This book is a collection of papers written by some of the experts involved in the seminar activities of the Living Lab, organized by the Department of Architecture (D’Arch) of the University of Palermo (UNIPA), Partner n. 9, as part of the strategic cross-border cooperation project “iHERITAGE: ICT Mediterranean Platform for UNESCO Cultural Heritage”. This project was funded by the ENI CBC MED Programme 2014-2020 and coordinated by the Department of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment of the Sicilian Region, Italy. The activities of the Living Lab involved scholars, researchers, representatives of national and international public administrations, cultural associations, tourist guides, young creatives, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and students; they all took part in thematic seminars and onfield proposed activities. The topics covered by the invited researchers and experts were mainly aimed at providing participants with information related to the passionate research activities carried out by archaeologists, geologists, architectural historians, (technical) architects and engineers as well as simple enthusiasts. Such information became the solid foundation for other activities, which then led to the creation of the Augmented and Virtual Reality outputs promoted by the project. These outputs had the ambition of qualifying and improving the level of information, communication and use of the UNESCO heritage related to “Arab-Norman” Palermo and other artefacts, which are not yet included in the World Heritage List serial-site (e.g. buildings, man-made objects and infrastructures, such as the so-called “qanat”). They were also implemented to improve the engagement of the public, especially with the aim of including people with reduced mobility and other related disabilities, as well as the elderly population. In full compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the researchers from D’Arch involved in the iHERITAGE project investigated the civil and religious buildings of the UNESCO WHL serial-site of “Arab-Norman” Palermo, dating back to the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194) as they fully represent the highest expression of that cultural koinè which characterised most of the Mediterranean countries at the beginning of the Late Middle Ages (1000-1492); these are the very same countries that took part in the iHERITAGE project (such as Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan).
Rossella Corrao, Architect, PhD in Building Engineering: Design Techniques and Building Production. She is Full Professor of Architectural Engineering (SSD ICAR/10) at the Department of Architecture of the University of Palermo and carries out her teaching activity, among others, in the course on Architectural Engineering and Technological Innovation for the Master’s Degree Course in Building Systems Engineering. Over the last years, her research activity has been focused on the study of the effects of the technological evolution in the building sector, of the problems related to the construction of sustainable architectural building envelope, and of the evaluation of new materials and technologies to improve the performance of building components. From 2019 she is the coordinator for PP9-UNIPA of the activities related to the project entitled “iHERITAGE: ICT Mediterranean Platform for UNESCO Cultural Heritage” funded by ENI CBC MED Programme 2014-2020 and of the activities of the Living Lab launched in this field. She is author of several books and scientific papers published in national and international journals and conference proceedings. She is, also, co-author of different patents internationally registered, Co-founder and CEO of “SBskin. Smart Building Skin”, academic spin-off of the University of Palermo.