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DAVID HEAP - design and crafts - ideas and realities
Transcript of DAVID HEAP - design and crafts - ideas and realities
DR DAVID HEAP
THE AIM OF THIS SESSION IS -
TO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT 'DESIGN' AND 'CRAFTS' ARE
AND TO BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT HOW THEY AFFECT SOCIETY AND CULTURE
what is design?
what is the purpose of design?
DESIGN: SOME THOUGHTS
As a noun (a thing)
A preliminary sketch indicating the plan for something
A design is the result of designing - something purposeful
As a verb (an action)
To plan: make or work out a plan for; devise
The ultimate object of design is form
A goal driven, problem solving exercise
Consider designing as a conversation with the materials of a situation
Design is the conscious decision making process by which information (ideas) is transformed into an outcome, be it tangible (product, graphic) or intangible (service)
Increasingly, design is being perceived as knowledge management
Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas so that they become practical
The purpose of design?
Design is the configuration of materials, elements and components that give a product its particular attributes of performance, appearance, ease of use, method of manufacture and so on
Designed things are the means by which we achieve desired ends
To make things better
what is the difference between art and design?
POSITIVE ASPECTS NEGATIVE ASPECTS
(demanding choice, immediate gratification, cheap, availability)
IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
(production, materials, transportation, space)
MEDIATOR OF SOCIAL CHANGE
(ways of doing things, ways of seeing things and people)
(user-centred design, designing for people, inclusiveness)
(devotion towards objects, the obsession with possession)
CREATING ‘WANT’ ABOVE ‘NEED’
(desire in place of utility, the ‘greed imperative’)
the satisfaction dreamt of by the consumer never arrives -
often needs are not satisfied, they are merely replaced with other Needs
THE IDEA OF VALUE
(value-added, kitsch, ‘plastic society’, disposability, cheapness)
(a forced limited lifespan, the economics of durability)
(what ‘stuff’ says, visual conversations, message making)
(in production, marketing, consumption, values and morals)
CRAFTS: SOME THOUGHTS
Craft, from the middle English, ‘Craeft’ – simply meant strength, power
Skilled work applied to practical ends
The term for that general field of 'applied design' in which hand fabrication is dominant.
Any profession that requires the use of the hands, and is limited to a certain number of mechanical operations to produce the same piece of work, made over and over again
Craft is dexterity in the manual arts
To ‘craft’, to participate skilfully in some small-scale process (implies working at a personal scale)
To celebrate a new partnership between the V&A and the Crafts Council, the V&A asked leading figures in the craft world to tell them what the term craft meant to the practitioners and people involved in the world of craft.
Director, Victoria & Albert Museum
Craft is remembering that art is seen, felt and heard as well as understood, knowing that not all ideas start with words, thinking with hands as well as head.
Director, Crafts Council
'Contemporary craft is about making things. It is an intellectual and physical activity where the maker explores the infinite possibilities of materials and processes to produce unique objects. To see craft is to enter a world of wonderful things which can be challenging, beautiful, sometimes useful, tactile, extraordinary; and to understand and enjoy the energy and care which has gone into their making.'
Curator, ‘Out of the Ordinary’ exhibition, V&A, November 2007
'I use the word craft as an umbrella term, not as the definition of a separate discipline. I find craft difficult when it has an ‘s’ on the end; the crafts implies something clear cut, but it isn’t. When craft is involved with the making of something, be it a pot or a piece of writing, it usually means that the process of how and why it has been put together has been well considered, and generally I prefer it. Instead of using "that’s cool" people could start saying "that’s craft"!'
'What craft means to me is the making part, the how you make, and this is an exchange with materials - what you give to a material, and what it gives back. This exchange can be awkward, it can be a struggle, or one party can dominate, but if it is a productive exchange, then that's when it's worth looking at. But ultimately, it is the extra something that makes it special.'
Rector, Royal College of Art
'If you look up the word 'craft' in dictionaries of phrase and fable, the entry will say "see freemasonry". That's craft as secret knowledge, locked away in some secret place known only to master-craftspeople. Although there's a strong element of tacit knowledge - as distinct from formal knowledge - in all craft activity, this is in fact far from a secret form of knowledge, just a very difficult one to pin down. Making close contact with materials, technical skills plus imagination, tangible results in the form of things, sometimes pushing at the outer limits of function, taking the material for a walk. The American Customs & Excise definition of 'a work of art' is that the owner must be able to prove it is completely useless. Craft work is something else, though it can produce objects for contemplation as well as objects for use.'
Director, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
'Craft is the knowledge of a language and its expressive possibilities. Shakespeare’s sonnets; Thonet’s bentwood chairs; Shostakovitch quartets: all can be described in terms of craft. Human imagination can use craft to invent freely in the world of ideas, materials and forms. Thus are the worlds of design, art, engineering, science and architecture all born of craft.'
Director, Corcoran Museum, Washington DC, and editor of ‘The Persistence of Craft’
'Craft has changed its meaning fundamentally at least three times in the last two centuries, and it means fundamentally different things from nation to nation even in the Western world. So there can be no one-liner that identifies larger single meanings, as it doesn't have one. If it is of use in the current context, it is to recognize the significance of genre-based practice in the arts. It should also be a useful category in a global cultural environment. It might even have meaning as a signifier of a socio-political outlook. But it should have nothing to do with aesthetics, and less to do with negative approaches to technology.'
David Revere McFadden
Chief Curator and Vice President, Museum of Arts & Design, New York
'Craft, art, and design are words heavily laden with cultural baggage. For me, they all connote the profound engagement with materials and process that is central to creativity. Through this engagement form, function, and meaning are made tangible. It is time to move beyond the limitations of terminologies that fragment and separate our appreciation of creative actions, and consider the "behaviors of making" that practitioners share.'
Professor Simon Olding
Director, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, Surrey
'An expression of human endeavour creatively realised on the borders of utility, design, architecture, sculpture and art. Craft is specific, recognizable and broad enough to carry loaded meaning with good cheer. It means little without its association to the individual maker and the organisations that give it life and value.'
Acting Editor, Crafts magazine
'Craft has never been more important than now, as an antidote to mass production and as a practice in which the very time is takes to produce an object becomes part of its value in a world that often moves too fast.'
Edmund de Waal
'Craft is a starting place, a set of possibilities.
It avoids absolutes, certainties, over-robust definitions, solace.
It offers places, interstices, where objects and people meet.
It is unstable, contingent.
It is about experience. It is about desire.
It can be beautiful.'
Cinderella Table, Jeroen Verhoeven, 2005. Museum no. W.1-2006
what is crafts?
what is the purpose of crafts?