Call for Proposals: Craft Pedagogies and Practices in the 21st Century

Posted: April 17, 2019

For over one decade, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and China Academy of Art have had inter-institutional collaborations, e.g. RISD and the CAA enjoy a long-standing faculty exchange, while Bezalel and RISD have an active student exchange partnership.

This year, Bezalel named both RISD and CAA as potential partners in two different grant applications, which were successful. Upon receiving the grants, colleagues at Bezalel, CAA and RISD understood the potential to triangulate these collaborations and to focus together on a timely and shared topic of interest: Craft Practices and Pedagogies in the 21st centuries.

At RISD, craft practices and associated sites and histories are current across many departments and curriculum, while the recent multi-year pilot program with the Ministry of Handicrafts in Morocco catalyzed much of this work and interest in a series of courses, a symposium, and an exhibition.

At Bezalel, the inter and cross-departmental interest in envisioning and experimenting in the coming together of innovative technology with traditional crafts, brought about the launching of Tripod - a bilingual (English-Hebrew), online peer-reviewed Journal that engages in a dialogue between theoretical and material studies, aiming at developing a discourse that challenges the fundamental categories with which these issues were approached.

At CAA, Crafts are practiced from vibrant tradition of historical precedents to contemporary social space in multidisciplinary scales. Most sensory experience and embodied creativity between heart and hand towards dynamic outside of body is constantly discovered here. School of Crafts, School of Architecture and Art and China Folk Art Museum are developing Crafts activities in CAAXiangshan campus designed by Wangshu where traditional tectonic of tiles was re-created to a new type of university.

In the first two years, Bezalel, CAA and RISD will organize a think tank session on this topic at each of our respective campuses, as funded by grants at Bezalel. The first meeting will take place in June, 2019, the second at RISD in Fall 2019, and the final meeting at CAA in Hangzhou in Spring 2020. These meetings will invite approximately four faculty from each school to the hosting site to create presentations, workshops, and brainstorming sessions that can build towards future, longer-term collaborations that may take the form of: exhibitions, collaborative studios and courses, publications, and so on.

In order to identify faculty to participate —at least in the first meeting— each school is sharing an open call with all full time faculty. In selecting faculty, we will review the applications received with an eye to:

  • Strong, cross-departmental and cross-divisional representation,
  • Proposals that speak to diverse aspects of craft practices and pedagogies, for instance: craft and labor, craft and gender, craft and global economies, etc.
  • A balance of faculty with —and those keen to develop— cross-cultural, collaborative research initiatives and/or courses, and
  • Faculty committed to the role of global and inter-cultural exchange in the fields of art, design, architecture, and crafts.

Faculty interested in submitting a proposal for participation should complete the below questions and submit to by April 30, 2019.

First Name:
  • Share your interest in the broad topic of this engagement Craft: Pedagogy and Practices in the 21st century. And, outline your interest in exploring this topic with faculty colleagues of Bezalel Academy of Arts, China Academy of Arts, and RISD (max. 500 words).
  • Please list the courses/Seminars/Studios you have led that relates to the broad topic Craft: Pedagogy and Practices in the 21st century.
  • Share any research projects/practices/initiatives you have led/been involved with that relates to the broad topic Craft: Pedagogy and Practices in the 21st century.
  • Please list any of the following types of initiatives you have been involved in at, or beyond, RISD in the past 7 years
    • Partnered projects/studio
    • Grant-funded initiatives
    • Organizing initiatives (studios, courses, exhibitions, conferences) with external partners.
    • International Collaborations.

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
China Academy of Art