How traditional craft practices can define culture

Ted Carden, Susan Carden

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


The act of designing creates within the artist an ignition of ideas, in the form of "facets and axes of rotation with different properties"[1], with pattern making as a natural manifestation of our inherent will-to-form. This paper identifies distinctive patterns of visual comparability from within areas of commonality through an ethnographic tracing of traditional craft practices from three globally separate and distinct cultures. Although the evolution of craft in each society developed independently, each possesses a design skill-set that reflects the material culture across all three continents, and is therefore inextricably allied to the rapid growth of expanding urban social generation in the twentieth century. By 1945, the ethos of craft-led practice within post-war design had intertwined itself throughout the confines of cultural and social cohesion endemic in the breaking down of the great divide, and the openness of market ideologies re-evaluated creative craft-based design as "the heroic ideals of the selfless and anonymous artisan"[2]. The theory, process and methods adopted in this study define, assess and contrast cultural identity inorporating craft skills as social descriptors. [1] Italo Calvino "The Literature Machine: Philosophy and Literature", Vintage, London, 1987 [2] William Coaldrake, "From Customary Practice to Conscious Design: The Emergence of the Architect in Tokugawa Japan 1608-1638", Kodensha International, London, 1978
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
EventDesign Practices and Principles International Conference - Berlin
Duration: 1 Feb 2009 → …


ConferenceDesign Practices and Principles International Conference
Period1/02/09 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'How traditional craft practices can define culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this