Experimenting with Online Peer to Peer Residency format



Craft Hub – Experimenting with Online Peer to Peer Residency format

In 2021 we launched our Craft Hub Maker Exchange Residencies with a first digital round of both group and peer to peer residencies. We had a look at the group residencies in Newsletter #4, but let’s understand more about the Peer to Peer residencies run by Craft Hub partners OECON (Greece), Materahub (Italy) and UWTSD (Wales).

These residencies were driven by a desire to facilitate and stimulate genuine exchange between craft practitioners, notwithstanding the digital divide created by COVID measures and travel restrictions.

It was an opportunity to think creatively and experiment with new formats that produced original results and prototypes co-created by craft practitioners from all over Europe.

OECON (Greece)

This online 5-day residency adopted a ‘One-to-One Model’ by coupling 8 crafts practitioners who were encouraged to exchange experience, good ideas, get inspired, co-create and explore new approaches to familiar and unfamiliar materials, in facilitated curated sessions.

These structured sessions included guidance on working procedures for common interaction, co-production principles and creativity, plus, peer to peer exchange, review and pitching of prototypes created during the residency.

Materahub (Italy)

Two 8 day ‘micro-residencies’, running in parallel, coupling craft practitioners with experience in different material-based practices and methodologies wanted to create intimate residencies that facilitated real exchange and the creation of tangible outputs. The format included:

  • Preparatory calls with each couple prior to the residency to help practitioners get to know each other and to collectively identify a motivational theme to shape prototype designs during the residency.
  • Kick-off introductory call with all practitioners to introduce the couples, the format and provide guidance on the virtual exchange processes (methodologies, tools, etc…).
  • Daily catch up calls with Materahub throughout the residency and Instagram narration for the public.
  • Peer to peer review and validation during the residency.

The following themes were identified and outputs created:

  1. Craft and economical sustainability – How economically sustainable processes can inspire prototypes?Have a look at the board game idea that came up. This product and supporting workshops will be developed in the coming months.
  2. Craft and environmental sustainability – the innovative techniques used to transform and recycle industrial waste and how they can be combined with traditional artisan practices.See how recycled industrial waste was transformed into a design object.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

This 2 month online residency aimed to build and share thinking, knowledge and skills in Craft through pairing or grouping artists, designers and makers from different backgrounds and disciplines in the creation of practical and theoretical work.

The focus was on thinking through collaboration and started with an online introductory day followed by a range of online meetings to facilitate collaborative working and stimulate inspiration. Participants formed pairings with fellow makers and were paired up and introduced to a series of tasks to develop collaborative craft work and extend their practice and thinking.

The participants committed to regular paired or group online meetings to ensure the residency flowed efficiently.

The residency ended with a short informal online presentation where paired groups shared their work and experiences.