Craft-Design Code

‘Don’t stand by the water and long for fish, go home and weave a net.’
Chinese proverb

The Code of Practice for Craft-Design Collaborations continues the work initiated by UNESCO in their publication Designers Meet Artisans. (can be downloaded here). This project will develop a set of principles that guide artisans and designers in constructing a sustainable agreement which will respect each other’s needs. The Code will support innovation in craft through access to the urban markets that is facilitated by product design. It will enhance the trust between artisan and designer necessary to develop long-term benefits. And importantly, it will strengthen confidence of a market increasingly concerned to make a positive contribution to global well-being.

Essential to this project is an open discussion about the current situation of world craft and alternative paradigms for its development. This discussion includes questions such as:

  • What should artisans and designers rightfully expect out of their partnership?
  • What is the current state of ethical consumerism and its place for world craft?
  • How can craft traditions be sustained through development for urban markets?
  • What is the global context for craft-design collaborations, including social justice and climate change action?

This Code was endorsed by the World Craft Council in Hangzhou, 2008. In 2009, the focus for this project is on workshops that bring to light the issues and possibilities in craft-design collaborations. The major workshop is scheduled for Santiago Chile in late November 2009. These workshops feature the play ‘Good Intentions are Not Enough’, which considers the overall ecology in which an artisanal product is developed.

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