Crafting Mass Production

Bridget Harvey wrote: One of the highlights of the London Design Festival last week for us here at TED, were the events being organised at the Design Council called Greengaged . One of the days we attended was 'Crafting Mass Production', which proposed to look at "how craft sensibilities and values can be brought to a mass production scale". Basically, they argued that craft is bringing the love back into design!

One of the best speakers was Kresse Weslin of E&KO who make beautiful, upcycled bags from dis-used fire hoses, produced by a combination of craft techniques and a larger production model. An inspirational speaker, Kresse spoke about her passion for diverting waste from landfill and that she sees herself as a problem solver rather than a designer.

She ended her talk by paraphrasing Michael Braungart who says "if you've got something good, do it big" - which is exactly what she is doing with her innovative, successful company.

Also speaking was June Hill from the Schiffli Project, a textile research project based around the last remaining working Schiffli embroidery machine in the UK at Manchester Metropoliton University. The machine works by embroidering the marks and lines made by a hand-manipulated 'stylus' and was invented to quickly and efficently produce embroidery designs. The University were threatening to replace the machine with newer technology, but it was saved by staff members who developed the idea of an exhibition which saw over ten artists using the machine to make new work.