Sustainability and digitization for cultural heritage

Branding and impact communication - Creation of sustainable projects
Baukunst & ePlace Heritage
Branding and impact communication - Creation of sustainable projects
Baukunst & ePlace Heritage

EPlace Heritage is a startup dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage through digitization and virtualization. The startup was born from Baukunst, an architecture firm with more than 15 years of experience in cultural heritage and sustainable R&D projects.

Baukunst is an established service company, while ePlace is a startup that offers a unique complete methodology based on Baukunst's experience. Thus, startup and company were challenged to understand their value proposition, the impact they offer, and the relationship between the two.

Regenerative Economics for the Cultural Sector

The purpose of ePlace is to preserve cultural heritage, for which it seeks to enhance its value and generate economic resources that can be allocated to this preservation. Its vision is to become a digital place to store and preserve cultural memory. There, the heritage is put in value, and people can access it to participate and contribute to generate resources to maintain it.

For its part, Baukunst aims to contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural resources. It does this through sustainable architecture, R&D (for example, with renewable energy projects), cultural management and heritage preservation.

Both brands have a broad vision of cultural heritage: it is not just about monuments and museums. It is also about the legacy of the Valencian huerta and the cultural practices of farmers; or the cultural production of the Brazilian favelas.

The main value of ePlace is to offer a methodology that makes heritage management more agile, efficient, more participatory and interactive, that leverages more of the value of heritage and allows to generate more resources to reinvest in it. The startup presents a complete methodology for the regeneration of cultural heritage:

  1. PRESERVATION. Heritage is preserved through digitization: digital copies of the heritage pieces are made and stored in digital repositories.
  2. VALUING. This heritage is enhanced through the creation of virtual products. Some examples are: digital souvenirs, extended reality (XR) applications that allow accessible tourist routes, and metaverses for virtualized works. In this way it is possible to disseminate and enhance the value of heritage.
  3. PARTICIPATE. It makes it easier for people and institutions to participate in the preservation of heritage. On the one hand, the institutions in charge of the works can carry out a more effective maintenance by having them digitized. On the other hand, citizens and tourists can participate by sponsoring these works or parts of them. 

This model makes it possible to generate more economic resources from the same work, which are then reinvested back into the preservation of cultural heritage. ePlace's work also makes it possible to democratize access to culture. EPlace contributes to reducing the environmental impact of cultural heritage management by offering certain processes and products (such as souvenirs) digitally, without the need for physical production.

One of the actions identified to improve the impact of ePlace is sustainable digitization: using green servers, running on renewable energy, and using open source platforms.

From architectural firm to heritage preservation

A strategic design process was carried out, whereby:

  • The values, mission and vision of both ePlace and Baukunst were defined.
  • The personality, voice and tone of both brands were defined.
  • The target audiences of both brands were studied.
  • Both value propositions were defined in a way that really connected with their audiences, and key messages were designed to do so.
  • Possible actions that brands can take to better connect with their audiences and improve their impact were identified.
  • The services of both brands were redefined, as well as the way of communicating them. 
  • The visual identity system for each of the brands was designed.

Throughout the process, research was conducted with ePlace and Baukunst users to validate the results obtained. We translated the technical and complex concepts of ePlace into concepts linked to the value offered by the brand.

Two transforming brands

Thanks to this strategic design process, ePlace Heritage and Baukunst have:

  • A clear value proposition, with a well-defined narrative and message.
  • Communication strategy to connect with customers and other brand stakeholders.
  • Strategy to implement future actions to improve brand impact.
  • A cohesive visual and verbal identity for both ePlace and Baukunst brands.

Now, both brands, ePlace Heritage and Baukunst, are alive and continue on their way. On this path, Monnou continues to accompany them in the creation of new sustainable projects with which to continue regenerating the cultural heritage.

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