DFFWAC operates through a “community for communities” and the creation of innovative projects, gathering a worldwide network of stakeholders – from individuals to companies, institutions to cities and countries – to support existing women-driven crafts communities across the globe.
Applying integrated design methodologies towards the development of platforms dedicated to knowledge and social intervention, DFFWAC’s programmes and projects are focused on the sustainability, preservation and protection of national and international artisan communities.
Through a series of initiatives, we cement our intervention alongside national and international female artisan clusters, as well as society as a whole, structuring a process of profound action into the context of women-driven craft practices.
The operationalization of this series of original projects reflects the five pillars of the Design Foundation for Women and Crafts: to Protect and Preserve; Understand and Inform; Update Through Design; Integrate; and Educate.
How do DFFWAC’s projects contribute towards the achievement of these goals?
Considering the lack of information available about female-produced crafts, this project identifies, registers and maps artisanal practices executed by women on a global scale, scientifically organizing the data collected and creating a database to be shared online.
This programme approaches situations where craft-based women clusters are in danger of becoming extinct due to a lack of human resources that guarantee their continuity; and tackles issues pertaining to the absence of information, lost over time. Centred on the transmission of knowledge between current and future generations of artisans, Teach Me creates and tests innovative models of training and information sharing to take on the challenge of generating new artisans and keeping these legacies alive.
Both these projects address questions related to remoteness, isolation and ageing among some female craft-based clusters, and how these issues lead to a fragile economy. With different design strategies, they have been conceived to preserve existing communities and create a means of minimizing the impact of these circumstances, as well as to prepare artisans for sustainable economic development, preventing desertification and social inequality.
Addressing the intricate universe of cultural exchanges and migration flows, this project brings together different women-driven craft communities and designers to promote social integration through the creation of new forms of craft.
Embodied by a series of conferences and an exhibition, these initiatives reflect the urgent need to place the universe of female-produced crafts, and the relevance of design as a tool for their social and economic sustainability, on the public, political and economic agendas of the contemporary world.
Provide help for urgent matters. This project delivers aid in emergency situations that need to be attended to as quickly as possible, directly addressing fundamental needs through highly efficient, focused and swift action.
Artisanship and crafts take a great amount of time to learn, develop and create. Our over-industrialised societies have become increasingly accustomed to obtaining things quickly and cheaply, while the quality of products that we see in many crafts results from meticulous dedication and skill, sustainable materials and adequate working conditions. As such, high-quality crafts can only be produced upon commission, and new commissions often call for a degree of innovation that can contribute to the perseverance of crafts, now and in the future. These projects are dedicated to the commissioning and development of new, intricate and distinguished works, contributing towards the survival of women-made crafts, their communities and DFFWAC’s activity.
A large part of the crafts economy is supported by its ability to create visibility, produce its work and products, and become known outside its inner circle. This project helps communities to project and disseminate their work through exhibitions, fairs and other means of presentation around the world.
As a showcase for women artisans, this website allows designers, advocates, project managers, stakeholders and the general public to discover and understand these practices, as well as get in touch with the artisans, providing them with visibility and creating a medium for their businesses to expand.
Establishing a link between users, their geographical location and the surrounding crafts-related universe by including useful information regarding what can be discovered and explored, this app will contribute to decreasing isolation, fomenting curiosity and interpersonal contact with artisan communities. This stimulates a more sustainable economy, bringing people together on a local level and contributing to increase knowledge through an approximation to socio-cultural roots.
The use and application of design strategies and tools to the universe of crafts, as well as the involvement of artists, architects, creatives and other disciplines as well, seeks to equip artisans with a contemporary set of tools that allows them to maintain and improve their practice – while directly collecting the resulting benefits.