Traditional Skills in the Digital Age

This publication which accompanies the exhibition at the MAK in Vienna, analyses a range of diverse topics associated with handicraft. It explores the reasons behind the worldwide handicraft hype as well as the current craze for everything handmade. It also explores the forces against which craftspeople have to combat in today’s market.

Eight interviews with handicraft experts and craftspeople – Ludwig Kyral, Annette Prechtl/Sandra Thaler, Roman Sandgruber, Richard Sennett, Martin Schreier, Akio Tanaka, Christian Witt-Dörring, and Peter Zumthor – illuminate the tensions within this many-faceted field.

The publication also examines handicraft’s social status, material culture, and strategies for the future. A comparison between historical objects and a selection of contemporary handicraft products presents master craftspeople from 16 different European countries.

A consideration of sustainability illuminates the resource conserving potential of handicraft. A look at handicraft in Japan and an in-depth examination of historical developments in handicraft round off the publication.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition handiCRAFT: Traditional Skills in the Digital Age, at MAK – Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst / Gegenwartskunst, Vienna, 14 December 2016 – 9 April 2017.

English and German text.

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