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Highlighting the Role of Languages in Bridging Tangible and Intangible Heritage through Interactive Digital Media


Tangible heritage includes parts of our heritage such as architecture, paintings, sculptures, heritage sites etc. Intangible heritage instead, refers to elements in our culture such as languages, festivals, cuisines and traditional craftsmanship. While there has been a long history of the documentation and preservation of tangible heritage, there is, relatively speaking, a shorter history when it comes to documenting and preserving intangible heritage. Intangible heritage has often been described as a critical force behind cultural diversity and the fragility of intangible heritage has become one of the priorities of international concern. In the event of cultural obsolescence, language is often one of the most ‘perishable’ links to our heritage and the loss is often gradual and insidious. This often takes place without any visible or concrete traces within the community. This is contrasted with the destruction or the degeneration of tangible heritage, which is visible and attracts more public attention and awareness. Currently, there is an increased awareness of the crucial role language plays in binding such intangible heritage together. Despite the critical role played by intangible aspects in conserving and preserving our heritage, documenting it and displaying it in a form that is accessible and engaging still remains a challenge for researchers and museum curators. As a point of cultural confluence, Singapore, with its technological and infrastructure edge is well positioned to play a leading role in the field of cultural heritage.


  • Foreground the role of languages as repositories of intangible heritage and develop novel ways of accessing language resources (x)
  • Augment the selection of archiving systems for intangible and tangible heritage (x)
  • Enrich the selection of interactive tools and novel interfaces for communication between the memory institutions and visitors (x)
  • Enhance models for content development and interdisciplinary collaborations (x)
  • Stimulate the collaboration and knowledge transfer between: academia, memory institutions, R&D institutes, ICT & Creative Industry
  • Support and expand collaboration between students, researchers and faculties at NTU
  • Establish NTU as an international leader in the field of intangible heritage interpretation


  • Build frameworks for digital cultural heritage projects and engage interest groups at NTU
  • Initiate, facilitate and accelerate projects
  • Arrange collaborative workshops at NTU for researchers and students
  • Identify new possibilities and partners in Singapore within cultural heritage and ICT & Creative Industries
  • Set up a collaborative network in the Asia Pacific region
  • Establish collaboration and participation in European Union programs

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