Nordic craft education, “Slöyd,”

is an attitude to work that connects to honesty, determination and even moral and ethical judgements; honesty, because there is no gain in cheating on the material, determination is needed to overcome material resistance, and moral and ethical judgement in knowing what to do and when to do it.

The German “Homo Faber,” as well, are exemplars of societal values conferred through work.

European nations have welcomed craft programs into their universities, . Clearly, our own universities have not reached out so much, even though our construction workers feel pride when we walk down the block of a building we built.

Slöyd, therefore, is my stance.

  • When Covid cut off “hands on,” I immediately felt the hit, reiterated cycle after cycle—after a year,
    I knew I had to plumb deeper into dark waters, to keep sane while commanding my ship, and then our armada, forward.
    I needed to know what happened, when construction trades apprenticeship programs abruptly went online in 2020.
    Right now, it has something to do with the inversion of analog-digital craft migration, abruptly to post-digital (and post-human) systems taking priority.
  • In one of my 4133 classes, I don’t know which, we read an article that mentioned choreography. Is there a science to dance? Making everything scientific leads to the danger of embodied cognition being reduced to mechanical aspects, material results, social preconditions, or other contingencies.
    That digital materiality is reduced to mere digitalism.
  • The knowledge of touch and feel that it is gained through the senses from repeated experiences of working with a specific material over time. A translation of material and form by means of gestural action and tacit knowledge.

The learning [of a cabinetmaker’s apprentice] is not mere practice, to gain facility in the use of tools. Nor does he merely gather knowledge about the customary forms of things he is to build.
If he is to become a true cabinetmaker, he makes himself answer and respond above all to the different kinds of wood and to the shapes slumbering within wood – to wood as it enters into man’s dwelling with all the hidden riches of its nature.
In fact, this relatedness to wood is what maintains the whole craft. Without that relatedness, the craft will never be anything but empty busywork, any occupation with it will be determined exclusively by business concerns.

Heidegger, Martin. 1954. What Is Called Thinking. Trans. Glenn Gray. New York:
Harper Collins Publishers.

Arendt, H., Allen, D. S., & Canovan, M. (2018). The human condition (Second edition). University of Chicago Press.
Kokko, S. (2022). Orientations on studying crafts in higher education. Craft Research, 13(Craft Sciences), 411–432.
Tin, M. B. (2013). Making and the sense it makes. FormAkademisk, 6(2).
Townsend, K., & Niedderer, K. (2021). Craft as a meeting place. Craft Research, 12(1), 3–8.
Nimkulrat, N. (2020). Translational craft: Handmade and gestural knowledge in analogue–digital material practice. Craft Research, 11(2), 237–260.
Groth, C., Townsend, K., Westerlund, T., & Almevik, G. (2022). Craft is ubiquitous. Craft Research, 13(2), 211–220.