MAKING THINGS IS SEEING THINGS — Design for the social craftsman

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MAKING THINGS IS SEEING THINGS Design for the social craftsmann — Concept for engagement to extent capacities in craftwork and the introduction of the social craftsman and it‘s media

— Concept for engagement to extent capacities in craftwork and the introduction of the social craftsman and its media.













ABSTRACT “Making things is seeing things”—1 said the 72 year old English Potter, sharing his skills in pottery by teaching his attendees of his class in Broadstairs, south of England. He encourages his attendees to discover ways of expressing themselves in a rewarding and challenging way. This leads to the question, how we can bring together degrees of individual human capacities with degrees of methodical processes in order to guide recipients in understanding and experiencing the quality of the material, the work and also the quality of life.

“Making things is seeing things” addresses the issue of material alienation and overconsumption through introducing a concept of engagement. Through actively collaborating with craftsman or other clients, clients to engage in such a way which addresses social alienation. Ac­cording to Fromm, alienation is very widespread. Man is said to be alienated from others, from nature, from society and culture, and, perhaps most significantly, from himself.—2 This needs to be addressed. The concept of engagement re-considers the existing. Implementing an existing element in a new fashion, imagining and inducing tools, spaces, rituals, and clothes. The introduction of the social craftsman


provides an approach which focuses on the how and why a product contributed to its point of use, as well as with whom is a product being produced. How can a traditional idea of craft respond to a public longing for personal fulfillment and change the appreciation of the material, work and healthy consumption in general? The target group for the investigation is elderly people. They have the capacity to think and act without capitalistic bounds and have the need to maintain and extend their mental and motor skills in order to sustain a self-determined and joyful life. Design for the social craftsman, a pathway towards understanding and appreciation of material and interactions through the concept of engagement within craftwork which goes beyond producing the object.



Mike Child




Joseph Beuys

EMPOWERMENT AND SELF-DETERMINATION FOR FULFILLING INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY Empowerment and self-determinism contribute to inclusion of people into a social environment by shifting responsibility and trust towards the individual person. The word individual by definition expresses that people and interests are different, and therefore also differently empowered and self-discovered. Personal capacities need to be explored and extended in order to contribute ones skills and responsibility towards society in a rewarding and pleasant way. The artist Joseph Beuys argues that people need to adopt an approach to in order to feel self-determined by being asked to think, receiving critique and taking action through making something which can be discussed.—3. Beuys is empowering people and says that everybody is an artist; everybody is a creative individual. Everybody has to realize that they are a free and self-determined human being. One should not be dictated by higher authorities and politics. Human beings are a social species which are dependent and responsible for his fellow being—3. The same idea is offered to us by Victor Papanek, “All man are designers”.

All that we do, almost all the time, is design, for design is basic to all human activity—4. Both of these creative minds are shifting social responsibility towards “everybody”. Each individual has to take part in daily life and has the need to receive respect. Picking up the idea of responsibility through experiencing being involved and encouraged to be able to contribute to the crafting process. Considering the social and cultural importance of craft and how the practical working process is facilitated opens up the possibility to re-consider its tools, spaces, rituals, and clothes. It is important to make them fit the “new social craftsman work process” and provide a concept of engagement which considers the various capabilities and fosters expanding knowledge. Otherwise, limited capabilities are being expressed as expanded capabilities, showcased in objects. Diversity and inclusiveness are our only hope. It is not possible to plaster everything over with clean elegance. Dirty architecture, fuzzy theory, and dirty design must also be out there.—5 Values like poetry, morality, memories and the beauty of imperfection are being forgotten by the introduction of the machines which are playing with imperfect perfection. The IKEA series “INDUSTRIELL” is showing designed chairs and tables which are promoted as “something different, something new. Furniture which has a unique and hand-made feeling”—6. The hand-made feeling is faked by machines in order to reach imperfection. This shows that imperfection is accepted and valued but not honestly realized. Traces of a process makes an object unique, honest and alive; if the traces are real. 3— Joseph Beuys — watch?v=2VLsaY4KGYs 4—Victor Papanek. Design for the real world. 1978. Chicago 5—Sheila Levrant de Bretteville— Alice Rawsthorn – Design as an attitude ringier kunstverlag ag 2018 6— IKEA promotion watch?v=Wp9on4GWIeY


The creativity needed to foste to grow in the individual pers In creativity is freedom includ freedom of an individual pers

Production equals provocatio

I’m asking humans to be pro the way of thinking and being active with their mind and bra Human beings are a social sp which is depended on his human brother. Joseph Beuys


er a change son. ding the son.

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KNOWLEDGE AND RELATIONSHIP The mass-production and reduced price of this new kind of furniture have also impacted on the appreciation of work and material. The process becomes more and more difficult to understand. Gilbert Ryle divides two different kinds of knowledge/states. The “knowing that”, which is understood as ‘factual’ or ‘propositional’ knowledge, and the “knowing how” which represents ‘practical’ knowledge. The “knowing how” is responsible for a worthy relationship between the human and the object that is weakened if the process of making becomes less understandable. This question was asked by Thomas Thwaites by building a working toaster from scratch, extracting raw materials and processing them himself in an attempt to replicate a mass-produced toaster he bought in a shop for less than £5.00.—7 How able are we to understand and produce our own toaster and how much do we need to cheat in the process to really make it happen. With an overload of products in the

western world, there is a need to learn more to relate to a product and generate a closer relationship to tackle the throwaway society, as well as to develop a fun way of changing our lifestyle towards a “less but better”—8 approach. Dieter Rams already proposed this in his thesis, “The era of the bodacious use of resources is done. We need our resources for even more important tasks.”—8 This seems to be true after seeing the numbers of “The Worlds Counts”, which postulates that we extract 27.4 kilos of resources per person/day. Furthermore, the population of the world grows by 200,000 people per day. This problem requires a radical change of consciousness towards the material and work and therefore products and their use. Combining the idea of Ryle and the potential of a shift from “knowing that” towards “knowing how” plus the quote from the English potter, “making things is seeing things”, is proving to have the potential of giving a person agency through product making.

7— Toaster project the-toaster-project/ 8—Dieter Rams 9—Anthony Giddens 10—


“I CHEATED QUITE A LOT! Thomas Thwaites—7

the very concept of ‘agent’ and ‘agency’ involve people having the ability to transform the world around them through their actions, as well as being able to reproduce it Anthony Giddens—9

we extract 27.4 kilos of resources per person/day —10






Besides the sense of productiveness, perfection and efficiency which are well covered and applied within big furniture factories and production lines, there are also valuable social and cultural aspects which add another layer of importance to craft. “A drastic technical- and machining development turns the craftsman more into a “machine-worker”. It is a danger to become a technocrat. “Craft is a sensual act of doing which stays alive through the direct contact of the maker and the user”, was the journalist Hans Fink’s saying.—11 This results in the need to consider the social importance of craft in order to experience the coexistence of professional craftsman and un-professional user, who is learning in a subtle way through interaction. By collaboration in planning and allowing the user to gain insights into the processes of making, they can begin to understand the craftsman’s various ways of thinking and behaving. Seeing and experiencing by making contributions with various degrees of impact. Handcraft and cabinet making are responsible for social values that comes with the actual produced object. Evidence can be found through the Stool of Ulm, which provides a range of social values in terms of education and collective use while studying. Examples are group dynamics through mutual skills, social interactions enabled through objects, ability to define and communicate social status, access to and

enabling own objects, education through making, and voice for critique. On the one hand, a handcrafted wooden object can be seen from an aesthetic perspective. Besides that, the process of crafting a chair can be a process of ´sense-making´. Furthermore, the product provides space for social interaction, both in a private and public environment, by giving people space to sit and talk to each other or have a meal together. What can we learn from the social value in handcraft from the past and from the present? Having in mind that 95% of our resources are turning into waste, the population has to rethink its consumer habit. Maybe this fact and what we learned from past and present concepts of handcraft can influence our future concepts, combining object and material appreciation, as well as personal fulfillment. —12 Indra Kagis McEwen is a modern historian who thinks that the importance of craft is not only related to the object itself, but also to the act of making and using. He explains that craft brought people out of their isolated position. What craft meant to the cave-dwelling cyclopes, is similar to the meaning of craft and community for the early Greeks: indissociable - which means that they are inseparably linked.—13 A similar social mechanism happened in the early beginnings of the German history of craftsmanship


11— Written Interview Heinz Fink Journalist at the craftsman Journal BM 12—Tradition Zukunft Master thesis Moritz Schmitt/ Timo Röhrig 13— Indra Kagis McEwen, Socrates’ Ancestor: An Essay on Architectural Beginnings (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997), 119. 14—Christian Zander: Vom Hobel zum Schreiner. Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2008 page 65 1–Mike Child

and the work with wood. The German history of cabinet making began in 1350. After some disputes and legitimations with town lords, artisans finally established the cabinet making guild, which was emerging out of the carpenter section, because there was a need for more elaborate furniture with a higher claim. As Christian Zander said, the social status of the cabinet making guild is nowadays still similar; it is elitist, with a strong self-conception in the economic process. This status remains separated to other social classes, a group unaffected by higher authorities and town lords. Cabinet makers are a group of skilled people who have defined their own system of values, which on the one hand binds them as a group, but on the other hand, isolates them from higher or lower social classes too. —14 This group dynamic has such strength due to the exchanging of knowledge. Collaboration empowers the individuals within the guild. While working together, members have strongly defined roles and licenses, this makes them unique in their abilities and tasks. As soon as these guilds obtained economic freedom, they got into tremendous trouble, because from one day to the other everyone was able to work without being in a guild.

Nowadays there are organizations such as the Chamber of Crafts, which ensures that the quality of the cabinet makers education and health is guaranteed. Within these associations, there is a mechanism and a service, which strengthens members of the group, and provides a support network. This helps to appreciate the colleges, their work, as the individual’s own work. Using craft as a medium for getting people involved in an organization is a great value. The result not only gives people skills and independence but also provides them with security within their social structure. Craft is a way to turn interaction within society into a social network because people become interested in what you make. People often want to buy what you make if it‘s good enough and if it fits into their life.—1

Craft is a way to turn interaction within society into a social network because people become interested in what you make. People often want to buy what you make if it‘s good enough and if it fits into their life. Mike Child—1






Processing material in order to continue the value-added chain requires specific tools, rituals, spaces and clothes. Tradition and new technology are shaping the working environment and providing work for skilled workers with different educational degrees.

tools spaces rituals clothes



A skilled worker who is able to plan and satisfy custom wishes, by processing material with machines and tools which were designed for an accurate result. Construction techniques making sure that solid wood furniture is staying in the correct shape and prevent changes in the shape of the wood, such as shrinking and expanding of the wood due to changes in air moisture content Customers needs are the most important requirement. The cabinet maker provides the client with drafts of furniture which are then discussed with the customer and made for the customers



TOOLS Tools in woodwork are categorized as hand tools, power tools, and stationary machines. The power that the human has to afford is decreasing. Hand tools are controlled and powered by human impact. Power tools are electronically powered but controlled by the user. Stationary machines that were utilized more in the past, meaning the beginning of mechanization, were powered by steam engines. Nowadays, stationary machines are also electronically powered and mostly controlled by a transport belt or with computer software. The human impact is therefore reduced to set and maintain the machine, program the software and place the workpiece on the machine table. The kind of skill which is needed to use the machines is changing, turning away from manual skills towards skills which are based on brain capacity. Furthermore, there is also a task which doesn’t need a high level of brain capacity and doesn’t need and skills This is the case if the machine is fully automated and the skilled worker only has to push a button to start an automated process. The relational distance from the skilled worker to the material is increases as the process becomes more automated. On the other hand, while using the hand tools and a fully manual process, the responsibility and the impact of the skilled worker is high, which means that the human and the material are closely correlated. So close that every workpiece gets unique traces of the crafting process.


Since stationary machines are only for professional use, hand and power tools are available in different versions for different skills and education levels of the user. Beside the different quality of the used material for the product, professional tools are mostly equipped with more adjustments which need to be learned and experienced in order to come to a satisfying result. The complexity and special hand hold positions of the tools are excluding people who are not trained. For the user-visible, there are special classifications through professional brands like Festool or Mafell or semi-professional brands, for example, Skill and AEG. Within a brand, classification comes via different colored machine cases, for example the Bosch power tools. Blue machines indicate professional machines with a longer lifetime and more various possible adjustments. The green machines indicate the semiprofessional and DIY section, and therefore, have less possible adjustments and the construction and the quality of the used materials is oriented on less heavy and less intense use of the power tool.



SPACE The workspace of cabinet makers are mostly manufacturing halls with a set of stationer machines, tools and materials. Also the construction site of the client, meaning outside of the workshop—15The workshop setup is based on the workflow and the stationary machines are well positioned that the workpiece can travel easily through different stations of process. All planning is oriented on efficiency, such that the skilled worker doesn’t lose time and energy by having long distances of transport. The conditions of the room are fitted to the use of the room, meaning that the room for surface finishing is strictly separated from the room of the machines and the sanding area. Dust and small particles in the air is the worst case scenario for spray painting and drying, where the air needs to be clean and warm in order to achieve a well-done furniture surface. Strictly defined roles of each space are highly needed. Compared to the own workshop, the construction site is treated in a totally different way and the clients well being and cleaners are more important than the work process. Dirty and loud work processes are occur outside if possible in order to keep the clients home as clean as possible.





RITUALS Rituals structure the work day. Making sure the day is not overloaded with work, it is important to have breaks. Moments in the morning, in the midday and in the afternoon when all the different skilled workers come together, regardless of which project someone is working on and which position they hold in the company. Conversations about a work project and other topics from their lives make a break like this an important social gathering across hierarchies. This can be an indicator for a boss who is looking to understand the value of co-workers as the company’s biggest asset. Taking strict care to keep break times in order to let this moment happen is essential. Different educational degrees are structure responsibility and tasks in a formal way. For educating an apprentice, a masters degree is needed which contains a further eduction in teaching. However, the informal allows for a degree of experience which gives a different type of knowledge. A really experienced craftsman without a master craftsman diploma might teach the apprentice or the intern even more than an inexperienced master craftsman. Knowledge can be transferred also in a subtle and hidden way. “We know more than we can see.“—16 argues Michael Polanyi, referring to tacit knowledge which is collected by doing and experiencing without knowing.

16—Michael Polanyi


“WE KNOW MORE THAN WE CAN SEE.“ Michael Polanyi—16



CLOTHES Heavy workpieces can fall on the worker‘s feet, long hair can be caught by a drilling machine and wooden chips can fly into the eyes. These are accidents which happen while working with material and tools. Therefore it is required to wear special safety and working gear. While the safety shoes are always obligated, the safety glasses are only required in working steps where flying chips are expected. Strict rules also apply to safety gloves, which are not allowed at the circular saw because of the danger that the hand might get caught by the machine and sucked in. This is also the reason why tight working clothes are obligated. In a workshop there is not only the role of product making, but also roles of safety and specially designed gear. Color-coded pants indicate the craft profession and communicates on the construction site who is working in which subject and with what material. The colors are indicators for the subject of the craft. On the other hand, specific working clothes give strong group binding. Therefore a cabinet maker feels included, safe, and connected to his co-workers and his work. Standard bags on the side of a cabinet makers pants are hold the pencil and the measuring stick, which is considered as a standard personal tool.







Hypothetical investigation about engagement 29

— Hypothetical investigation about engagement


This investigation is about various client entry points into a production and using processes shows a set of hypothetical tools and products which question the process of including the client into a system, and allows for comparison to see the client only as a consumer without any chance of influencing the outcome.


IKEA early approach IKEA stool template Chocolate assembly IKEA Bekväm appealing assembly Tandem-Tools Semi-workpants Memory game 32



IKEA EARLY APPROACH Several states of the seeds/ tree/ wood are allowed to influence the growing and shaping of the material. The “material� is being sold together with the screws and the manual. The client is being challenged to find the way of processing the wood and finishing the stool, by using the local cabinet maker/ co-working spaces or the prepared hypothetical tools.










IKEA STOOL TEMPLATE These Hypothetical tools allow continuation of the process of manufacturing the Bekväm stool. Using a semi-automated double sided router for turning the round brunches into plane beams. After the beam is on the right dimension of thickness and width, another template helps the client mark and cut the length of the components. The same element but another slot and position is used to drill the holes for the screws. The screwdriver provided which is also in the plastic bag enables the user to tighten the screws.

This is a manufacturing process which is dealing with the vacuum between automatization and manual work. The measurements of the cutting and drilling template is not changeable. The client don’t have impact in the measurements. But they do in the quality of cutting, drilling and the decision of what kind of wood and where the wood is from. The router works in two thickness s ettings, allowing only the two dimensions which are needed to complete constructing the Bekväm stool.





Workers need to see themselves in the objects they have created. Labor offers us a chance to externalise whats good inside us. Karl Marxs


In order to make a production process understandable there is a need for rethinking the way how recipients can step into the making process of a product in more various degrees.

By understanding the process customers can learn and getting enabled to getting part of a system. The customer is shifting from a “excluded customer” towards an “included/(integrated) partner” the level of inclusion can be different but it opens up the possibility to get the part of a system. Means feel worthy and responsible.

// Health costs // Tacid knowledge // Affordance/Access // Career jumper // potential of innovation // challenging small businesses



CHOCOLATE ASSEMBLY Pre-cut boards allow the client to break off pieces in the dimension they want. The breaking process creates a tongue and the pre-cuts a groove‌ the tongue from the cracking is fitting into the groove. A stool with a groove and tongue joint is possible to make.




IKEA BEKVĂ„M APPEALING ASSEMBLY How does it make the assembly process more fun? And how does it give the the client more agency and impact over a simple Ikea stool and therefore another relationship towards the stool.



The fingerprints of the making process, while assembling the stool the person had blue colored hands


The fingerprints of a directed assembling process; tracing the assembly

The fingerprints of the while assembling the s the same color than th

e making process, stool the person had he wood on the hands

Colored and still wet elements are being assembled

Coin-lock is managing the use


A cracked stool re-glued with colored glue


A binding game

Package band as a con


Extension kit

Colored gloves with pattern addition





TANDEM-TOOLS These tools are helping to guide a person who is not yet or no longer able to process a certain work stage by themselves. The teacher can guide the client and the client can learn the movement through feeling and seeing what the teacher is doing. These special tandem tools balances lack of power and motoric disadvantages.






SEMI-WORKPANTS These work pants communicate the degrees of work experience and skills. Attendees become more and more professional, but at the beginning of the transformation there are still parts of ordinary pant parts. The beige colored pants are typically used by cabinet makers. Color codes indicate skills and profession. This helps on a construction site to see who is responsible for which processes. Also, it contributes a feeling of in-group relations.





MEMORY GAME The language of the craftsman is the technical drawing which is always based on three views where you can see the joints, the material and the dimensions. This game is inspired by the Memory-card game and asks the player to puzzle the drawing in the correct way together. Its aim is to generate an understanding for the drawing language in order to communicate to a craftsman through a drawing.






Report about actual investigation 75

Vonderboys Back to work Vitalis Wissehaege Activiteiten groep Own Grandma Easter session Pontem Collage Bench workshop



Vonderboys Back to work

PARTNER Vitalis Vonderhof Almar Sinte Maartensdijk

TARGET +-12 men 80-90 years old

TIME 9 Session 3hours each Oct-Dec 2018

LOCATION Eindhoven Temporary art center

PROJECT Vonderboys – back to work


“Vonderboys - back to work” was a project initiated by Almar Sinte Maartensdijk for a group of 12 elderly men from the elderly home vitals Vonderhof in the center of Eindhoven. The aim was to use eight workshop sessions from 10:30 am till 12 and from 12.30 till 2 pm to give two double-seat bikes a new style, shape, and a theme. Almar is a social designer based at the Temporary Art Center in Eindhoven; this is where the workshop sessions took place. The social design master student Robin Weidner assisted with the project and was led one of the two groups. The working environment was equipped with a workbench, paper, pens, cardboard, hand tools and many chairs to sit around the bikes. The provided special branded working coats and lunchboxes were responsible for the group recognition and supported the feeling “back to work”, which was the subtitle of the project.


THE GENERAL INTRODUCTIO The general introduction took place on the 2nd of October2018. The double seat bikes were brought into the conference room where the full group of elderly people were sitting. Richard, the Feel-good Manager of Vonderhof explained the project and the plan. The introduction was a very important moment to raise curiosity and motivate the group.

THE FIRST SESSION The first session, we discussed within the group which parts we were to keep/remove/replace/ refurbish. After some discussions, we started to remove ugly elements. Too much talking wasn't good because the elderly participants don’t want to talk much, they prefer to do more with their hands. That's why we always had only a short session of talking to remember what we are planning to do and give them an idea of the day, also to remember what we did during the preview session. It was important to repeat, to ensure that they knew what had happened.


THE BIKES The bikes and the topics from both groups were defined after the third session, which was really important because they got a vision and an idea of how it can look. The group from Almar decided to choose the topic “tour de France” and the group from Robin took the topic “pirate ship”. With cardboard elements, the shapes were discovered and defined. Every session needed to be well prepared and the group needed to define some new tasks and procure new material to construct and build with. It turned out that the drilling, cutting and screwing of the wood was the most enjoyable for the elderly people. Also, the work with machines which were well guided in the process like the cop-saw for metal was enjoyed. The worker could use his own strength and movement to pull the turning plate through. Fixations and protection elements at the cop-saw made the cutting secure and the angle was given by the setting of the machine. The drilling for the bolt in the wood is also a really good work process because the material wood was soft to drill. The correct position and the correct angle was not needed because the construction allowed for the imperfection. Also, the topic of a pirate ship allows some imperfections. Besides the drilling and sawing, there were more easy steps to do such as sorting out bolts and nuts and also sand construction elements and wooden elements. These steps were dedicated to the man who were only able to sit in the wheelchair. For other working steps at the bike, men who were able to walk took responsibility. On the 22nd of January 2019, the test ride and the final ceremony was the last, and possibly, the most important step. Both groups started to use and feel their work-pieces and brought them out of the workshop. Arriving, the elderly retirement home staff and elderly women provided a big party with decoration, music, and cake. Part of the decorations were printed pictures to let the other people who weren't part of the groups see what we did during the process. The last speech was again from the Feel-good Manager Richard to explain the result and sum up the project for the others.





RITUALS Every morning Almar and Robin went at 10 am to the elderly home, 5 minutes on foot away from the workshop at TAC. There, the elderlies already waiting with their special “Vonderboys” branded working coat and the lunchbox. Some elderly men could walk with the walking aid and some had to be pushed in the wheel chair. The third group had to get picked up from the van. This routine was the same every week. Also, the way back at 2 pm. Transport took us 30 minutes so we started at 10.30am. At 12 am sharp the lunch break started and the whole group spent time in the restaurant and were eating lunch which was packed in their “Vonderboys” lunchbox.

CHALLENGES Understanding the group and the capabilities is really necessary to prepare the sessions and consider working steps, in order to provide work to do for various degrees of difficulty. The time without work for the individual person had to be as little as possible, so that all the members felt part of the group. Planning for imperfection and construction which covers mistakes is challenging. The tension of having a representative result and keeping the work joyful and fun made it difficult. Therefore the preparation from Almar and Robin had real importance.

CONCLUSION After a summarizing conversation with designers, care-takers and Feel-good Manager, the conclusion was that the workshop sessions were responsible for shaping a group which stays beyond the project. Participants feel responsible for the bikes they made and feel proud to show and talk about what they did. The pirate ship bike was especially interesting because kids are appealed by the theme, which helps to connect to the kids. Leaving the elderly-home was seen as a great experience in order to break the daily repetitive day live. Design and construction are fit to the human capacities, not humans having to fit to the construction and the style of the product. Keeping fun always in the focus changes the matter of the work. Slowness and allowing inaccurate work is something to learn.


Vitalis Wissehaege Activiteiten groep

PARTNER Vitalis Wissehaege Marjan Jonker Wendy

TARGET +-8 eldery men 80-90 years old

TIME 10.30am-12am 1.5 hour each March 2019 - on going

LOCATION Eindhoven Vitalis Wissehaege

PROJECT Making things is seeing things


Video-report Session 1-8

The old people‘s home Vitalis Wissehaege in the south of Eindhoven is also part of the actual investigation about concepts of engagement as a pathway of learning through experiencing, exploring and experimenting.

The collaboration started on the 28th of February with the first meeting and contact with Marjan Jonkers. She is the leader of the activity group in the old people‘s home, a group which is meant to make the residents‘ daily life more meaningful and fun. On Wednesday morning from 10.30am-12am is a craft session with around 12 elderly men. “The men want to do what they still can and even want to discover capacities they are not aware of ”, said Marjan during the first meeting in February. Also, heavy tools are not possible and traveling to another workplace requires too much effort. One and a half hours is quite tight, even though the participants would like to do more work with their hands. The information that it is not possible doesn’t mean that it is not worthy to consider. The role of a designer in this unusual environment is also to challenge structures and inspire to extend imagination in order to discover abilities and possibilities.


SESSION 1 —2019-03-06 Wednesday

Words from Marjan/Stuff -They want to be able to imagine and want to see sense in it. -They want to make and see a result Organisation — Observation/ Insights -Bring more then expected -Think ahead and be prepared

Process — Observation/ Insights -Bringing physical objects are triggering the imagination which allows people to reflect themselves into the object and generates motivation. -Reflecting if it makes sense. -Patience is a valueable skill to have. Because processes might take more time. -Having constructions which allow inaccuracy - some work steps might not be really precise. We need to embrace the beauty of mistakes and in-accuracy E-fficiency becomes a new meaning -Joop is singing and have fun with his life

Video Session 1




Previous project Curiosity 89



Interaction with objects I brought I brought L-Modules… Immediately Joop started to arrange modules like a puzzle in different variations. 1. he started to placed them flat next to each other in a row on the x-ax 2. he started arranging them in the x and y-ax 3. he discovered placing them on to of each other 4. he used the bench-model which was the same dimension material and implement them 5. he cut wood for making more of the L-Modules After it became boring he gave himself other challenges. Like, making a higher tower. Q: How open a form needs to be and can be.

I brought Integration Tools One person recognized this kind of hammer from his past Two participants were playing with the tool and were wondering what it was for.

I brought Drawing Game One person was immediately starting with arranging the parts. First, there was no system to see but he anyway had fun with arranging the part. Later after removing distracting elements like paper and other parts of the game the person sorted to the colors of the cards to the colors of the game. The game has different layers of difficulty in one game. I brought Carry-Bench Many people recognized that the bench is for carry away and they liked it. It was less interesting to play with because the shape/form is already finished and too small to sit on it now. But the bench became part of the construction work with the L-Module I brought pictures from the other project They picked the pictures and had a look. Almost nobody was reading but many were looking at the pictures. I generated trust. Stories on the side I’m in the old people‘s home because my wife can‘t take care of me. She comes and visits me every day at 3.30 o’clock. Over House is a way to big she lives there alone. Neighbors are there quick if she needs any help. Over House was always too big even as I was still living there. Some times I go home it‘s about 15min.. with the wheelchair (A new measurement) I placed the L-Modules in the cafeteria. People started getting curious about it and started playing


start the making





SESSION 2 —2019-03-13 Wednesday

Notes -This is already too much for them to understand. Less information at one time is better to understand for them. Words from Marjan/Stuff -All is possible you can make what ever you want -You think already many steps ahead, they are not so quick

Process — Observation/ Insights -“Do you have work for …? -“Do you know what … could do?” -We had 3 working spots — Cutting — gluing — sanding — playing -Vincent the volunteer which is supposed to be really introverted became really open and talkative. -Vincent helped to modify the sawing templates and developed a new one for sanding. -“We can always try”, Vincent said. -Some needed guides some could work independently.. sawing work was done independently -We talked about if and how we could sell the elements.

Video Session 2


good memories recognise themselves


A Work piece from various process degrees Different Abilites

modification 98

Interaction with objects I brought I brought Template for cutting+saw+wooden sticks The first guy immediately started to move the template elements around and was curious about the shape. I gave him wood and he was starting. The template was not working because the person couldn‘t see the slide and the cut became crooked. Vincent the volunteer jumped in and made some changes to the template. It’s an indicator for the fluent process. The template seemed to be fixed.. but they had to change. I brought templates for gluing+wood glue Templates were helpful but the process of putting pieces together was challenging. Older people needed guidance Gluing process was successful but slowly The gluing template allowed to see how to correct in length the previous people cut the wood I brought glued Elements for sanding+sanding paper Sanding wasn‘t so interesting; people didn‘t like to sand. Rather they used the paper to play and construct

I brought memory cards The immediately became part of the “game” in constructing something with the wood One guy was arranging the cards without sense At one point the cards became pillows for the bench I brought printed pictures from the first session For the start of the session, people had fun to see themselves on the pictures Memories to the last session came up again This will become a routine for next time

continuity patience 99


Link and text into the semi-outside world




“[...] Artist receive almost equal standing in his account of shifting aesthetic practice from the creation of work to setting out a provisional framework and calling for the active collaboration of the user

17—Oskar Hansen, Opening Modernism: (Warschau, The Museum unter construction book series, 2014)


in order to capture the unfolding process of life ifself. It was not aesthetic qualities as attentiveness and interaction: The combination of spontaneous elements with conscious artistic activity ought to prepare the way for an, art of environmentally conditioned acts.[...]“ 105

SESSION 3 —2019-03-13


Notes All that is not needed goes from the table Words from Marjan/Stuff We could use tools and games we make for other classes we run, for example, the L-Element in a little bit bigger we can use in the other therapy session with another group to interact with the Element on the table. Process — Observation/ Insights Other people started to play and to work Interaction with objects I brought

I brought Colored glue. One resident was seeing the glue better because of the color Marjan likes the optic with the transparent glue better.. we discussed because many also liked the blue color. I brought Again the hole-grid-board I brought Sanding paper







[...] A person is described as an active subject capable of seeking well-being by setting his own capabilities in motion. In other words, by looking at things in this way people are seen not only as carriers of needs but also of capabilities. Thus, they are not only part of the problem they find themselves facing but also actors in their solution.[...] 18—Enzio Manzini, Politics of the everyday: (New York, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2019)



SESSION 4 — 2019-03-26 Tuesday

Notes They need a goal we need to define what we are going to do how do they see themselves? They want to get pushed.. And want to get motivated by rethinking capabilities. An outside view opens up new perspectives. Bigger shapes.. they can‘t do.. but If I want to try than it‘s fine to try.








SESSION 5—2019-03-27 Wednesday

Words from Marjan/Stuff Vincent wants to do his own work, He feels like a factory worker.

Process — Observation/ Insights The leader of the chest therapy group came and needed a table for his attendees. People learn and understand the capabilities of a designer/maker

Interaction with objects I brought colored Ziptides colored glue bigger dimension wooden sticks Metal wire KINDERGARDEN pictures







SESSION 6 —2019-04-03 Wednesday

Notes -Shanon/Manager runs various day-care and activity groups. -Men are some times bored and they want to do and make something. They some times bring a little set-up from the activity group over to the day-care.

Words from Marjan/Stuff -Berry, he felt useful he felt he was doing something today -Your templates let us discover abilities we didn‘t know they still have

Organisation — Observation/ Insights Be there earlier Process — Observation/ Insights Tables are to high Armrests from the chairs are mainly for standing up







SESSION 7 —2019-04-17 Wednesday

Words from Marjan/Stuff They need to see a project sense need use product

Interaction with objects I brought tie rip -handle 10mm drill support 45x45mm wood


machine test festool domino


in-house commissions





SESSION 8 —2019-04-17 Wednesday

Words from Marjan/Stuff They need to see a project sense need use product


new questions and commissions are new tools

d require






SESSION 9 —2019-04-24 Wednesday Notes We continue making the big L It was a bad day.. not well prepared We talked about the chest table and the woman was there for measure the table and talk to the group.

Words from Marjan/Stuff Next time we need to start producing Organisation — Observation/ Insights People could work with the zip tide easily Interaction with objects I brought Domino test tamblate Zip tider







SESSION 10 —2019-05-01 Wednesday

Notes The was a chat with the lady needed a table to eat

Words from Marjan/Stuff Alles war gut wie es war









SESSION 11 — ... Wednesday

tbc.. The sessions are after this date still running further. It is an ongoing pathway of experimenting. With the goal of creating a concept of engagemente which can be independetly applied at different places and target groups. This is an example for a start with the target group of elderly people. For other target groups the system needs to be modified. Through the application on different target groups the set of tools are growing bigger. And the various entry points increasing.




Connectors colored glue

tie rip

Domino milling+glue


D2 D3


S1 S2 S3


M2 M3

Metal clip

Level of openness How many dimentions can be adjusted? 1 Lenth and thinkness is fixed 2 Lenth is fixed thickness is open 3 Lenth and thickness is open

















— Construction and therapy

Construction elements to create creatures ——

Big dog

Tools ——


L-shape 1.0 small S1a ; S1b ; D2 L-shape 2.0 big S2a ; S2b ; D2

more closed




Tools —— S1a ; S1b ; D2

Level of openness How defined and „finish“ is the object How difficult is it to re-make? How much skills the maker need? How much skills the leader need? How is the relation of openness / skills / influence?




— Elements to construct

Construction elements to address inhouse questions ——

—Chest table

—Eating table

Tools —— S1a ; S1b ; D2

Tools —— M3 ; S3 ; D3 ; C3 ; F3

more open


L—SHAPE — Construction and therapy

Tools ——

L-shape 1.0 small S1a ; S1b ; D2 L-shape 2.0 big S2a ; S2b ; D2



CREATURES Construction elements to create creatures ——

Big dog

Deer Tools —— S1a ; S1b ; D2






“ Sometimes we use it, sometimes we sell it, but mostly we put it in the corner and forget about it. Until it‘s grey and rotten, than we through it away.“ Bart/ Houthandel Smetsers / Sint Oedenrode









GEODESIC — Elements to construct

Tools —— S1a ; S1b ; D2



FORM X Construction elements to address inhouse questions ——

—Chest table

—Eating table

Tools —— M3 ; S3 ; D3 ; C3 ; F3

In-house question get answered





STORY FOR THE INTERNAL NEWS PAPER This artical text were used to shape an artical for the internal newpaper

Craftsman laboratory as a experimenting pathway and a medium to produce physical and relational values

“Making things is seeing things” is a quote from Mike Child 68 year old English potter who's talking about the importance of craft not only in a matter of producing rather also in a way of understanding what to do and why. He continues by saying, ”Craft gives people self confidence, give them an direction, give them something to build on and give them an area which they feel they can grow, is a way to interact with society into a social network because people become interested in what you make” This simple example of what a social power craft can have drives robin to collaborate with Almar Sinte Maartensdijk in order to assist the “Vonderboys — back to work” project which was done with a group of Vonderhofs residents from October-December 2018.


This project gave robin important insights to develop his Master project at the Design Academy Eindhoven in collaboration with the activity group Vitalis Wissehaege led by Marjan Jonkers. The project is based on an e xperimenting path of learning from experience. This journey started at 06. March 2018 and is an ongoing pathway within the activity group every Wednesday ending up in the Dutch Design Week 2019. The goal of the project is to design a “concept of engagement” which expands capacities and capabilities from people in higher age. in order to make objects with character, usefulness, sense, joy of use and social activation. Within our weekly craft l aboratory we are developing new connecter systems, saw, glue, discuss and having fun. It is important that the unique and characteristic objects showcase the intention of the object to be done by people with special capabilities. Our laboratory with about 8-10

elderly people have still are to produce physical and super open for issues the daily relational values within a group routine for develop together. of 8 elderly people and beyond to The first sessions we discussed produce physical and relational objects which are researched and values within the group. developed by Robin in the last half a year in order to trigger Robin Weidner has been at the imaginations what can be done. Master program of Social design The following session designed at the Design Academy Eindhoven working templates helped to since September 2017. Before, he produce an undefined wooden was doing an apprenticeship as a object which turned out that it cabinetmaker and studied could a construction game. product design in Germany. He is These undefined construction fusing craftsmanship and elements in the shape of an ”L” product design in order to are the first start of thinking address social alienation and is by making within this weekly researching “tools” for human working session. The first interaction. finished objects are tested in the cafeteria and kindergarten Wissehagaen. The next sessions we are thinking of how we can define our group with a name, working clothes and built up from out of the experience with the L-Shape new helpful objects. Therefore we want to ask users to send in your needs in daily life. Robin sees his role as a design in making things happen and use the experience as a design for turning desires, longings, need, feeling,… into an object



-15min by wheelchair -Our house at home is much my wife lives at home, we h -The object might last longer -Elderly leave a empty spot i -Furniture don’t fit anymore -Beer in the cafeteria cost 1,5 -(Card)games and coffee — t connect to relatives -The cafeteria is the meeting elderlies 190

h to big now and have good neighbors r than the person in their previous house their abilities 50â‚Ź the main medium to

g point for relatives and


-The cafeteria is accessible fo prizes are half then norma -The space it the problem the -They just want to imagine an -Staff is wearing a name-tag -Being in this context make m -Facility manager is walking i -The aging and the results in interaction with their relati -Sometimes the husband is o the wife is older. Caring a b -People in the wheelchair brin


or the public the al (beer 1,50â‚Ź) e men want to work more nd do it and see sense in it

me feel young in between nfluence the ives older some time big and important part ng their own chair


Own Grandma

PARTNER Privat/ Grandam Erna

TARGET Erna Weidner 79 years

TIME 2 Sessions +-3hours each April 2019

LOCATION Rutesheim/Perouse

PROJECT Master project robin




-How to control the length? -Stopping fence need to be more visible -Powerdrill to heavy -Placing and removing of the work piece need to go more easy -Wooden chips need to be removed more easy -Is it needed or possible to drill two piece in one go?


Pontem Collage

PARTNER Pontem Collage Nijmegen Lotte de Jong

TARGET +-14 young men 14-17 years old Language students background in migration

TIME 2 Sessions 5h each April 2019

LOCATION Nijmegen Pontem Collage



“The goal of the workshop is to bring skills from different students with different cultural backgrounds together. They learn from and with each other, with the guidance of teachers. Through the workshop they became more aware of their talents, they learned new skills and could use and show existing skills. The students were involved in the whole process of making, from calculating, model making, buying material, making and using.“ Lotte de Jong / Teacher






o 1. Zijkant 1 zagen o 2. Zijkant 1 schuren o 3. Kopieer de ronding met wit potlood o 4. Zaag de ronding zijkant 2 o 5. Schuur de ronding zijkant 2 o 6. Teken een driehoek op de beide zijkanten!!! (zie tekening bord) o 7. Gat voor de stok markeren o 8. Gat voor de stok boren (35 mm) aan de binnenkant BOOR NIET DOOR!!! o 9. Zijkanten 1 en 2 afschuinen o 10. Zitting afschuinen o 11. T-element met schroeven vastmaken aan zitting (4x 35 mm) BOOR NIET DOOR!!! o 12. T-element met klem vastmaken aan de zijkanten o 13. Met de boor (8 mm) de gaten maken in de zijkant o 14. T-element met schroef+ringen vastmaken aan zijkant BOOR NIET DOOR!!! (8x 50 mm) o 15. Stok opmeten o 16. Zaag de stok o 17. Maak de stok vast o 18. Schroeven vastdraaien (8x 50 mm) o 19. Afgeschuinde stukken schuren NIET HET OPPERVLAKTE SCHUREN!!! o 20. Klaar! Zitten maar! â˜ş


Personal gear pensil measure stick Apron

-System of order is needed -Making a work-process-list -Remember rules of clean and keep order -Make the environment likely to understand order/process/groups -Prepare in theory and practice how tools/material/process works -Let them explain students explain students / experienced students re-teach -Generate a understanding for machine and mistakes /connection machine /human -Set groups and transfer responsibility -Keep silents and stucture -Keep breaks and start together -Short instructions






Craft is changing. Tools, material, and products are experiencing a constant transition. —19 Even craft, specifically cabinet making, which has a long tradition, is able to transform in order to react to social or technological developments. Steam engine technology brought a totally new sense of efficiency into cabinet making as machines were designed for making manufacturing processes less manual and instead more automated. Efficiency became measured by pieces produced per hour. Human impact is decreasing, therefore, the sense of working and being as well. Using a hand planer required skills in handling and maintaining the tool, knowing this makes a skilled worker skilled and special; different from other people. After the technological development these skills turned into button pressing and computer programming. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is the way how modern woodworking center* (machine which combines many working processes in one center) gets controlled by a computer program. This showcases the shift of control and an increased distance between maker and material. This development requires another type of skill which is based on brain capacity, not on manual skills anymore. This shift of manual work towards automated work not only appears in woodwork, but also in other professions. This comes with a loss of work for people who don’t have their strength in intellectual capacity, therefore excluding a significant number of people. Capacities are different from the beginning of life and also change during the period of life. By nature-driven facts like physical conditions, which are determined by nature. A person grows up and gains muscles and a person grows older and loses muscles.


19—Christian Zander: Das Tischlerhandwerk in Deutschland (1350–1870). Hamburg 2013 page 203/204 20—Nob Ruijgrok (Cabinetmaker) Recorded interview 21— Mark%20Mieras%202014(1).pdf 22— POLITICAL THEORY - Karl Marx; 2014; fSQgCy_iIcc?t=459s

These fluctuations can hardly be influenced by oneself. But this degeneration can be prevented by considering this in the process of making, in the working environment such as location and tools, in the construction of the products and in the craftsmen’s education. On this point, Nob Ruijgrok explains his insights from his work as a cabinet maker in Eindhoven. He has opened up his woodshop for courses and lessons in order to teach children and adults. He gives an insight into his work by saying “with the making process I could react to the abilities/ages/skills of the kids. It’s also important to react on where they are in their lives and also in physical conditions.”—20 This idea of educational degrees can be paired with an alternative education system which is integrated and provides people with special needs, special interests, special physical or mental conditions access to grow and collect degrees to advance. Educational degrees in the shape of a self-made product and also a written paper for manifesting experiences and knowledge. During our life’s journey valuable abilities are also getting lost through growing up. The ability of happiness and playfulness is even easier realized by kids. But now even adults are seeking for playfulness in their daily life. Through improvements in healthcare and working conditions, life expectancies are constantly increasing. By 2060 it is estimated that the number of people above the age of 65 is going to increase to more than double of that of today. ​​Thus far, society has not to react to these developments. After their working lives, elderlies tend to live among a circle of their own generation, risking to lose touch with younger groups of society and becoming disconnected. Therefore it‘s of utmost importance to rethink how the values which come among with handiwork and craft can be transferred to elderlies who are experiencing less intellectual and also physical capacity anymore. How can the workspace, tools, rituals, and clothes be changed in order for our craft to be a way to bring people into work.

Challenging activities around the age of 65 can allow for a cognitive leap forward, making it possible for older people to stay independent for longer.—21 This is proved by a study from Providing a target group, where craft and design can play a role to interfere and redesign elements for providing a craft process which is engaging also for people in a higher age. A challenging activity accommodates those having unique capabilities such as patience and capacity for enthusiasm. Skills and needs of people need to be understood in order to influence design into a new method of craftwork. The collaboration of professional craftsman and non-professional clients is providing the potential for knowledge exchange. Also including the layman or the patient into the process of making gives an opportunity for increasing appreciation of material and work. It’s a reflective experience and method should create financial and skill equity. Philosophers until now have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.—22 People are different in psychological and physical dimensions. These dimensions increase or decrease again through human life. This also means people feel included or excluded in our daily environment and these conditions change by man-driven facts like education, experience, apprenticeships, networks, friends, and also by nature-driven facts such as physical conditions determined by nature. The project therefore is to showcase different developmental processes for the target group of ​​ elderly participants. They experience fourteen workshop days within two projects, and collaboration between attendees from two different elderly homes in Eindhoven.



The tool becomes a manager of the relationship between maker and material.

23—Enzo Mari


TOOLS Sociality is a tool that keeps the responsibility and the cultural connection between the maker and the material alive and is able to fit different degrees of the maker‘s capacities. The semi-automated process guided by specially designed templates allows this balance and keep the agency and a connection from material and maker, managed by the tool. The maker‘s impact is visible and can be experienced. However, through an overly intense and quick cutting or drilling process, the result can be rough and incorrect. Referring to Enzo Mari‘s, “Design is always education”, the tools for a social craftsman are designed for filling a gap in the maker‘s skills and enable him to (re-)discover skills by using these tools, i.e. holding a wooden stick in the correct length and the saw in the correct angle. Lost capacities are getting filled up by templates and tools to learn how to use the saw or the drilling machine in the right angle. Also, the sitting position of the people needs to be considered in the design for new templates. Table extensions and adjustments in the height are certainly needed. The tool becomes a manager of the relationship between maker and material.



Space becomes a manager of capacities and a communicator of rules detected to environment and skills.

18—Enzio Manzini, Politics of the everyday: (New York, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2019)


SPACE Social craftsman‘s space is not oriented to the workflow, but rather on the group and makers flow. The working groups can change in numbers of people and in skill capacities. Arranging the space in order to observe each other and speak to each other fulfills requirements which are based on communication rather than process. Workbenches have the possibility to be adjusted in height and angle. The furniture almost becomes a tool also. Focusing on elderly people, the working environment needs to cover different levels of body agility because in the age of 65 and older attendees can be in the space with a rollator, wheelchair, crutches or simply walking. Therefore the building needs to be easily accessible with the wheelchair. Steps and staircases are not possible to mount. People in their wheelchair bring obviously already their own chair and don’t need a chair. But the fact that most of the clients can‘t stand means that all the working steps need to be designed to fit on the table. Chairs are having an armrest because standing up without an armrest is for many people not possible. For many working processes such as sawing, the worktable height may not be adjusted because of the wheelchair and the armrests of the chairs. Therefore, an add-on element for tables was designed in order to bring the workpiece closer to the person who might sit in a wheelchair. This additional table can be adjusted in height and in the angle. Elderly people might need regular medical treatments and medications which can require a room with privacy where a caretaker and the older person can be in together without being observed by other people. This can be a specially designed toilet with a daybed to give treatments or have a rest. If the workplace is located in the elderly home itself this is not a problem, as ​​elderly people can leave to their rooms whenever they want. This is not possible if the group is at an external area, such as a woodshop or a pop-up workshop in the city. Tools are have a fixed location on a cart or a wall that makes it easier to find the tool and return it after the work session. Areas of the workshop are structured depending on the skills level of machine use. That is, the learning and capacity level is understandable and the social craftsman is able to control and guide his participants. Learning steps are manifested in the room set up for the aim of understanding and clarity of the permitted use. Enzio Manzini further argues that it depends on the environment which may be more or less favorable to his using his own personal capabilities and to allow their application to achieve positive results.—18 Space becomes a manager of capacities and a communicator of rules detected to environment and skills.



The rituals become a manager of the status and a role in a system of people and human environments structure and value of structures.


RITUALS The break time is one of the highlights of the session where experiences are exchanged. The lunch, provided in a lunchbox with the group logo, makes the connection towards the project closer and even outside of the working session there is a daily reminder of it if someone sees this box during the week in his home. Break time is a great time to rest and keep rhythm and structure as a support to define and structure a day a life. The rituals become a manager of the status and a role in a system of people and human environments structure and value of structures.



Clothes become a manager of group affiliation and a personal body tool.


CLOTHES Clothes that were brought by the social craftsman are ​​elderly participants the maker‘s body. The maker‘s body can be really different in terms of physical conditions and in terms of abilities and making skills. Similar to the tools, the clothes are emphasizing capabilities of the maker and have various protection levels, as well as different points of adaptation regarding templates and supports. This means that older people with limited strength in arms and fingers need to work in a lower position or even on their thighs. Also, all the gear needs to be easy to wear because many attendees are not flexible to dress or are dependent on their wheelchair. Full colored working clothes in the color beige represent an experienced cabinet maker, because beige is the color code for woodworking. Semi-colored clothes are should represent the degree of capacity, in order to communicate the degrees of experience and capacity to the leader and to the person itself. The color code of the worker‘s clothes is in line with the percentage of the workers capacity. Group identification and group binding are a big value that the social craftsman wants to achieve. Therefore a unique pattern, color combination and a name with logo is needed. Some working steps require different elements on the clothes in order to carry tools or fix templates on the body. Clothes become a manager of group affiliation and a personal body tool.



Making engagement possible in order to seeing unexpected values and understand material and processes. Finding the role in a social environment Making a mistake and see the responsibility and the notion of failing Making a effort and seeing a rewarding and useful result Making a contribution towards the local environment is seeing to be needed as a person Make a re-considering of the actual living and behavior conditions through material protest or improvement



The social craftsman is a person who manages and leads the correlation between Questioning, Making and Using in the process of using craftwork to materialize and tackle needs. These needs can be practical in the sense that there is specific furniture or a device to be produced and the client wants to understand and support the social craftsman in the process of making. The hidden reasoning of the client is mental and psychological, as users want to be active and seeing, discovering and extending their capacities. Or just have fun. The social craftsman is prepared for this need with a specially designed environment, workspace or even a movable setup of workbenches and tools for setting a working environment at the client‘s location, if clients cannot easily travel to an external workshop. Tools and furniture fit to the capacities of the clients in order to not exclude clients. The idea of tools is expanded also to guidance and templates for helping to use existing tools. Tools are thus seen as educative elements. The social craftsman understands the importance of rituals such as a brought and understandable planning and communicating in the workshops with the clients. This can be with single persons or groups. The social craftsman sees his clients as living and thinking subjects and an active part of the process. The social craftsman is acknowledging the breaks as important moments of the work day to communicate, recover and rest. Breaks are for keeping the joy and the fun, and even music is important. The social craftsman considers that efficiency and success are not measured in the accuracy and the number of the produced object rather in the pleasure and the interaction that happens while questioning, reflecting and shaping the daily environment where people live in. The social craftsman is always reconsidering the way of implementing new methodologies, tools, materials, and people. Through including social scientists and therapist in this profession, the way of working is seen as a continuing pathway of development and experimenting. Techniques, tools, and constructions are improved, influenced by the process of making.




The circle of needs and value is connects Questioning and Reflection + Create, Make and understand + see the use/reflect/understand. This circle is processed within one group from the beginning until the end. Afterwards, there is an understanding for the next question and observation of the environment. Open ears and eyes for need to detect and fullfil and answer.

A person is described as an active subject capable of seeking well-being by setting his own capabilities in motion. In other words, by looking at things in this way people are seen not only as carriers of needs but also of capabilities. Thus, they are not only part of the problem they find themselves facing but also actors in their solution. —18 A project circle for an internal and independent workshop within a micro-environment is showcasing the circle. A project gives a change to project something and someone into the future and see a role in the future, guided by tools, people, environment, and a social craftsman. A system of limited and easy connections and a set of tools and material is opening the possibility to actively engage into a system. Therefore the connection of making and seeing is becoming visible and experienceable.

“ Empower different people to be able to take there opinion in account.“ Flavia Dzodan

18—Enzio Manzini, Politics of the everyday: (New York, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2019) 22b–Michal Wolinski; Space, interaction, and the tradition of Oskar Hansen: (Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2014)


Involvement following the idea of Oskar Hansens idea of “open from” which he attached to architectural and city planing approaches adopted to making and using of daily life products. And how an active involvement can help to integrate people through making. How can this theses materialize and uses the idea of Oskar Hansens “Open Form” Diversity: People treated individually; a cknowledgement of their dissimilarities; oppositions to the modernist striving towards standardization and schematization. –22b The social craftsman is providing a system of connectors and material which allow a process or making which balances a the openness and closeness of a construction… Different abled people get treated with their individual needs and the outcome is guided on a limited way and details.

The social craftsman is seeing the work piece and the process of making as medium for social interaction and fun. The tangible outcome is secondary Scalability: the method, as well as it’s individual element, can be applied equally well to a model of reality, for example a sheet of paper, and to a physical space where the problems of the Great Number are present; Hansen discerned between micro scale (the interior, buildings), memo scale (the housing estate) and macro scale (the geographical region). –22b The social craftsman is able to use a system of connecting elements which is able to work in different scales such as in a doll house scale for kids, a construction game for various sizes and motor skills or also as a real world use scale for an actual use eg. a chair or a table. Play-world becomes real-world and real-world becomes play-world.

Integration: of spatial elements, disciplines of art, art Transformability: flexibility, processsuality: the and science, people, and also integration of people human environment should be transformable with nature through science and new technologies. depending on its user. Activity and evolving needs –22b and preferences. –22b The power of diversity is leading to the point that The social craftsman is listening to the user and integration of different abled people is not only for inspire with products ans construction in a way that at matter of social well being and connectivity also the user is getting involved and the user can influence for the aim of innovation through valuable insights. his human environment. Social sciences eg. Sociology is much needed to be part of a team who want to effect any serious changes Partizipation: the user’s „co-authoring“ of the spatial in socail behaviors. A craftsman and designer is able arrangement by adapting it to evolving needs. –22b to realize and materialize. A perfect partner for a The Social craftsman is using the strength of making scientist who understand how people and society one-off pieces, and provide a good way for the users really work. Integration of the user into the participation. Knowing that different ages and backcraftsman space is similar than letting a designer in grounds are having different needs and longings a process of scientific social research. The power of which wanted to be fulfilled. diversity if a great ground for innovation.The social craftsman ist convinced that hirachies needs to be flat Communication: spatial composition as the backand craft/design and social science a powerful task ground for interpersonal relations, and as an instruforce can be. 221 ment of visual influence. –22b

WORK, THERAPY AND VALUE Connected to other people and the society, getting respect and seeing a value in the oneself are parameters that help to gain self-satisfaction. Work can be one of the sources of our greatest joys. In order to be fulfilled at work, Marx wrote that workers need to see themselves in the objects they have created. Labor offers us a chance to externalize what‘s good inside us. But this is increasingly rare in the modern world.—22 The sociologist C. Wright Mills writes: “The labor with a sense of craft becomes engaged in the work in and for itself; the satisfaction of working are their own reward; the detail of daily labor is connected in the worker’s mind to the end product; the worker can control his or her own actions at work; skill develops within the work process; work is connected to the freedom to experiment; finally, family, community, and politics are measured by standards of inner satisfaction, coherence, and experiment in craft labor.”—9 Marx argued that modern work leads to alienation. In other words, a feeling of disconnection between what you do all day and who you feel you really are and what you think you ideally be able to contribute to existence. —22





CRAFTSMAN Nob Ruijgrok—20

Its about making people aware of the limitation of material and how the planet is going down. Its linke growing your own vegetables you are aware of the growing and the process and in the same time you have a connection with the nature.

People never wonder actually how the tomato grows and where the vegetables are from and they do not even care. It is about wondering how. If you understand it than you have this connection and own a product more/ can make it your own.

Also, if you create something by yourself if gives this object much more sentimental value. You can be proud of yourself of your hard work, and the hours you have put into this. So most likely you will be more careful with how to use it in your daily life. Like making/creating your own shopping bag. You will most likely use it very often and hopefully develop a different awareness when it comes to buying plastic bags every time you come in a supermarket.

When curiosity grows you become more and more open to find out more about these topics. Instead of being afraid of trying something new you get excited thinking about it. This changes everything. Mentally this is a huge shift. If you can find this curiosity in making something by yourself, this will go much further than this, you will continue to develop this in other aspects of your life as well.

THERAPIST Debbie Schoemakers—25

25—Debbie Schoenmakers ( Therapist) 20—Nob Ruijgrok (Cabinetmaker) Recorded interview—Nob Ruijgrok (Cabinetmaker)


CABINET MAKERS STATEMENT AND THE THERAPISTS RESPOND After the recorded and transcribed interview with the cabinet maker Nob Ruijgrok from Eindhoven, the therapist Debbie Schoenmakers responded to Nob‘s statments.

I think people are searching for happiness and craftsmanship is also something about happiness. And sitting in front of your screen is not happiness. I hope people are able to play and also wondering about things. The happiness now is to spend money and buy things, still. But this is very short term. As soon as you will have bought your new phone there will be a next version just around the corner. So this is a never ending process of always wanting more and better. Without being content with what you have. At the end it doesn’t matter with which car you drive to Paris, whit a tiny Fiat or a big fancy Jaguar, at the end you want to arrive at your destination. So let’s think for a moment the pleasure it will bring that you could build your own car, and it would take you use much more time and afford to arrive at the same destination. But how great the joy will be ones your arrived there by something you have created by yourself.

And I think that will change. Many things are makable in order to be in a good condition. The pressure to be perfect is huge. Imperfection is even more exciting. If everything is perfect it is boring.

If your are a kid and you go for the first time to ride a bike and you will immediately succeed, or you want do swim and you can do this directly, or start line dancing and win the champion ship within one month, there is no learning process. But more important there is no satisfaction. The joy begins when you have to be patient, try and try again. And slowly see the process of development. This is what true joy brings. In craftsmanship this is the same thing.


“ The labor with a engaged in the satisfaction of w reward; the det connected in th product; the wo own actions at the work proces freedom to exp finally, family, c measured by st satisfaction, co craft labor.� C. Wright Mills


a sense of craft becomes work in and for itself; the working are their own tail of daily labor are he worker’s mind to the end orker can control his or her work; skill develops within ss; work is connected to the periment; community, and politics are tandards of inner oherence, and experiment in













Questioning how a concept of engagement can look and where elements are already designed for equipping the social craftsman and enabling a concept of engagement is the goal of this thesis. “Design is always education” said by Enzo Mari, who designed a furniture system which is easy to understand and easy to construct with tools which are readily available. By understanding the manual and using the known tools you can manufacture your own chair. But there are still workshops needed which are not easy to process for many people. The design is stopped by designing the furniture and the manual. The next step is made by CUCULA e.V., a pilot project empowering refugees to build a professional future for themselves. It is an association, a workshop, a platform for intercultural exchange and an experimental, vocational preparation program. —26 A similar approach is introduced by Christopher Alexander, “You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbor to improve your town and neighborhood…”—27 referring to his book Patternlanguage. This book of Alexander emphasizes throughout the potential of the individual; the importance of a spiritual connection to the built world; the need for cooperation among people; the empowerment of individuals or small groups of people to shape their environment. This manual from Alexander follows the same intentions as this thesis only that the question is how to realize these practices in the real world and how people can engage. The manual from Alexander needs a system which people can engage with. The project “Open Structures” proposes a system which is transparent, accessible and give the client a guideline by working with a grid in order to make product parts through a grid fit into each other.


The ultimate goal is to initiate a universal, collaborative puzzle that allows the broadest range of people – from craftsmen to multinationals – to design, build and exchange the broadest range of modular components, resulting in a more flexible and scalable built environment.—28 The design is f ocusing on the grid and the system of connectors and not on the possibilities of including people with different abilities and capacities. Beside the grid, the question is of how the process is being accomplished and why the making of an object makes sense and where it is processed is not answered by Alexander. The concept of engagement in this thesis is to reconsider the elements of tools, spaces, rituals, and clothes in order to initiate a process of fulfilling social values and allowing accessibility for people with other capacities beside handiness and accuracy. This can be accomplished using the process and the clients as a source for innovation within the process.

26— 27—Christopher Alexander; Pattern language ; Oxford 28— 17—Oskar Hansen, Opening Modernism: (Warschau, The Museum unter construction book series, 2014) 1—Mike Child

“Calling for the active collaboration of the user“ in order to capture “the unfolding process of life ifself.“ It is not just aesthetic qualities of attentiveness and interaction: “The combination of pontaneous elements with conscious artistic activity ought to prepare the way for an art of environmentally conditioned acts.”—17 This is what Oskar Hansen says for shifting the clients more responsibly in the way the object is made. Practical and hands-on making skills of people and their need for fulfillment must be understood so that it may influence design into a new method of craftwork. The collaboration of professional craftsman and non-professional clients is providing a potential for knowledge exchange. Also including the layman or the patient into the process of making gives a chance for increasing appreciation of material and work. It’s a reflective experience and it’s method should invent financial and skill equity. As Mike Child said “making things fosters seeing things”—1. Reflecting and appreciating in order to change the relationship towards products and consumption, creating worthwhile experiences and satisfaction.



I would first like to thank my thesis advisor Michael Kaethler of the Design Academy Eindhoven. He consistently allowed this paper to be my own work, but steered me in the right the direction whenever he thought I needed it. I am gratefully indebted to his very valuable comments on this thesis.

MENTORING Head: Jan Boelen Tutors: Michael Kaethler, Fabrizia Vecchione, Dick van hoff, Stephane Barbier Bouvet, Henriette Waal, Jesse Howard

AUTHOR Robin Weidner Socialdesign 2019 Design Academy Eindhoven

WEBPAGE Project Author



Taught by Betty Majoor done by the author

COPYWRITING Anouk.lepretre Dominic Srivalsan

CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY I hereby declare that this submission is my own work and that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, it contains no material previously published or written by another person, nor material which to a substantial extent has been accepted for the award of any other degree or diploma or any other educational institution, except where due acknowledgment is made in the thesis. I also declare that the intellectual content of this thesis is the product of my own work, except to the extent that assistance from others in the project‘s design and c onception or in style, presentation and linguistic expression is acknowledged.

Robin Weidner 18th of May 2019


BIBLIOGRAPHY 1—Mike Child /England 2018 2— THE ALIENATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL FROM SOCIETY: A SOCIAL- PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY AND CROSS-CULTURAL COMPARISON ; Jackson, Sidney; 1983 https:// 3— Joseph Beuys — 4—Victor Papanek. Design for the real world. 1978. Chicago 5—Sheila Levrant de Bretteville— Alice Rawsthorn – Design as an attitude ringier kunstverlag ag 2018 6— IKEA promotion 7— Toaster project 8—Dieter Rams 9—Anthony Giddens 10— 11— Written Interview Heinz Fink Journalist at the craftsman Journal BM 12—Tradition Zukunft Master thesis Moritz Schmitt/ Timo Röhrig 13— Indra Kagis McEwen, Socrates’ Ancestor: An Essay on Architectural Beginnings (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997), 119. 14—Christian Zander: Vom Hobel zum Schreiner. Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2008 page 65 15— 16—Michael Polanyi 17—Oskar Hansen, Opening Modernism: (Warschau, The Museum unter construction book series, 2014) 18—Enzio Manzini, Politics of the everyday: (New York, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2019) 19—Christian Zander: Das Tischlerhandwerk in Deutschland (1350–1870). Hamburg 2013 page 203/204 20—Nob Ruijgrok (Cabinetmaker) Recorded interview21—— POLITICAL THEORY - Karl Marx; 2014; 22— POLITICAL THEORY - Karl Marx; 2014; 22b— Michal Wolinski; Space, interaction, and the tradition of Oskar Hansen: (Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2014) page 22 23—Enzo Mari 24— C. Wright Mills 25—Debbie Schoenmakers ( Therapist) 26— 27—Christopher Alexander; Pattern language ; Oxford 28—


PICTURES https://stadt-land-blßägewerk-.jpg crop_q95.jpg All photographes in section 1,2,3 and in A / B is taken by the author


Making things is seeing things Robin Weidner


Eindhoven May —2019

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