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Platform for Contemporary Crafts & Design


Platform for Contemporary Crafts & Design


February 2023 — October 2025


Thomas A. Geisler (AT)
Ute Thomas (DE)
Kerstin Stöver (DE)


Future of Crafts
New Technologies 
Arts & Craft
Design Evolution






Made in Platform for Contemporary Crafts & Design is a research, design, and heritage initiative encouraging collaboration and knowledge exchange between traditional craftspeople and contemporary designers, as well as other experts in the fields of culture and science. The platform addresses issues central to preservation and explores new articulations of embodied knowledge found in the rich legacy of European craftsmanship. Similarly, it examines possible avenues of diversification and repurposing by way of mutual learning and by imagining new approaches to thinking through contemporary art and design practices.

The aim is to highlight new material research approaches and other design processes related to topics like the degradation of natural resources, extraction, and models of sustainable production.


The Made in Platform emerged out of a heightened awareness of the crucial role that crafts play in creating and sustaining local identity. Furthermore, crafts have the potential to play a unique role in the transition to sustainable, innovative, circular production models that rely primarily on local resources and skills. Alongside encouraging the re-use/repair of existing products, craft promotes slower, more responsible consumption, and creates a value system that transcends the omnipresent logic of global mass production.

The Made in Platform reflects the increasing number of projects by a new generation of designers and environmentalists that are turning their attention to diverse cultures of making in order to create sustainable production processes and circular material cycles based on an inclusive relationship with the natural environment. Taking a place-based processual approach, invited artists, designers, and craftspeople will work on specific localities and reflect on particular micro-contexts in terms of the exploitation of materials and its regenerative potentials, with a particular focus on soil, plants, and the sea. In so doing, the project will move beyond a human-centred perspective towards a life-centred one, infused with science and nature.


The Made in Platform is structured as a series of activities designed to complement and build on one another in order to show the relevance of crafts, as a connector between ecology and culture, in contemporary society. The activities will promote the importance of contemporary design and art practices, innovative technologies, and transdisciplinary thinking in overcoming the perception of crafts as non-inventive and obsolete, instead integrating them into the core of the ecological debate.

The activities consist of:

  • creating a publicly available database of crafts and craftspeople, transdisciplinary expertise, and natural resources related to crafts and design;
  • knowledge transfer and collaborations in the form of residencies, workshops, training courses, and a summer school;
  • educational and discourse programmes in the form of conferences, seminars, and stakeholders' events;
  • dissemination of the project outcomes through a publication, aseries of exhibitions, and a website –

Kick-off Conference 31/03/2023 Photos: SKD, Oliver Killig