Digitisation is a key element in many EU Agendas and Cultural Heritage is no exception. Therefore, the Erasmus+ project VI-TRAIN is developing innovative training for traditional/endangered crafts and dealing with structural damage. In order to meet the challenges of digital training of craftspeople,VI-TRAIN partners have now analysed the main techniques and technologies to assess their usefulness for the purposes of the project. As already suspected, there are almost no Best Practice examples in the field of Cultural Heritage or traditional crafts. So, the partners had to look for usable templates in similar fields.
In the case of manual, artisanal work, there are specifics that make comparison quite difficult. A good example is blacksmithing, which is often required in historic buildings: in this instance, simply hitting the anvil is relatively easy to reproduce. Things get difficult when the impact of the hammer on the anvil is lacking, and that is digitally – currently – the case. Slaking lime, on the other hand, would require enormous amounts of real-time data to get the right result. In the real world, the experienced craftsperson has that in feel. Virtually, the condition of the slaked lime must be calculated from the moisture content of the lime and sand, the amount of water added, and the force with which the mass is mixed. Only by calculating the optimum result can be identified. This requires enormous computing capacities, which at the moment neither seem to be available nor financially affordable. In order to find a solution for these crafts specifics, partners need a lot of creativity and experience, so that targeted instructions by experienced craftspeople become digitally viable.
In March and April 2022, VI-TRAIN study visits to the Institute of Digitisation and Computer Science at IMC Krems took place, which excited the participants. The topics were digital options and their applicability for Cultural Heritage, as well as an introduction to the model for the „Virtual Building Damage Identification“ training. Even particularly sceptical professionals testified afterwards that something great is being created here, which will have a lasting impact on the training of craftspeople.
On July 7, 2022, a major multiplier event will take place in Cascais, PT. It will be hosted by the Portuguese Presidency, which is also a partner in the VI-TRAIN project.
You can find more about VI-TRAIN here.