión. Estas características hacen que el material sea idóneo para el trabajo autónomo.
El material ha sido desarrollado por la Universidad de Valencia, que ha contado con los desarrolladores de la empresa ALTEN, con la colaboración del Instituto Cervantes, que ha asesorado en el proceso de diseño y revisiones, y lo ha pilotado en su red de centros. Agradecemos desde aquí la participación en el pilotaje de este material de los alumnos y profesores de los centros del Instituto Cervantes en Belo Horizonte, Bucarest, El Cairo, Lyon, Orán, Sao Paulo y Varsovia.
La Ruta de la Seda (The Silk Road) educational material has been specially designed for learning Spanish through different aspects related to silk in Europe. The aim of its publication in the SILKNOW portal is to disseminate our cultural heritage and to highlight the cultural exchange that the production and trade of silk involved and still involves.
The material can be used by B1-level students of Spanish seeking autonomous learning and also by teachers for work within a course, in the classroom, or outside it. La Ruta de la Seda consists of four units related to the Silk Road and the traces it has left in our history and our present:
The cities of the Silk Road
History of silk in Europe
Processes and creation of silk
History of fashion
Each unit can be worked on independently, involves approximately three hours of work and includes three chapters and a total of 18 interactive activities to learn various cultural contents, broaden the lexical repertoire and consolidate grammatical competence.
The activities have been developed in various dynamics such as dragging, colouring, multiple choice questions, writing, relating, etc. It offers automatic feedback that allows the students to know if they have done the activity correctly, and if required, they can always access the automatic correction system, where the solution to the activity is provided. At the end of each topic, the students have access to a self-evaluation activity to review the most relevant contents. Likewise, the platform offers an automatic follow-up system that shows the students what they have done and what is left to be done, and places them at the point they were when they left the last session. These characteristics make this material ideal for autonomous work.
The material has been developed by Silknow researchers of the University of Valencia (Universitat de València), which has relied on the developers of the company ALTEN, and in collaboration with Instituto Cervantes, which has provided advice on the design and revision process, and has piloted it in its network of centres. We would like to thank the students and teachers of the Cervantes Institute centres in Belo Horizonte, Bucharest, Cairo, Lyon, Oran, Sao Paulo and Warsaw for their participation in the piloting of this material.
During the very first days of October 2020 we have continued our dissemination tasks with design schools and students.
We have presented to EASD colleagues, in València, our almost finished tools as the Thesaurus, the Virtual Loom and our prospective website where all the collections we have worked with would be available. During their creative process and during the academic year, they would use and work on the basis of our tools.
After explaining all the tools, we encouraged the students to take a look on them, use them, and evaluate them in order to improve the user’s experience.
As we consider silk as alive heritage, we started a very interesting conversation on how all the compiled knowledge, methods, processes, etc. could motivate and inspire new creative professionals with the aim of valuing the silk tradition and importance and on how to spread the word into society.
The cultural heritage domain is characterized by large, rich and heterogeneous data sets, while institutions in charge of preserving the world’s memory strive to obtain controlled vocabularies based on their own collections. The result is multitudes of vocabularies in different languages that are difficult to standardize. This problem increases when dealing with textile records and specifically with silk ones, which comes from multiple sources that have been mixed up across time and space. Moreover, it changes according to specialties (weavers or historians), nationalities (Europe or North America), or disciplines (ethnographic specialists versus art historians), etc.For example, local variations of a term are rarely taken into account (e.g. espolín has different meanings in some regions of Spain). This has led to the use of different terminology in specialized organizations in order to describe their artifacts. This makes data interoperability very difficult between independent catalogues. Among that, the interaction level of existing resources is low, complex queries are not possible and results are poorly shown.
To meet these challenges, SILKNOW has built a multilingual thesaurus in four languages: Spanish, French, English and Italian, dedicated to the specific vocabulary of historic silk textiles, which also includes local term variants. It collects more than 800 terms that not only come from academic and historical sources but also from oral history, as knowledge coming from weavers is something that SILKNOW intends to preserve. Terms that can be found include silk weaving techniques, designs, looms, costumes, etc.
The thesaurus, freely accessible and free for users, offers a specific controlled silk vocabulary, which did not exist until now, since there were only some thesaurus on fabrics of all types and some others of private nature. It is geared to researchers, students and cultural heritage professionals. For example, a researcher may use the thesaurus to connect terms that she or he could have found in historical documentation, providing updated, standard naming for these terms. In addition, when planning exhibitions, a curator often needs to either write the exhibition catalogue or ask for a loan to another museum. In these cases, artworks coming from other countries can be identified in their vernacular languages. Having a thesaurus will help curators to standardize terminology. Art history and conservation students will be familiarized with a variety of textile terms.
The thesaurus will help heritage institutions to provide access to and preserve silk heritage in the digital environment. Participating and collaborating institutions will radically improve their cataloging practices and digital data retention. Therefore, the thesaurus will serve as an example of the benefits of shared cataloging frameworks and data interoperability.