We find ourselves in interesting times; we are facing huge socio-economic challenges whilst at the same time we need to look ahead and design a society that meets our future needs. For this we need a renewed understanding of craftsmanship in relation to the design and production principles of the 21st century. Those of us who welcome change, who are able to adapt to changing environments and create new systems of trust, will lead us into a promising future.
We need people who think in a cross-disciplinary manner, act like a network, and embrace emerging technologies and creative forms of digital creation and expression. In order to have this next generation workforce available in the future, we need to invest in education and arrange a system geared towards the development of digital skills. This demands a revaluation of craftsmanship in the 21st century. We should therefore reposition digital crafts in education and strengthen the link between education and creative industries.
The notion of craftsmanship in the 21st century refers to digital crafts such as app developers, web engineers, graphic designers, game developers or interaction designers. These crafts are also known as hypercrafts. Hypercrafts utilize digital communication platforms to empower product development, digital fabrication and distributed production. Hypercrafts lean on new ownership models and alternative forms of value creation.
The hypercraft economy envisions a power shift from the industrialized production hubs and multinationals back to the networked craftsmen. Hypercrafts have low entry costs, quality control takes place in the form of peer review by the public, and revenues are divided between craft and creativity. Hypercrafted products can be produced on a local level, which drastically reduce transportation costs.
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