NordTradCraft network

Higher Education on Craft Traditions (NordTradCraft) is a Nordplus network connecting eight universities in the Nordic-Baltic region. The network aims to advance international cooperation in traditional craft studies. NordTradCraft includes:

  • University of Tartu (Viljandi Culture Academy) (coordinating institution); located in Viljandi, Estonia;
  • University of South-Eastern Norway (Department of Traditional Arts and Traditional Music); located in Rauland, Norway;
  • University of Uppsala (Department of Art History); located in Uppsala, Sweden;
  • University of Gothenburg (Department of Conservation); located in Mariestad, Sweden;
  • University of Helsinki (Department of Education); located in Helsinki, Finland;
  • Pallas University of Applied Sciences (Textile Department); located in Tartu, Estonia;
  • University of Eastern Finland (School of Applied Education and Teacher Education); located in Joensuu, Finland;
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Faculty of Architecture and Design); located in Trondheim, Norway.

The partners offer study programs that preserve traditional craft knowledge with a future-oriented approach. We regard heritage properties and qualities as environmental, cultural, and societal assets for the continuing development of society from local, national, and global perspectives. Traditional crafts studies are rare at the university level. There is a lack of systematic cooperation between HEIs in this field that would thus benefit from international collaboration and student/staff exchange. 

We intend to advance the programs concerning traditional crafts in the Nordic-Baltic cultural area and to integrate institutionally separated researchers and students in traditional crafts and craft pedagogy. We aim to encourage teachers and students to seek innovative approaches to established practices by exchanging knowledge, experience, and vision on how to bring traditional crafts to the contemporary environment and the labor market, keeping in mind the knowledge of the past and the needs of the future. Network activities began successfully in 2019-2020 and are now facing their sixth round.

The network is mainly funded by the Nordplus Higher Education Programme.


3rd Craft Symposium, 18-22 March 2024, Rauland, Norway

Previous activities:

2nd Craft Symposium, 26-31 March 2023, Mariestad, Sweden
Study visits in Finland and Sweden, autumn 2022
Network meeting, September 2022, Helsinki, Finland
Craft Symposium part II with students from Finland, Sweden and Estonia, 10-16 July 2022, Viljandi, Estonia
1st Craft Symposium, 14-18 March 2022, Viljandi, Estonia
Viljandi students visiting Mariestad, April 2022
Rauland student research field work in Viljandi, February 2022
Uppsala students visiting Viljandi, November 2021
Network meeting in Uppsala, October 2021
Network meeting in Rauland, February 2020
Network meeting and conference, November 2019, Viljandi, Estonia