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Director Jean- François BASSEREAU
 Supervisors:  Sophie LARGER & Baptiste VENET


Craftsmanship is a vernacular practice that carries the cultural heritage of its territory. Vernacular know-how are practices with great economic potential that should no longer be considered marginal, inappropriate or decontextualized, both socially and economically.


Practiced by rural or in many cases poor people in Latin America, these practices, like any craft transmitted over long generations, define models and rules, material / tool / process ecosystems and results in terms of objects that evolve with their context through generative intersections. “These intersections are historical moments in which conditions become optimal for changes to take place in traditional forms of making.” (Raul Cabra, 2012)


The mis-valuation of craftsmanship makes it difficult for producers to make a decent living out of their know-how. The lack of economic means and access to other technologies makes any innovation almost impossible condemning craftspeople to stay below the poverty line.


In this context, how can the fields of application of these vernacular know-hows be questioned by design practices in order to integrate the producers into the economic system?


We suppose that through the creation of hybrid projects in-between ancestral manual practices and revisited industrial or digital techniques, it would be possible to broaden and adapt the craftsmanship by having previously made an effort of intelligibility of this knowledge constructed by doing. How, from there, can design associated with financial intermediaries offer economic models adapted to the cosmovision of producer organisations in order to meet the financial needs of their activity?


The ambition is to develop, through a design practice-based research, hybrid* ways of doing that truly integrate the actors and owners of vernacular practices, not to do like (them), but to do with (them).


I use design to research and develop enhancement strategies with the aim of creating new fields of application and production for this know-how that are respectful of their cultural heritage. My work also aims to offer alternative sources of income that use valuation to facilitate the financing of producer organisations.


By the growing recognition of these skills as forms of engineering and the questioning of hierarchies in installed production models (designer-craftsman), other forms of social interaction are thus promoted.


I therefore consider my work in relation with artisans from Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador), industrialists and solidarity financial intermediaries, as a catalyst for research, with the aim of bringing out unprecedented hybrid ways of doing anchored in the economic markets.


*Nestor García Canclini defines as hybrid the sociocultural process in which structures or practices that existed individually are combined to generate new structures, objects or practices. According to him, the hybrid arises from individual and collective creativity not only in the arts but also in daily life and technological development. It implies an inclusion and rejection dynamic, an active struggle between entities that culminates in the emergence of a new structure (2010).  


This practice-based research is made at EnsadLab in the framework of a PhD project from the program SACRe from PSL University in cooperation with Solidarité Internationale pour le Développement et l'Investissement SIDI.  

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