CraftDesign for entrepreneurship, social innovation, and sustainability

Crafts, under the umbrella of the cultural and creative sector, represent an important contribution to social development and cultural freedom.

Photo by Natallia Rak on

Crafts, under the umbrella of the cultural and creative sector, represent an important contribution to social development and cultural freedom. Entrepreneurship through crafts and design brings a strategy to promote the empowerment of vulnerable communities. Given the challenges our society is and will be confronting in the 21st century, such as the climate emergency, the process of digital automation in the human workforce, emergencies such as natural disasters or protracted crises, as well as the socioeconomic crisis that will follow the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific knowledge on policies and strategies aimed at promoting sustainable development and ensuring the equality and social inclusion of vulnerable communities should be strengthened. This paper reflects upon the role crafts design and entrepreneurship can play in promoting sustainable development.

Sendra, D., & Ferreira, A. M. (2021). CraftDesign for entrepreneurship, social innovation and sustainability . DISCERN: International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship2(1), 46-53.

Article on our research published at DISCERN: International Journal of Design for Social Change

Textiles in Art History, a gendered issue

On the occasion of Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern, Amber Butchart wrote a very interesting article for Frieze on how textile history has been separated from Art History and Fine Art because it has been always a women´s work.

The artificial divide that exists between fine art and textiles (or applied/decorative arts, or craft) is a gendered issue. ‘Textiles have always suffered as an art media because of their association with domesticity and femininity,’ says Hannah Lamb of The 62 Group of Textile Artists, an artist-led pressure group that has been promoting textiles as a fine art for nearly 60 years.

This opinion article share important foundations in which I support this research and how political stitching as other creative manifestations have been dismissed from Art History.

Indeed, me as student of Art History, I was never told about Anni Albers contribution to the Bauhaus. And the review of textile art was almost avoided during the whole university programme.

Read it here and share your thoughts

Is Craftivism bringing social change? Julia Feliz says no

Julia Feliz made a very interesting point about the limitations Craftivism has a way to bring social change, the real one. She also pointed out another issue I´ve never think about, craftivism comes mostly from white women, for she, the opressors side.

I understand many of the points she shared. We need to rethink and reevaluate the impact of craftivism actions. I guess if for Julia, craftivism is only a self-strategy to feel proud of your humanity and creativity.

Honestly, I don´t think so.

After years of experience working in the field of development and social change, I think there is space for every kind of activism. The one who promotes and stands for human rights, by using different instruments: crafts, banners, protests, occupations, etc. Or the one who is involved in a long -term perspective and implements concrete actions, let´s say projects on capacity building, advocacy, education, and a long etc. Both ways are rigth and both ways bring change in a way. And this is what Craftivism tries to do so, as this research looks for. In this case, crafts are only a language, an instrument.

An open approach to craftivism that involves both ways of looking for a better world. We migth add the individual one, because our daily choices are also political acts (bying natural textiles, buying from local and avoinding companies abusing labour rights, using public transport, and much more…). But let´s focus on the issue.

Betsy explained very well, and has always prioritise this point of view in her webpage as you can see if you read all her work.

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By brinding concrete change in people´s live or by raising awareness on others. Both are necessary and both are relevant. For me the pussyhat movement was a wonderful way of saying – here we are!.

An opportunity to show how many people are linked and shared same values. (My percection might be wrong). But, the same people who coordinated the pussyhat movement are now coordinating the Welcome Blanket a way to raise awareness about the abuse and injustice the wall between Mexico and the USA represent. And I see this action as an action supporting POC people.

Now, what I see as a point that we can really think and analyse is how POC people is involved in the craftivism movement. According to Julia they are not part of the movement only “fake beneficiaries”. Why they do not participate in? they do not feel invited? or it´s because their real needs are not reflected in the message. How can craftivism movement be more participatory?

I do not have many responses but I´m sure there is a way of bringing craftivism to POC people as Julia said. A way of promoting a way to promote ownership of craftivism as strategy to let them voices heard.

At Dialogue Café, we organised a wonderful session on Craftivism (you can listen) in the framework of the Global Exchange of Crafts Makers.

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Any thought to be shared around?


How needlework has become part of the feminist movement by Mouncej1

An interesting article by mouncej1!

Needle in a Fabric Stack

In 1718, women in Pennsylvania were only able to own and manage property if their husbands were incapacitated. This remained true until 1839, when Mississippi was the first state to allow women to own property in their name. In 1878, women were allowed to attend university and obtain a degree. In 1844, women could retain their wages and finally had the right to a separate economy. In 1845, women were allowed to file patents. In 1848, women could sign their own contracts, which meant they would not be held accountable for their husbands debts. On August 18, 1920, women were given the right to vote. In 1923, a bill was passed that allowed women to be able to petition for divorce from their husbands. It was only acceptable for women to wear pants starting in the 1930s, though women strutted the streets in trousers during the 20s. In the 1960s…

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