In March 2018 Dick, Meia and Isabella from project partner Waag travelled to Krefeld, together with Dutch weaving and educational expert Erma. The main objective of this visit was to get a better sense of the craft of silk weaving with jacquard looms and the context of the Haus der Seidenkultur museum by doing co-creation activities with the local craftsmen and experts. This first interaction would inform the next steps in both knowledge extraction, and the approach for co-creation throughout the Mingei project.
The activities were split up into two half-day sessions. To try and get a good overview of what the craft entails, we identified five different areas:
- Technique: what are the associated actions, techniques and tools?
- Product: what (type of) products are the result of the craft?
- Art: what are the artistic elements of the craft?
- Tradition: what is the role of tradition and (local) heritage?
- Instruction: how is knowledge transferred?
During the co-creation sessions, the participants first visualized the technical process of their craft using icons, drawings and post-it notes on a big canvas. Once these general technical process descriptions were in place, the canvasses could be enriched by adding the elements related to products, art, tradition and instruction. This proved to be an effective approach as the participants felt valued in their expertise and were able to share a lot of latent knowledge. And it gave us some great leads to explore further in the project.
In the upcoming months Waag will support the three pilot partners in Krefeld, Paris and Chios to further explore each of their crafts and possibilities with new technology by using co-creation.