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Location: Viljandi, Estonia


University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

In collaboration with traditional tanning specialist Lotta Rahme, Elisa presented on Studying Traditional Crafts: Goals and Methods in Higher Education.

The delivery was a material-based exploration looking at the role of fish skin in sustainable design practice, developing models of socially responsive design innovation and knowledge transfer. The research looked at the geographical use of fish skin material in circumpolar cultures. The aim is to explore how fish skin artisanship through participatory design practices can explore fashion for social cohesion through the partnership of tradition with contemporary design from higher education students. There is also a desire for reviving technologies of the past as well as for securing the transfer of indigenous knowledge systems related to fish skin processing.

The presentation described the workshops developing methods of tanning fish skin and producing fish skin material samples in areas where traditionally fish skin was developed, where experienced fish skin craftspeople have passed down the endangered Arctic fish skin craft to the next generation of students from universities in the circumpolar area (Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hokkaido, Japan, northeast China and Alaska) as part of the sustainable fashion higher education program. The methods of sustainable material engagement and the full immersive experience through a teaching-in-the field approach are recommended as transferable skills for educational models. The workshops demonstrate how relevant the Indigenous fish skin knowledge - in partnership with sustainable design strategies - can connect people to their culture, communities and the environment.

Location: Reykjavík, Blönduós, Sauðárkrókur - Iceland

FISHSkin researchers gathered in Iceland on September 2019, hosted by the project's partner Iceland University of the Arts and former partner Atlantic Leather. The exciting event included:

- ‘Innovation in the Use of Marine Resources’ conference on the use of sea leather and innovation in fashion design. the conference was arranged by Katrín María Káradóttir, Programme Director of Fashion Design at the IUA and Steinunn Gunnsteinsdóttir of ATL, Joined by experts Anne Lisbeth Schmidt from the National Museum of Denmark and Dr. Torunn Klokkernes from the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.

- A residency at the Icelandic Textile Center, Blönduós, participating in a workshop given by Lotta Rahme, a Swedish specialist in traditional fish leather tanning.

- Visits to Atlantic Leather factory at Sauðárkrókur, eye witnessing the fish leather production at industrial scale, and round-table discussions.

Video by IUA

Location: Kyoto, Japan


University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

Kyoto Seika University - Mitsushiro Kokita, Yuji Yonehara

We—The Future Seen Through Craft symposium by our partners, Kyoto Seika University’s Center for Innovation in Traditional Industries, was hosted by Kyoto International Manga Museum. Together with practitioners in the field of craft, FishSkin project researchers

Elisa Palomino and Mitsuhiro Kokita led important discussion on social issues such as ethical consumption, ecology and labor conditions in the context of handcrafts.

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