The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it is little more than this. A cute, niche sector. But Britain has quietly built up a £3.4bn making economy, influencing everything from the automotive industry to smartphones. It is also reshaping the way larger brands produce and engage with customers. Companies ranging from Adidas to Ikea have set up design units based on the craft innovation model. Ikea’s Space10 development in Copenhagen, for instance, is specifically based on the idea of collective co-creation. The second myth is that this new craft industry is not an employer, instead being a small ecosystem of makers and curators. Yes, the sector has not given birth to any super-companies yet but neither has the much-vaunted UK tech sector. Instead both have created not corporate monoliths but hundreds, maybe thousands, of small, highly specialised firms that are transforming our economy and the relationship between producer and consumer.

Read the full story here

The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it is little more than this. A cute, niche sector. But Britain has quietly built up a £3.4bn making economy, influencing everything from the automotive industry to smartphones. It is also reshaping the way larger brands produce and engage with customers. Companies ranging from Adidas to Ikea have set up design units based on the craft innovation model. Ikea’s Space10 development in Copenhagen, for instance, is specifically based on the idea of collective co-creation. The second myth is that this new craft industry is not an employer, instead being a small ecosystem of makers and curators. Yes, the sector has not given birth to any super-companies yet but neither has the much-vaunted UK tech sector. Instead both have created not corporate monoliths but hundreds, maybe thousands, of small, highly specialised firms that are transforming our economy and the relationship between producer and consumer.

Read the full story here

The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it is little more than this. A cute, niche sector. But Britain has quietly built up a £3.4bn making economy, influencing everything from the automotive industry to smartphones. It is also reshaping the way larger brands produce and engage with customers. Companies ranging from Adidas to Ikea have set up design units based on the craft innovation model. Ikea’s Space10 development in Copenhagen, for instance, is specifically based on the idea of collective co-creation. The second myth is that this new craft industry is not an employer, instead being a small ecosystem of makers and curators. Yes, the sector has not given birth to any super-companies yet but neither has the much-vaunted UK tech sector. Instead both have created not corporate monoliths but hundreds, maybe thousands, of small, highly specialised firms that are transforming our economy and the relationship between producer and consumer.

Read the full story here

The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it is little more than this. A cute, niche sector. But Britain has quietly built up a £3.4bn making economy, influencing everything from the automotive industry to smartphones. It is also reshaping the way larger brands produce and engage with customers. Companies ranging from Adidas to Ikea have set up design units based on the craft innovation model. Ikea’s Space10 development in Copenhagen, for instance, is specifically based on the idea of collective co-creation. The second myth is that this new craft industry is not an employer, instead being a small ecosystem of makers and curators. Yes, the sector has not given birth to any super-companies yet but neither has the much-vaunted UK tech sector. Instead both have created not corporate monoliths but hundreds, maybe thousands, of small, highly specialised firms that are transforming our economy and the relationship between producer and consumer.

Read the full story here

The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it is little more than this. A cute, niche sector. But Britain has quietly built up a £3.4bn making economy, influencing everything from the automotive industry to smartphones. It is also reshaping the way larger brands produce and engage with customers. Companies ranging from Adidas to Ikea have set up design units based on the craft innovation model. Ikea’s Space10 development in Copenhagen, for instance, is specifically based on the idea of collective co-creation. The second myth is that this new craft industry is not an employer, instead being a small ecosystem of makers and curators. Yes, the sector has not given birth to any super-companies yet but neither has the much-vaunted UK tech sector. Instead both have created not corporate monoliths but hundreds, maybe thousands, of small, highly specialised firms that are transforming our economy and the relationship between producer and consumer.

Read the full story here

The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it is little more than this. A cute, niche sector. But Britain has quietly built up a £3.4bn making economy, influencing everything from the automotive industry to smartphones. It is also reshaping the way larger brands produce and engage with customers. Companies ranging from Adidas to Ikea have set up design units based on the craft innovation model. Ikea’s Space10 development in Copenhagen, for instance, is specifically based on the idea of collective co-creation. The second myth is that this new craft industry is not an employer, instead being a small ecosystem of makers and curators. Yes, the sector has not given birth to any super-companies yet but neither has the much-vaunted UK tech sector. Instead both have created not corporate monoliths but hundreds, maybe thousands, of small, highly specialised firms that are transforming our economy and the relationship between producer and consumer.

Read the full story here

Why car makers still produce life size clay models

A clay model in progress 

A fascinating look behind the scenes of automotive design by Michael Wayland (Associated Press), and the return of making models out of clay after a flirtation with technology.

Twenty-five years ago, as milling and computer-aided design programs transformed the design process, it seemed clay modelers would be all but extinct. Bean counters saw the new technologies as a way to shorten the design process and cut costs. Modeling But carmakers found they were turning out lackluster vehicles due to a lack of hands-on interaction and being unable to effectively evaluate styling.

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V&A brings Japanese craftsmanship back to life for gallery reopening

Of the 550 pieces going on display in the new gallery, more than 400 needed conservation work, a project that has taken years of work by specialists in paper, metal, ceramics, lacquer, leather and textiles, a complex project coordinated by Victor Borges, senior sculpture conservator at the V&A. The lacquer pieces needed particular care, which senior furniture conservator Dana Melcher explained was unnerving for her team, because some of it went against a fundamental principle of modern western conservation practice, that all their work should be reversible. Many of the objects still look perfect to the naked eye, but under a magnifying glass minute fragments of gold leaf, mother of pearl, and gemstones in the decoration can be seen lifting and detaching. Not only is the traditional Japanese urushi lacquer derived from highly toxic tree sap – children of the traditional craftsmen are said to have been fed tiny quantities from babyhood to develop an immunity – but once applied and cured, it is irreversible and cannot be removed without destroying the object. Unlike painted surfaces, the lacquer also only sets at a high humidity level, so the treated objects have had to go into a vapour cabinet watched over by an anxious curator. Too much humidity and the gleaming surface will dull and spoil; too low and it will never set. Each piece finished and signed off has been a great relief to the team.

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The other KKK: how the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift tried to craft a new world

Each member was an artwork: living propaganda. None of their paraphernalia was shop-bought. The handicrafts aspect of the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift (kinsmen and kinswomen were supposed to make their own clothes, their own staffs, and their own tents) went hand in hand with the determination to shun many aspects of the modern civilisation that Hargrave called “civil death”. Victorian capitalism had been smashed on the fields of Flanders. Attempts to revive it would only “destroy the human race outright”.

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Believing in weaving: a return to classic craft

“There is something different about a hand-woven piece,” says Mario Sierra, who took his family company’s helm three years ago, to relaunch its distinctive textured weaves. “The emotions of the weaver are captured in the subtle irregularities of the fabric.” In a world over-filled with machine-made objects, provenance is becoming increasingly important; we love history, heritage and the idea of buying something with a story. All of Mourne’s textiles are handmade in its remote Northern Ireland workshop; even the yarns are custom-spun for that “lumpy” quality that gives the pieces so much texture.

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