Nova Iskra Nova Iskra Workspace Nova Iskra Studio
3 Aug 2020

MADE IN project presents a critical reader on the dialogue between design and crafts


“Design and Crafts in Dialogue: Critical Reader” is a digital publication bringing together critical texts and interviews that were created during the two-year project co-founded by the Creative Europe program of the EU, and realized as a partnership between design-based organizations from Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Serbia. The publication features prominent authors active at the crossroads of art, design and crafts, such as Glenn Adamson, Louise Schouwenberg, Evelien Bracke, as well as many designers who took part in the project. 

MADE IN: Crafts-Design Narratives is a two-year collaborative project involving five organizations involved into different aspects of crafts and design research and production: Studio Oaza and Museum of Arts and Crafts from Zagreb (Croatia), Werkraum Bregenzerwald from Andelsbuch (Austria), Museum of Architecture and Design from Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the creative hub Nova Iskra and Mikser organization from Belgrade (Serbia). Since October 2018, many professional meetings, mapping exercises, design residencies and workshops have been held in all four countries, bringing together professional designers, craftspeople, design students, scholars and other experts related to the field. 

A kick-off conference and two professional seminars were realized, as well as four design residencies in which renowned designers had a chance to develop new projects in collaboration with the traditional and modern craftspeople, as well as to work with local young talent. All of these efforts resulted in the final, traveling exhibition that has, so far, been presented in Zagreb and Ljubljana, and will be traveling to Andelsbuch later in 2020. The project website brings together documentation on all of the activities, as well as detailed profiles of 40 diverse craft workshops from all of the countries involved, with impressive photographic coverage of the workshops, the people behind them and their stories. 

Design and Crafts in Dialogue: Critical Reader is the second publication within the project, following the 500-page exhibition/project catalog co-edited by all four partners, which showcases all of the projects that emerged within the two-year process, the crafts mapping and many additional interviews and critical reflections. Some of these have also found their way into the reader, which aims to offer a critical contribution to working within, and dealing with the elusive crossroads between crafts and design. A valuable addition is a previously published text (in Aeon Magazine) by Glenn Adamson, one of the leading scholars exploring the design-crafts crossovers. The critical reader also features previously unpublished contributions from prominent curators and authors, such Louise Schouwenberg and Evelien Bracke, as well as many of the designers who took part in the Made In project – Jenny Nordberg, Studio Unfold, Andrea de Chirico, Alexandre Humbert, Chmara.Rosinke Studio, Mischer’Traxler Studio, Lucas Wegwerth and Tamara Panić

The Made In critical reader is available now for free download on the Nova Iskra website, as well as for online browsing on the ISSUU platform.

The project as a whole was also recently awarded – twice! – primarily for the design aspect of the project by Studio OAZA. First of all, due to the excellence that covers several areas of design practice, the award was given within the 55th Zagreb Salon. Studio OAZA designed the catalog of the exhibition, as well as its setting and the website of the exhibition, which also functions as a multimedia archive. As such, this design project represents a total design that includes components of research, curatorial conception and the establishment of an international network of craftsmen and designers. In addition, the project won the award of the Croatian section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) for its entire three-year implementation, as well as the previous long-term local research on which Studio OAZA worked. AICA emphasized the multi-layered importance of this project – pointing out the endangerment of traditional crafts, using an interdisciplinary approach, connecting different generations and searching for a solution in the future.

The MADE IN project is co-founded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, as well as by the Ministries of Culture of Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, KulturaNova Foundation, City of Zagreb, Embassy of The Netherlands in Croatia and Slovenia’s Centre for Creativity.