This work program has been funded with support from the European Commission
“Design Recherche Europe Art Métiers”
(Research on Design, Crafts & Applied Arts in Europe)
As part of the European Commission’s Culture programme, the DREAM “Design Recherche Europe Art Métiers” project, was coordinated by the Institut National des Métiers d’Art (INMA) in association with the Fundación Española para la Innovación de la Artesanía (Fundesarte – Espagne), the Western Finland design centre MUOVA – Finland, the Agence de Création Industrielle (APCI – France), the Osservatorio Mestieri d’Arte (OMA – Italy) and the Complexul National Muzeal Astra (Astra Museum – Romania) with a view to :
- Defining and enhancing the image that crafts and applied arts have in today’s world
- Defining a training methodology which brings together heritage and creativity
- Defining the notion of innovation in relation to crafts and applied arts
Three actions have been implemented in an aim to meet these objectives.
1 The creation of a European Gallery of craft and applied art productions www.dreamcraftgallery.eu in an aim to equip young members of the general public with a culture of knowledge and skill of art professions by giving these professions a new image.
The dreamcraft gallery www.dreamcraftgallery.eu is an online “text and image” database created to improve the visibility of craft and applied art productions in Europe.
A European showcase of crafts and applied arts, it presents leading works which are representative of the cultural identity of each country taking part, (in the categories of traditional, rare, contemporary, and innovative objects) going back over the history of this savoir-faire and the various techniques used in Europe.
The first productions included in this database relate to three sectors i.e. wood, natural fibres, and glass, and five countries: Spain, Finland, France, Italy, and Romania. The site architecture allows for its extension, as such other sectors and European countries can easily be added.
2 The organisation of “Crafts and Applied Arts” Master Classes in 3 different countries. This experimental intercultural training was organised with a view to promoting the emergence of a new generation of craftspeople and designers.
Training was carried out in the form of a “Crafts and Applied Arts” Master Class in order to allow young craft and design professionals to think about a new approach to their work, bringing together tradition and modernity, heritage and creativity, art and economics, and to suggest productions adapted to the economic market.
Three 10-day Master Classes were organized, each on a sector representative of the host country, glass in Spain, wood in Finland, and natural fibres in Italy. Each country hosted 2 students from each of the other countries bringing the number of students per master class to 10. In order to encourage a multidisciplinary approach, these classes were composed of students of crafts, applied arts, and design, under the co-direction of an accomplished craftsperson and a renowned designer in the given sector.
The approaches varied from one country to another allowing to address the questions of enhancing cultural identity, innovation in the transformation of materials and the place of crafts and applied arts in a sector such as fashion.
3 To enhance the image of crafts and applied arts in today’s society and to promote these via a Europe-wide event.
The research was carried out with a view to sharing results with those involved in the sector throughout Europe, and giving these European professionals better visibility. The first step is the distribution of the results of the project among those involved in crafts and applied arts in collaboration with the Euroart network bringing together European Institutional craft and applied art stakeholders. This is the objective of the “Crafts, Applied Arts and Design” Exchanges organized in the framework of the closing seminar of the DREAM project. The second step is to take advantage of this occasion to instigate the organization of “European Craft and Applied Art Days” such as those organized in France, by asking European professionals to open up their workshops to the general public on a given day of the year.
The study and concrete actions carried out between these five European countries in partnership on the DREAM project were born of a common goal, to promote the crafts and applied arts in Europe. This work prefigures what we hope will be a renewed interest in crafts and applied arts in Europe and ensuing developments in this sector.