Eco-sustainability between traditional craft practices and contemporary industrial production – Crafthub Maker Exchange Residency



21 – 25 March 2022
Organised by: Materahub
Residency Curators: Gabriella Mastangelo and Antonella Valerio

Crafthub partner Materahub (Matera, Italy) organised and hosted in March 2022 a Crafthub Maker Exchange Residency in Matera, Italy.

The theme was inspired by one of the micro digital residencies coordinated by Materahub during phase 1 of the Crafthub residencies that took place in 2021.

Two Italian designers, Gabriella Mastrangelo and Antonella Valerio explored how innovative techniques can be used to transform and recycle industrial waste and how they can be combined with traditional artisan practices to create objects that can be of commercial value.

This theme was developed further during the residency in Matera with the help of five European designers and local craft practitioners.

The overall objective was to highlight the ever pressing need of waste management for industry and the potential opportunities that can be created for craft practitioners.

The residency was made possible through three precious local partnerships.

Egoitaliano, a local sofa manufacturing company, provided their industrial waste produced and also followed the entire residency, entering into direct dialogue with the designers and practitioners to understand their experimental process. The final prototypes were presented to Egoitaliano at the end of the residency with the objective to identify opportunities for potential follow up and application. ‘Made in Carcere’, an organisation that through creative sewing using industrial textile waste, provides concrete training and job opportunities for detainees in the local prison and beyond, supported and participated in the residency to identify opportunities for follow up.

Finally, the residency took place with the Open Design School in Matera, one of the best equip design workshops in the south of Italy and pillar project of the Matera/Basilicata 2019 Foundation responsible for the cultural programme of the year Matera was European Capital of Culture. Having access to their space, equipment, expertise and methodology allowed the participants to really make the very most of the opportunity to experiment with new materials and create new prototypes.

We will be sharing exciting updates on the follow-up of this residency in the coming months.

The residency curators, craft practitioners and local partners helped us create a video narration of the residency, check it out!