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  • Weave Waves, Scanner and Ismini Samanidou, 2013. © Scanner and Ismini Samanidou

Crafts Council Innovation Programme

Exploring craft and innovation through a biennial conference and partnership projects

Our innovation programme focuses on how advances in materials, processes and technologies are driving innovation in craft practice, catalysing new knowledge, and seeding interdisciplinary collaborations across craft and engineering, science and technology.

It draws together leading specialists, practitioners and experts in a series of ongoing elements that demonstrate innovative thinking, support new practices, and investigate what a future landscape for craft looks like.

The innovation programme comprises two main elements: a biennial conference, Make:Shift, and partner projects including Make:Shift:Do and Parallel Practices that aim to drive forward new ideas and support exploratory work across sectors. It aims to:

  • identify and showcase new developments and trends in craft innovation;
  • advance understanding of how innovation happens in craft making and of cross-innovation between craft and other sectors;
  • identify the drivers and conditions for successful innovation in this sphere

The programme grew out of a number of previous activities including the Lab Craft exhibition (2010), the Internet of Things Ideas Lab and Craft and Technology Residencies (2011 - 2012), Power of Making exhibition at the V&A (2011 - 2012), the Crafting Capital: New technologies, new economies report (2012), and the Assemble conference (2012).

All of which raised questions on how makers were working in other sectors, how new technologies were complimenting existing tools, and what collaboration could look like.

Lab Craft at Tent, 2010. Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

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