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OPEN CALL: Crafting Futures Mexico Residency for Scotland-based designers and makers

OPEN CALL: Crafting Futures Mexico Residency for Scotland-based designers and makers

17 July 2019

The British Council, Applied Arts Scotland and Oax-i-fornia are inviting proposals from Scotland and Mexico-based designers to take part in a 3-week residency in November 2019 in Oaxaca, a region in Mexico famous for its craft traditions. Selected designers will form teams with local design graduates and artisans to develop prototype products. The programme started in 2017 and, in 2019, was expanded to include a public programme delivered in partnership with Applied Arts Scotland at the end of the residency period. 

To apply, please view the full open call document here

Crafting Futures Mexico is a three-week experimental collaboration developed by the British Council in collaboration with Oax-i-fornia, that brings together a Scotland-based designer/maker, a Mexican designer, and two Oaxacan design graduates, to work with a select group of artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. The goal of the residency is to investigate new methodologies for the use of design and creativity as tools for social change and cultural engagement. 

As a creative exchange, the programme proposes a unique strategy: rather than set up a designer/producer relationship (in which the designers design, and the artisans make the finished pieces), it seeks a shared space of interaction and creative making, in which the goals are established collaboratively. The residency’s intention is not to supplant the traditional visual language of any craft but to enrich it by creating, in unison, an alternative to what already exists.

Crafting Futures begins with what already exists in the body of work of a particular artisan as a starting point for creative dialogue and collaboration with a designer. The idea is to re-think traditional form, material and technique through experiment and play, and thus develop a new body of work that can be commercialised by the artisan and to which he or she will hold the rights of production. The designers are acknowledged as collaborators for any pieces that go to market.

The main objectives of this programme include:

  • the development of a rich cross-cultural collaboration in which both sides, designer and artisan, participate as equals;
  • providing a space for design exploration and creative freedom while pushing the boundaries of the materials and craft techniques at hand;
  • the production of two collections of objects, designed in collaboration with two artisan families in Oaxaca, Mexico;
  • possible tangible positive social and economic impact through the creation of new design products benefiting the artisans involved.

To apply, please view the full open call document here

The application deadline is 4PM (GMT) on 7 August 2019.