10.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Sharing knowledge for the safeguarding and promotion of the Venice World Heritage site

© Courtney Rosales – St. Mark’s square in Venice

The Venice Project Center (VPC) of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been operating in Venice since 1988. Since, it has engaged over 700 WPI students in about 150 undergraduate theses for the tangible benefit of the city of Venice. Following the philosophy to "leave Venice better than we found it", it collects and disseminates factual information about the city of Venice and its lagoon, using the internet Venipedia platform.

This year, 28 undergraduate students of science and engineering have been in Venice working on 7 projects in a variety of topics. The presentation of the results of this year’s research will be hosted on 10 and 11 December 2012 by the Municipality of Venice and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).

This is a continuation of the project on “Preserving the material culture of Venice” conducted by VPC, with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office, which aims to promote the preservation and restoration of the Venetian material culture. Consisting of over 7,000 individual pieces compiled over the past 20 years, the collection constitutes the most complete and comprehensive catalogue of the Venetian material culture to date.

By centralizing the catalogue on the Venipedia site – the free online resource platform - through the creation of over 3,000 wiki pages, the research group made data readily available to the public. The group further expanded the database by adding 127 decorative keystones and over 50 traditional Venetian watercrafts to the catalogue. As a means of further publicizing the catalogue, the group created a mobile application capable of providing users with information pertaining to individual pieces of public art. Finally, a priority/cost analysis system was established, to be used in unison with crowd sourcing, in order to raise awareness and funds for the restoration of these pieces. The UNESCO Venice Office is now supporting the completion and release of the final version of a Venice Public Art Mobile Application, which will allow the way finding and/or identification of pieces of public art in the streets of Venice, including the ability to update the condition of the piece and to donate for its restoration.

Overview of the two-day programme of final presentations:

Monday December 10, 2012

City Hall, Ca’Farsetti, San Marco 4136, Sala Giunta Piccola

Tuesday December 11, 2012

UNESCO, Palazzo Zorzi, Castello 4930, Codussi Hall

Links to project center websites at: www.venice2point0.org and www.venipedia.org.

Contact: Fabio Carrera at carrera.fabio(at)gmail.com

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