Craft students from Nordic countries meet at Viljandi Culture Academy

On 14–18 March, the Vilma building of the UT Viljandi Culture Academy hosts a symposium of the international craft network NordTradCraft, bringing together 60 craft students and lecturers from Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The five-day intensive course will focus on the sustainable use of materials.

The NordTradCraft network, established in 2019, includes the UT Viljandi Culture Academy and Pallas University of Applied Sciences from Estonia, the University of Helsinki from Finland, Uppsala University and the University of Gothenburg from Sweden, and the University of South-Eastern Norway from Norway. The network aims to provide a collaborative platform for higher education institutions involved in the research and teaching of traditional crafts to share professional ideas and methods and develop joint activities. The symposium in Viljandi is the first larger meeting of NordTradCraft.

The symposium includes workshops, seminars and lectures on the sustainable use of materials and sustainability. The opening lecture will be by Dr Niina Väänänen, who will present the dimension of sustainability in crafts. The seminars will focus on sustainability in construction, fashion and consumption. The workshops will explore both ancient and new craft techniques, from Japanese boro and sashiko mending techniques to traditional Swedish building constructions. The workshops will be run by both students and lecturers from the universities participating in the symposium.

Ave Matsin, the network's leader and Programme Director of the Estonian Native Craft curriculum at Viljandi Culture Academy, is delighted that for the first time, such a large group of young people with similar interests from all over the Nordic countries are coming together. "I very much hope that many new ideas and projects will arise this week." The next symposium will take place in Mariestad, Sweden, in a year's time.

The Craft Symposium is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers' Nordplus Higher Education Programme, the University of Tartu's baseline funding for national research, and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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Photo by Kerttu Kruusla


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