Harald Bentz Høgseth
About Harald Bentz Høgseth
As a professor in Craft Science at the Departent of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, I have the scientific responsibility for developing and establishing Craft Science as new scientific field.
The department is divided into 5 study- and research programs (http://conservation.gu.se/); bachelor, master and PhD-level. In Mariestad there are two programs focusing on Cultural Heritage Protection concerned with Craft Science within the field of Garden and Landscape Heritage and the Antiquarian Buildings. One important issue is the meeting between intangible and material culture. In Gothenburg, we have three study programs. The first is program for Building Antiquarian, the other for Conservators and the third for leaders in gutted-and culture craftsmanship. The Crafts Laboratory is a project-based learning- and research laboratory situates in Mariestad that especially focuses on craft science adapted to cultural heritage, but in addition ties the education and research at the institution interdisciplinary together (http://conservation.gu.se/hantverkslaboratoriet).
Cultural Heritage Management requires both broad and pointed expertise in different fields with distinctive and intersecting practices. Both within natural science, humanities and social sciences. However, the management of our heritage also requires special competence in traditions, practices, methods, documentation, interpretation and analysis. In my context, this is especially related to Craft science aimed to cultural heritage. In other words were intangible and material culture meets. The institution's research efforts takes place within the various disciplines of cultural heritage management, and include both material culture heritage and the traditions behind, the intangible culture. The field of research also embraces the importance of the cultural heritage and the ability of society to take care of this as a resource in a society with major technological and social changes.
Our activity requires an interdisciplinary teamwork between the institution's various academic branches, but also a collaboration with national and international academic institutions and organizations. After solicitation from Central and Regional authorities and organizations, a craft scientific profession emerged focusing on research in craftsmanship. In this, the “Craft Laboratory" is crucial as a cooperation platform. The purpose of the Crafts Laboratory's is to develop methods and knowledge in the encounter between the intangible and material culture and heritage management through practical projects in the field of antiquarian crafts. In order to run a competent management of cultural heritage this competence and knowledge is necessary. Craft science aimed at cultural heritage protection was established as an independent scientific area in 2007, based on the institute's activities with doctoral projects and research activities under scientific management. Now there are five doctoral fellows with craft scientific approach in our research program.
The Crafts Laboratory began in 2010 and is operated in cooperation with public institutions and organizations at the local, regional and national level. A central objective is to conduct and support research- and development activities (FoU) in craftsmanship in the field of culture heritage management. Crafts research's issues are about how traditional knowledge, action-based and procedural practice can expand and deepen the understanding of the cultural history and forgotten knowledge traditions.
Crafts Science is a new term and new subject area within the academic field and closely linked to practical, procedural knowledge-based understanding. The research focus is both in and on craft. The knowledge of how previous generations and man have handled nature, raw materials, resources, substances and objects through making, groom and cultivating is crucial. In the field of craft research, the work processes are used as the central method of investigation. We questioning and analyzes the traditions, craft products and knowledge by means of step-by-step research stages. Researchers, lecturers and doctoral students at the department are attached to craft research through development and research work, where skilled craftsmen and traditional traders play a central role.
As a professor in this area of expertise, I work with research, supervision and philosophy of learning. I`m initiates professional networks and projects beyond my own research efforts. My own research is also about developing methods and theoretical perspectives, as well as developing the Craft and Crafts Science as a scientific discipline further. I supervise doctoral fellows, but also initiates externally funded research projects that engage the institution's students, lecturers or professors. Interaction with relevant educational institutions, associations and organizations has high priority. Many research projects are conducted through the Crafts Laboratory and its network. I am a member of the Craft Laboratory’s Steering Group and attend as research coordinator at the Department of Conservation.