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Transforming Heritage Crafts to Engaging Digital Experiences

Nikolaos Partarakis; Xenophon Zabulis; Margherita Antona; Constantine Stephanidis

Heritage Crafts (HCs) involve craft artefacts, materials, and tools and encompass craftsmanship as a form of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible HC dimensions include dexterity, know-how, and skilled use of tools, as well as identity and traditions of the communities in which craftsmanship is, or was, practised. HCs are part of history and have an impact upon the economy of the areas in which they flourish. Despite their cultural significance, efforts towards HC digital representation and presentation are scattered. In this chapter, as a first step towards the Representation and Presentation of Heritage Crafts as cultural heritage (CH), pertinent requirements and needed technological components are investigated. Representation is expected to capture the wide spectrum of knowledge that an HC covers, from objects and their making, to hand gestures and tool uses that define craft motor skills, to the societal value, economic impact, and historical significance of HCs. Presentation is expected to address the need for exploitation. Representation to conserve cultural resources, contribute to their accurate interpretation, provide essential and authentic experiences, as well as stimulate revenues of cultural resources through thematic tourism. This chapter lays the foundations and envisions the further development and formalisation of a suitable approach to HC representation and presentation in the form of a generic protocol that together with the appropriate technological tools can be applied to any HC instance.

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