The residency was held online during the lockdown in many areas of Europe, will you tell us about hosting the residency? What was the residency about?
We gave the residency the title The Discarded as it essentially, the residency was about shifting mindset on resources and exploring how waste can be the material that sparks new ideas into a craft-based practice. In this online residency, participants were invited on a journey to wonder and open up horizons regarding re-processing discarded materials – commonly called WASTE.
The residency was built in two steps: The first step consisted of our own exploration challenging each other’s craft practice. Secondly, we held an online event sharing the learnings through activities. The online lasted 4 hours while 38 craft persons from various disciplines participated.
Before the online event, we experimented in our workshop to exemplify through prototyping. We did experiments on reprocessing plastic.
The online residency was planned with mainly hands-on activities even if crafters participated remotely. The first part consisted of guided warm-up exercises and a presentation of our experimentation. The second part of the event was more open for participants to work with materials of their choice, related to their field of craft. We ended the event with a joint reflection, where participants were invited to share their outputs from the different exercises.
With the line of activities, we aimed to provide participants with concrete tools and approaches for experimenting and exploring new possibilities for discarded materials, within their craft field to access an alternative mindset to use of materials, inspiration, form-giving, and aesthetics.
What did you aim to achieve with this residency? And what did you learn from the process?
The goal was to explore and develop new perceptions and manipulations of waste generated from 3D printing processes. During the first step of experimentation in the workshop, we came across many challenges and unexpected results. Instead of losing our motivation, we embraced those “failures”, and took them as a starting point, so we could build empirical knowledge about the material. We then re-designed the failed experiments with more insight and intention – and those were the experiments that took us further. We became aware that this is something that needs to be trained: a mindset to approach creative processes, where our curious muscles get trained to be comfortable being lost, being wrong and making sense of unexpected results.
When reflecting on the second step to share the results/knowledge, we understood that the most relevant was our MINDSET when experimenting/exploring a new material. Especially considering that we had relatively many participants with a background in different crafts. So, along with our presentation, we created some short exercises, and we got really good feedback from the participants. They were glad that they were given the opportunity to be curious and play like children, and that even though the exercises were so playful, they could easily apply the new mindset they were being presented to their craft practice.