Latest research in the Creative Arts Industry tells us that 88% of craft practitioners are sole-traders with 68% of their time spent in designing and making, and, 18% spent in marketing and selling. The individuality of the crafts- work itself, from the original design and the individual making of each piece, to the typically low production numbers of individual pieces, determines the structural characteristics of the industry. This research shows that over half (of makers use digital technology in their practice or production, and around 30% of makers sell directly to the public through their own website. These compelling statistics emphasise the importance that competency in the means of production and proficiency with the tools used to design and present have to today’s successful design-makers.
Forming the largest section of the creative arts industry self- production and craft practice uses modern thinking and technology to build on skills, knowledge and experience tested over time, and, speaks to deep-seated human instincts: the value of distinctiveness, a pride in quality, and, excitement through making. Presently the domestic market for low- and middle-end creative products and furniture has been saturated by imports of cheap goods. This might suggest the future market for UK craft will become increasingly concentrated at the higher end, where originality and aesthetic value count for more than cost, and where skills and knowledge triumph.
Understanding and knowledge, of materials and making techniques has always been a fundamental element of the design and making process, so too the steady advance of digital technologies transforming the creative industries must be acknowledged. Ability in both areas is essential to craft practitioners to ensure that whatever changes are coming they will be able to find ways to, re-think and re-invent their practice adapting to this changing world, keeping their craft current and allowing it to flourish.
This Studio will focus on developing the arts of self- production and co design using digital technology and aims to equip its graduates to flourish in this Age of Change.
Following the design narrative closely the studio will launch with an intense and focused examination of the research and concept generation stages of the design process. Means of articulating design ideas will be demonstrated and evaluated. At the same time methods of advanced material and product production will be demonstrated and tried to further develop abilities in realisation. The studio will engage wholeheartedly in consideration of, and negotiation with, a user, partner or client, wherever possible using industry partners such as Parker Knoll and the Corporation of London to set the boundaries of project briefs. Some students will work on commissioned projects. Students will learn how to use industry standard means of making and software to produce 2D and 3D images and artefacts as well as using digital technology as a tool for modelling, making or supporting and facilitating the craft based making process.
Private View: Tuesday 10th June 6pm-10pm
Opening times: Wednesday 11th - Saturday 21st June
Central House (4th floor)
59-63 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7PF (see map)