Norwegian version
Three pictures of "Ocean Viking" platform on porcelain.

Research project on craft skills and processes awarded large E.U. grant

OsloMet is a key partner in an EU project that seeks to collect and exchange crafting skills and creative uses of new technology in an international online database.

Together with partners from eight European countries, the Department of Product Design and the Department of Art, Design and Drama at OsloMet have become partners in the EU project titled “The Craft Hub”.

The 8 million NOK investment in the research project will be divided between the different partners.

The project is part of the EU’s investment in large collaborative projects within the creative subjects included in the Creative Europe programme (see fact box).

The collaborating departments at OsloMet will contribute to the project by sharing knowledge of advanced digital technology and creative methods that are used in design processes and artistic methods.

“The Craft Hub project is important and is an inspiration for artistic development work,” says Professor Arild Berg, head of OsloMet’s partnership in the project.

“It also provides valuable experience for future interdisciplinary projects within broader research programmes, such as Horizon Europe, where culture can make a unique contribution to innovation and diversity.”

3D printed paper porcelain with turquoise copper glaze.

3D printed paper porcelain with turquoise copper glaze, created by associate professor Kristin Andreassen at OsloMet.

A digital database

Craft Hub will be a digital database that will play a part in collecting and exchanging crafting techniques within Europe. It will include 250 films that will show different crafting techniques, and new techniques will constantly be added to the database.
The creative forces behind the different craft techniques will also be documented and shared.

“In this project, we will document different ways of creating, which will then be used in context with other craft techniques around Europe,” says Arild Berg.

He says that a digital database will strengthen innovation for sustainability by helping to equip Europe for the digital age and sharing what has previously been considered as silent knowledge.

Relevant for a wider audience

People working in education, historians, curators, architects, and others, will find the collection of craft techniques interesting.
It will include various traditional specialist techniques, as well as newer techniques based on digital technology and experimental methods.

Leopard scorch marks on silk.

Leopard scorch marks on silk, created by associate professor Wenche Lyche.

The project will produce at least 2,600 material samples, 42 international workshop experiments, and 300 days of distribution, including festivals, exhibitions, and conferences.

The need to create

“In a digital age, where many people sit passively in front of a screen, it is more important than ever to reflect on people’s basic need to use their hands to create,” says Berg.

He highlights the importance of this project.

From a public health perspective, this project will focus on people’s need to engage in physical and creative activities by producing methods that will stimulate the senses which may help to improve overall health.

Contributes to sustainability

Craft Hub contributes to OsloMet’s strategies for sustainability in numerous ways. For example, new financial models are proposed for the cultural and creative sector.

A chair made from components of different chairs, of various colours and types of wood.

Reuse: "Is half a chair almost a chair, or is it garbage?" second-year product design students Ronja Hartfelder, Lloyd Winter, Gunnar Havnås and Håkon Kinn asked.

Craft Hub will help to strengthen user-driven designs by increasing the availability of creative methods and co-creation. This will also strengthen the interdisciplinary dialogue.

The project will make a social contribution to creative collaborations between people and will influence adaptations to digital life.

The project will make an environmental contribution by focusing on the use of local materials, local production, and participation in creative processes while also engaging in an international dialogue. Overall, this will contribute to a new digital infrastructure for learning that will become a part of smart cities.

Facts about the project

Creative Europe is the EU programme for cultural collaboration. The programme is open to a wide range of cultural actors in different genres.

Its main aim is to strengthen cultural collaborations and diversity in Europe, in order to help resolve common European problems and challenges. For more information about funding schemes, see Arts Council Norway’s website (kulturradet.no).

Top photo: Ocean Viking, remembrance plates made by Gunhild Vatn from the Oslofjord Ecologies project, OsloMet. Photo: Susann Jamtøy.

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