Rosa Ugolini

Ilaria Porcellini

Handmade

Preserving tradition through technology

Today’s society seems to prioritize quantity over quality, mass production over artisans’ creations, corporations over small and traditional boutiques. As a consequence, many of the manual skills and knowledge that have been handed down from generation to generation, are slowing disappearing. Handmade is a digital platform that invites everyone to share their skills and to learn from each other, especially during Covid-19. It aims at preserving tradition through technology, and at looking at the future of innovation with regards to the past.

Challenge

One of the main challenges that we faced was to reach out and to connect with local artisans. Initially, in fact, our intention was to focus on the Made in Italy, but, given the physical distance and the current circumstances with the outbreak of Covid-19, we decided to pivot and to speak to a larger audience. Our platform, in fact, invites everyone who is eager to express their creativity, share their knowledge and learn.

Outcome

During the semester, we worked on the development of a prototype for our website. We were able to collect content from some artisans including not only their work and portfolio, but also some real classes and lessons. Our skill-sharing platform is now a working website and we are longing to keep engaging with artisans and adding new classes to make this innovative learning experience the most creative and authentic journey for everyone.

Parsons School of Design has offered students innovative approaches to education since its founding in 1896.  Today we’re the only American art and design school within a comprehensive university, The New School, which also houses a rigorous liberal arts college and a progressive performing arts school. Our undergraduate and graduate programs, offered through Parsons’ five schools, immerse students in focused training, interdisciplinary inquiry, and practice-based collaborative learning. Here creators and scholars master established art and design fields and advance emerging ones while studying a range of university disciplines.

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