University of Gothenburg

About us

The Craft Laboratory is a national centre for crafts, and a platform for craftspeople to document and develop craft knowledge. Our comprehensive agenda for societal involvement and collaboration works to bring research into practice and involve craftspeople in the processes of inquiry. We initiate craft projects and act as a platform for professional meetings between craftspeople and other stakeholders in the field of cultural heritage management. Our focus areas are building crafts, cultural landscapes, and gardening crafts.

The Craft Laboratory was founded in 2010 in cooperation with heritage authorities, professional craft enterprises, and trade organisations. We are affiliated with the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg and provide an infrastructure for higher education and research at its location in Mariestad in Sweden. Our facilities in Mariestad have an extended library, carpentry, gardening facilities, and rooms for workshops and courses.

The Craft Laboratory enhances knowledge, skills, and approaches for the mending, repairing, maintenance, renovation, transformation, restoration, reuse, adaptation, and reconstruction of existing tangible and intangible resources, some of which are defined as cultural heritage. We foster creative and innovative ways of utilizing, adapting, and developing craft knowledge and recognise craft traditions as intangible cultural heritage, but also as creative practices suitable for innovation and discovery.

The Craft Laboratory takes on an ecosystem approach. The future viability for traditional crafts cannot be solved from only the insider’s perspective within the community of craft practitioners and enterprises, nor from a distal position looking into the crafts. The influence and impact to make change are distributed. Therefore, we employ an ecosystem perspective and build a methodology for our projects to involve, not only the craft practitioners and enterprises but all the professional roles and stakeholders that have influence and impact.

The Craft Laboratory initiates practice-led research and development to improve practice for the benefit of society. Through collaboration between the research and practice communities, we aim to ensure that best practices are used, and that context-appropriate approaches are developed and implemented. The Crafts Laboratory is a resource for cultural heritage management and public heritage administration, as well as for professionals and associations in crafts and the cultural heritage field.

Our facilities

The Craft Laboratory is based in Mariestad and this is where you find our offices, the Craft library, and our seminar and conference facilities. The nearby carpentry, timber building yard, garden, and greenhouse are used for research purposes and by the craft study programmes in Mariestad.

The Craft library

The Craft library in Mariestad is a resource for craftspeople who seek knowledge about methods and materials. The library catalogue is maintained and developed by our librarian and holds approximately 10,000 titles of media within the craft areas.


How to get here

The Craft Laboratory is located in the city of Mariestad in Sweden, approximately 180 km north of Gothenburg. Our visiting address is Magasinsgatan 4, 542 21 Mariestad, Sweden.

By flight

The destination may be either Arlanda north of Stockholm or Landvetter outside Gothenburg. The route starts with an airport transfer to Stockholm or Gothenburg and further on the train and bus which takes about 3-4 hours.

By train

Mariestad is easily accessed by train from Gothenburg (via Skövde) and Stockholm (via Skövde, Hallsberg, or Töreboda). The travel time is about 2-3 hours.