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Design × Craft Attitude

Design Dialogues

with Hella Jongerius & Amandine David, moderated by Anna Luyten

In recent years, we have seen a renewed interest in craft and the uniqueness of handmade objects in the design world.

The Japanese philosopher and founder of the Mingei (translated as 'folk art') movement, Yanagi Sōetsu (1889-1961), argued that the craftsman is essentially distinct from designer and artist by serving material, people and society. He saw beauty in everyday utensils made by unknown artisans.

More and more contemporary designers and design studios are taking inspiration from and immersing themselves in traditional crafts. Old techniques, in which the hand of the maker is key, are coupled with modern materials, techniques and technologies. This generates new making practices where craftsmanship goes hand in hand with innovation. The integration of craft principles within a contemporary design practice also re-evaluates the making process and celebrates the unique imperfections of the final product. Finally, the 'serving' attitude of the craftsman can generate new social dimensions within a design process.


Register now for the lecture in MIRY Concertzaal.


Hella Jongerius (NL - 1963)

Hella Jongerius is internationally regarded as one of the most important designers of her generation. She gained fame for the idiosyncratic way she combines industry and craft, high and low tech, tradition and the contemporary. In her creations, she tries to find the right balance between an industrial serial product and a handcrafted one-off, always paying special attention to the manufacturing process and the relationship between user and utensil.

Jongerius' research is never finished. The questions she poses in her work are open-ended and the answers provisory in the form of (semi-)finished products. This also applies to all the designs of Jongeriuslab she founded: they possess the power of finished products, while simultaneously communicating that they are part of something bigger, with both a past and an unpredictable future. Through this approach, Jongerius not only emphasises the importance of the process, but also involves the viewer, the user, in her research.

Amandine David (FR/BE - 1988)

Amandine David is a Brussels-based French designer, a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven. Her practice and research are at the intersection of digital technologies and traditional crafts, such as ceramics, braiding or weaving techniques. She sees connection, collaboration and knowledge sharing as a methodology and opportunity to redefine design processes. She is also co-founder of Hors Pistes, a nomadic residency programme that initiates exchanges and collaborations between artisans and designers from different disciplines and cultures.

Design Dialogues

Design x Craft Attitude is part of the curated lecture series Design Dialogues organised by the Design Department of KASK & Conservatorium and Design Museum Gent. Distinctive voices from the broad field of design are invited to reflect on the role and future of design in a changing world. Each lecture is a critical dialogue around a theme and concludes with an open discussion between the speakers and the audience. After a whirlwind first edition, we are heading for a new series of in-depth talks. The concept has been slightly modified: young talent now gets carte blanche to invite an experienced expert for an inspiring dialogue. Our mission remains unchanged: to provide engaging perspectives that could help us meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.