Weaving landscapes

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Location:
Date
2020
Department
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
83
Series
Abstract
“Weaving Landscapes” is a research through design thesis that explores the relationship between craft and design, by using concepts from the material culture, with(in) the landscape. Landscape in this thesis refers to the environment(s) in which humans and nonhumans interact. Meanwhile, material culture is the concept that brings together activities from human society and natural ecosystems (natural culture) into one culture. Furthermore, this thesis examines the collaboration that exists between craft and design, which is studied on the notions of preservation and revitalization. Craft is understood as the practice of traditional techniques, while design is used as the perspective and tool to question, think, understand and develop concepts. The relationship between these two practices, craft and design, is inquired through the knowledge in materiality, in making and in the society. The context of the thesis is situated in Finland, in the relation that birch bark weaving technique has with the natural environment and with the society. This topic was chosen because the interest in this traditional craft in Finland seems to have decreased along with its makers, whether they are professional craftspeople or hobbyists. This thesis argues that birch bark weaving should be reconsidered because of the concepts and values that it has within the Finnish landscape. The context is studied by examining how craft values can be regenerated and preserved while revitalizing craft and design practices. As part of my research, I have traveled to mid-Finland to learn and research the birch bark weaving technique from a professional craftsperson. The trip along with the theory have inspired me to create the project “A Dialogue with Birch”, a collection of explorative artefacts. These artefacts consist on canvases that express the outcome of a conversation between my hands and the material (birch bark). Finally, with this thesis I want to analyze and empathize with the connections that the Finnish society has with the birch tree and its forest. In order to find a way to revitalize craft and design I have reviewed craft’s knowledge, values and relationships with the landscape and the raw materials it provides. By using ideas from material culture, this research appreciates craft as a tool for understanding and finding the balance between humans, the landscape and materiality.
Description
Supervisor
Lohmann, Julia
Thesis advisor
van der Lei , Anna-Marie
Savola, Kaisu
Keywords
design, craft, birch bark, weaving, Finnish craft, collaboration, material culture, craft community
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