Editions in Craft Exhibition and seminar

at Uglycute / Research and Development

Kvarngatan 14, Stockholm

November 24th– December 2nd, 2012

Opening and BAR: November  24th 16.00 – 


Seminar: November 30th 13-16

Alternative strategies for the preservation of local traditional craft as intangible cultural heritage  


Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday 12-17
Saturday, Sunday 13-16
Monday closed

In the exhibition will present the projects since we started in 2009. Farmer’s GoldProductive Preservation of Straw Craft(2012) was an investigation into the preservation of one the most marginalized cultural heritage in the north, straw craft. We invited a group of artists and designers to participate in a weeklong workshop with local strawcraft women in Dalsland. The participants were Hrafnkell Birgisson (IS/DK), Company: Aamu Song & Johan Olin (ROK/FIN), Studio Formafantasma: Andrea Trimarchi & Simone Farresin (IT/NL), Katrin Greiling (SE/DE), Cordula Kehrer (DE), Katja Pettersson (SE) and Sagovolvo: Jonas Nobel & Bella Rune (SE).

Story Vases (2011) and Coiled (2010)are ongoing collaborative projects by Front (SE) and BCXSY (NL/ISR/JP), with the Siyazama Project, a collective of women from the rural province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa who work with traditional beadwork.

Seminar: November 30th 2012, 13-16

Alternative strategies for the preservation of local traditional craft as intangible cultural heritage

In the Unesco “Convention for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage” (2003), it is defined as “as practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage”. It further maintains “intangible cultural resources as a basic factor for local cultural identity and a guarantee of sustainable development, in the age of globalization”. Traditional craftsmanship is one of the 5 domains it addresses.

The convention notably states that in order to survive, intangible heritage needs to be performed over time and as a performance, intangible patrimony should be located and integrated in the contemporary cultural context, rather than be isolated from it.
This leads to question the merely conservative strategies of museums dealing with traditional local crafts or the commercial craft production, which tends to reproduce existing expressions rather than innovating them.

The convention aims to ensure the safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, including “the identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission through formal and non-formal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of such heritage”.
But intangible cultural heritage causes complex problems of conservation. The existence of such knowledge and traditions, is not granted for ever, globalization and outsourcing threaten local crafts, whereas the act of safeguarding itself can lead to a static conservation and stationary tradition.

Meanwhile the new millennium has witnessed a so called “craft revolution”, not only in art and design, but also for example in food and fashion, in which the handmade and the traditional have become a competition to the mass produced global market and which criticizes the social and environmental consequences of our discount culture. While at the same time, due to high production and material costs small craft manufacturers are forced to outsource their production to countries where hand labor is cheaper.
Outside the museum walls craft is nowadays mostly produced as souvenirs for the tourist market and has lost much of its original function. (And also the souvenir industry has many of its craft products produced abroad.) Craft tends to evoke nostalgia about lost values and traditions, and over time became to symbolize national identity. It more often than not represents a frozen moment in time.
The 21st century also provides new challenges for the handmade, with the growing impact of new technologies, such as 3D printing, digitally-generated objects, transforming the way objects are made and can be distributed.

The seminar will address preservation of traditional crafts and the dilemmas encountered.
How can one sustain local craft in a globalised world, with outsourced markets and cheap labor? How can craft be preserved within contemporary culture, without stagnation? We look to address topics as local production and global distribution systems, outsourcing, craft as empowerment, craft as a symbol for local identity, the provenance of materials and ideas, or the impact of new technologies, such as 3D printing.

The speakers are:

Satu Miettinen (Finland), service and social designer, professor at University of Lapland

Brynhildur Pálsdóttir and Gudfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir, product designer, co-founders of Vík Prjónsdóttir and co-directors of the project Designers and Farmers

Heidi Winge Strøm (Norway), textile designer

Katja Pettersson (Sweden) product designer, senior lecturer Beckmans College of Design and founder of The Fifty Fifty Projects

Short bio’s:

Satu Miettinen (Finland) works as a professor of applied art and design at the University of Lapland and has been working and publishing in the area of service design research for several years. She has worked as a research lead and director in the service design project called Service design for Elderly funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and Technology. She also worked as a principal investigator in the “Experiencing Well-being – Developing New User Interfaces and Service Platforms for Leisure” project, funded by TEKES, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and Technology, TEKES. From 1997 to 2006 she worked as a project manager and specialist in the areas of crafts development, cultural and creative tourism in several international and European Union-funded projects. Satu Miettinen has also worked actively in the area of social design in Namibia.

In her presentation she will discuss service design as a tool for developing new service orientated concepts in the area of crafts production. Different case studies from Lapland, Namibia, Azerbaijan and India will look at how crafts production can benefit from service design approach.

VÍK PRJÓNSDÓTTIR (Iceand) is a creative brand that designs and produces quality products from Icelandic sheep wool; a unique and sustainable source and is a collaboration between the designers Brynhildur Pálsdóttir, Gudfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir, Thuríður Sigurþórsdóttir and the knitting factory Víkurprjón. They believe that it is their task as designers to make use of the natural materials and conditions that exist in Iceland, rather than using imported materials or outsource the production. Their ambition with Vík Prjónsdóttir is to show an unconventional image of the Icelandic woollen industry by developing new products with traditional Icelandic material.

Born in Reykjavík 1979, Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir graduated as a product designer in 2004 from The Iceland Academy of the Arts. She believes in curiosity as the main drive for creativity. She is interested in the challenge to work with local materials and production and wants design to be participant in society. Along with many other projects Guðfinna has been lecturer for various institutions in Iceland. In the winter of 2008-2009 she was the program director of product design at The Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Brynhildur Pálsdóttir is born in Reykjavík 1979 and graduated as a product designer from The Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2004 and continued her studies at The Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where she graduated from the Design Lab department in 2005. Since her graduation, she has worked on various projects as a product designer with the main focus on local materials and local productions. She has also worked as a consultant and a designer for MATIS, Icelandic Food and Bio tech, and has been part of developing ceramic studies at The Reykjavík School of Visual Art. She has  lectured there since 2007.

Besides being the co-founders of Vík Prjónsdóttir, Finna and Brynhildur are also co-directors of the project Designers and Farmers (2007-2012), developed for The Iceland Academy of the Arts, were product designers and farmers were brought together to develop unique high-quality food products based on Iceland’s traditional produce.


Heidi Winge Strøm (1980 Porsgrunn, Norway) has a ‘Master of European Design’ from the Glasgow School of Art and a ‘Diploma’ in textile design from Ensci Textile in Paris. Her work diverges from social design and artisanal collaborations to luxury projects for architects, designers and private clients. She lives and works in Oslo and Paris.
In the seminar she will focus on two collaborative projects, Design without Borders and Cultural Weavings.

From 2006-2008 she worked for ‘Design without Borders’ on participatory design processes in a collaborative project with Mayan weavers in Guatemala, in which they created hand woven, high quality textile-products for a western market, taking care of and making use of the crafts and know-how of the women, while inventing new textiles and products.
In Cultural Weavings (2009-2010) she worked together with a group of women from an asylum seeker reception centre and local women from Ytre Arna, a small town outside of Bergen. In 5 workshops the women came together to create textile ottomans using textile-techniques from 6 different countries and cultures, while discussing the effects of migration and the multicultural Norway of today.


Katja Pettersson (Sweden) product designer, senior lecturer Beckmans College of Design and founder of The Fifty Fifty Projects Katja Pettersson was one of founding members of Stockholm based design group Front since 2003 and has established her own design company in 2010. Katja has graduated in Industrial Design at Konstfack in 2004 and she has also a background in theatre costume design and making. With Front she worked nationally and internationally, including with companies as Moooi, Moroso, Kartell, and Established and Sons. Their work is in the collection of Museum of Modern Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, National Museum and Rhösska Museum in Sweden amongst others. Katja is a senior lecturer at Beckmans College of Design since 2011.



With generous support of:
Fonden Innovativ Kultur
Kulturkontakt Nord / Nordic Culture Point
Nordisk kulturfonden
Frispel Västra Götalandsregionen

Thanks to:

Halmens Hus
Steneby, Göteborgs Universitet


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