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Seminar: Continuity - A Discourse

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Continuity - a Discourse

Geographically, creative practices such as Joseph Walsh Studio are somewhat removed from the design communities of Milan, London and New York. This sometimes has advantages, but also presents disadvantages in that we lack the opportunity to engage regularly in peer conversation and creative stimulation. Joseph Walsh Studio has created a seminar series to address this imbalance, to stimulate thought, to question and to inspire.

As an admirer of the work created by the artists and designers who have kindly agreed to participate in this seminar, we are delighted to share their vision and the beauty of what they do.

Their presence will not only be inspirational for the team at Joseph Walsh Studio, but for our clients who are passionate about design, studio contacts and external partners as well as the broader design, architecture and craft community here in Ireland and abroad.

This seminar series is an investment in the team at Joseph Walsh Studio as well as in craft, design and architecture in Ireland. It is a commitment to preserving and advancing the values of the studio, the work created and the context in which it is realised as well as a catalyst for attracting talent.

Ultimately, it puts the studio at the center of a valuable creative dialogue, while also framing our ongoing commitment to creativity and excellence.

The Value of a Making Culture

We value living in a making culture and believe it to be an important component in society. Consuming cultures that rely on the production of goods elsewhere are poorer than those who engage not only in thinking about the objects they surround ourselves with, but who are committed to making these objects.

As consumers, we increasingly live though the objects we consume rather than surrounding ourselves with objects that best support how we live. Scandinavian design consists largely of designer’s interpretations of objects fit for purpose within a culture that has been significantly shaped through time by a geographical, environmental and political landscape.

The success of Scandinavian design has more to do with their culture than the talent of individual designers.

In Ireland today, we need to look at our island, our past and our future as we mark our place in time with the objects we create and surround ourselves with. Objects that enhance the way we live but are also an expression of how we are and where we are. Today there are probably greater opportunities than ever to do this; there is greater knowledge and experience, access to global design, new tools and a post consumerist attitude in which people are increasing seeking connections with and meanings within the objects they surround themselves with.

Joseph Walsh introduces the Speakers

Humberto Campana

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Humberto and Fernando Campana’s work is an explosion of expression, through craft, of a culture and a time. As they interpret Brazil’s organic urban and natural environment in their work, it is a way to experience many aspects of their countries culture and reality.

The Campana brothers reinterpret craft in a dynamic and vibrant way; in a way that reminds us of the explosion of expression in Brazil today, the growth of urban centers, the mood of the streets, the common materials.Their iconic Favela Chair is a reminder of, not just, hardship and poverty but the beauty, resourcefulness and joy of the Favela. A reminder of the people that reside at the edge of society and with creativity, ingenuity and energy, create communities.

The stuffed animal seats are a playful idea; the tradition of creating little stuffed animals and teddy bears represents childhood and playfulness. Yet these pieces remind us of what we are doing to nature, the Amazon constantly being reduced and natural habitats destroyed for many of these animals, while we continue to expand cities and agriculture.

For me, it is the crafting of Humberto and Fernando Campana’s work that gives it extraordinary texture and depth, allowing us to enjoy the object as we see it and yet, at the same time, appreciate that fact that these pieces express so much of the thought and culture of the Campana Brothers and their world.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

John Makepeace

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Continuity – Forestry, Architecture, Science, Education, Crafting an Expression.

John Makepeace work is like the finest English Garden, it looks like it’s the way nature intended it to be, however you know it took extraordinary commitment, knowledge, sophistication and accumulated experience through generations to make it happen. John Makepeace represents a highpoint in finely crafted British decorative arts.

I find his practice interesting in that he took such holistic view of his work, advancing forest management and the use of wood in design and architecture, his contribution to education, his extraordinary commitment to quality of making in his own work and the environment he creates around himself.

It would be very interesting to hear about Hook Park – the ambition of the buildings, structures and forms, realised without using any of the 3D drawing tools we benefit from today. It would also be interesting to hear about John’s commitment to education and craft at such a refined level.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Gareth Neal

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Gareth Neal - the maker designer (in that order). Through his work Gareth Neal has been both questioning and challenging many aspects of decorative arts, craft, design and furniture. He continues to question function; presenting a chair as sculpture without function with his bearing chairs, he challenged the notion of craft and what aspect of making was craftsmanship when he engaged digital design technology and digital manufacturing.

He created work that is purist in its relationship to material and process and tradition with the Brodger Chair.

He explored the most refined craftsmanship of marquetry, which he employed in a table tennis table. His work is unique and very much engaged in embracing and questioning the issues of our time in design, craft, ecology and technology.

As he has been at the forefront of questioning and exploring, it would be really interesting to hear about his experiences and how relevant he feels digital manufacturing will be in the future for him or were exploring and developing more attractive than processing? It would also be interesting to hear about his experience of craft knowledge combined with digital tools; is it important to have had hands on experience first?

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Joe Hogan

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

The basket maker; Joe Hogan’s work is now world-renowned. It has evolved from traditional form into crafted sculptural objects.

He represents the generation that created in a traditional way for use and now creates crafted objects as art.

Is the relevance in his sculptural objects their relationship with his earlier functional work? I’d like to hear about his attitude to making, is it a joy to make, is the purpose to be a maker with that sense of achievement?

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Chris Lefteri

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Material scientist and educator – Chris Lefteri has written a number of books on materials and takes a rather special approach in that he breaks materials down into how they are created and then invites us to think about bringing materials together to create new materials, like cooking!

I think it would be interesting to hear from Chris about material advances in the digital age or material knowledge and understanding through crafting versus digital manufacturing.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Hanns Günther Schnell

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Material Geometry; early material studies that have influenced the geometry of contemporary architecture.
Gunther Schnell has been involved in architecture during a period where he has witnessed the development of digital tools that enable the design development of such exciting and complex forms today, however he and his contemporaries created some complex 3D forms without these tools.

Their focus was on materials and engineering. The resulting works are beautiful expressions, not just of form, but also of the beautiful economy of structure.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Jorg Berchtold

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Architect and founder of Berchtold Projekte, Jorg Berchtold has collaborated with Joseph Walsh Studio since 2006. He is a member of both the Chamber of Architects of Baden-Wuerttemberg Germany and the Deutscher Werkbund.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

On 21-22 September, a two-day intermediate level Rhino workshop also takes place -> more info


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