At this year’s last seminar, Camilla Groth would like to share some thoughts on the role of empathy within practices of craft, building on her experiences as a postdoc in Mariestad during the last few years. Here follows Camilla’s introduction to the subject:
Art, craft and design are all creative making practices that pose many similarities. They all share some principal common activities such as ideation, design and material making in order to externalize and concretize an internally produced idea or mental image. However, their practices also differ, especially in the presentation of the outcome and the relative context in which they operate and the markets connected with these.
Contrary to the field of crafts, the notion of Empathy has been studied quite extensively in the context of arts and design, and empathic practices have even become operationalized in both of these creative practices. Design thinking is based on understanding customer needs through empathic design methods, creating empathy maps and user centered co-creation workshops in which the designers change place with and enact the future users situation to better understand their perspective. In the arts, art therapy makes use of empathic art interventions and co-analysis to build a relationship between therapist and client, bring forward inner projections and to create new possible scenarios and futures.
However, the notion of empathy seems comparatively less discussed in the context of craft practice. Do any of these aforementioned aspects relate to craft practice too, or can we find other empathic practices in relation to crafting or the study of craft processes, that are particular to skilful making? How does imitation and mirroring function in skill learning and can we understand other makers actions and decision-making processes through looking at historic artefacts? Where does such discussions take place and who is interested? Let’s also discuss your views on the matter.
This seminar is planned to be in English.