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Monday 07 December 2020


Ashoke Chatterjee (Chair)

Professor Ashoke Chatterjee received his education at Woodstock School (Mussoorie), St Stephen’s College and Miami University (Ohio). He has a background in the engineering industry, international civil service, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), and 25 years in the service of the National Institute of Design (NID, Ahmedabad) where he was Executive Director, Senior Faculty,  Distinguished Fellow and Professor of communication and management. He has served a range of development institutions in India and overseas, particularly in the sectors of drinking water, sanitation, disability, livelihoods and education as well as working with artisans in many parts of the country.  He was Hon President of the Crafts Council of India for over twenty years and continues to serve CCI. He has been on the board of Aid to Artisans (ATA) in the USA.  An author and writer, his books include “Dances of the Golden Hall” on the art of Shanta Rao and “Rising” on empowerment efforts among deprived communities in rural Gujarat. Professor Chatterjee continues to assist design education in India and overseas.

Professor Chatterjee’s association with artisans and the craft sector began during his career with the ITDC, where he helped integrate craft into India’s tourism strategies. During his years at NID, he participated with design teams working throughout India to assist artisans in the transition between traditional and contemporary markets, as well as in efforts at sustainable livelihoods through hand production. With colleagues from NID and the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), Ashoke Chatterjee contributed to the pioneering Artisans Alliance of Jawaja (AAJ), an association which has continued for almost four decades in a path-breaking experiment toward self-reliance and dignity for communities challenged by discrimination and competition. With CCI and its network throughout India, he has helped pilot a major effort with the Government of India on the understanding of the economics of India’s craft sector, the nation’s second largest source of livelihood after agriculture and yet seriously neglected as an engine of growth. Advocacy for artisans and the critical importance of their sector to national wellbeing now engages much of Professor Chatterjee’s time and attention.



Dr Britta Kalkreuter

Dr Kalkreuter studied History of Art, History and German at Cologne University and Trinity College Dublin and gained a PhD in Architectural Heritage Studies from Cologne University. She taught cultural studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently an Associate Professor in Design Studies at Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design in Scotland where she is also Associate Dean. Her research is interdisciplinary as it connects design practice with heritage studies and explores material practices as well as making experiences; methods originate in the fields of anthropology, iconography and archive,

and value collaborative research. Lately, a particular focus has been on local production scenarios in global design economies and digitisation of heritage.

The project explored innovative entrepreneurship opportunities for Indian craft communities. It co-characterised formats for virtual experiences of intangible heritage with artisans and potential buyers in order to empower artisans to unlock viable digital income generation not just during lockdown but for economic resilience more generally. The project developed technical and practical guides for the generation of craft related films by artisans and explored marketing models while considering the effects on heritage content. The cross disciplinary and international academic team connected to potential clients, NGOs and, importantly, crafts communities to co-produce film pilots and open source instruction manuals in several languages and formats.

PDF links to Britta's presentations:

Frans Panjaitan

Frans is a multidisciplinary designer with proven experience in community development through the introduction of technology in traditional artisan communities across developing rural areas in Indonesia.With my team in Batik Fractal, we develop a textile pattern generator software namely jBatik, which utilise fractal mathematical formula based on Indonesian traditional Batik pattern. Alongside with jBatik, right now we are also developing DiTenun, a software which shares the same principle with jBatik, but specialises in traditional handwoven textile. Besides Batik Fractal, I am also active in craft advocacy, and sitting as a regional editor in Garland Magazine, an international publication initiated by the World Craft Council - Australia, as a part of the World Craft Council - Asia Pacific.


Fernando Laposse

Fernando Laposse (1988) is a London based Mexican designer, he trained in Central Saint Martins as a product designer.

Fernando specialises in transforming humble natural materials into refined design pieces. He has worked extensively with overlooked plant fibres such as sisal, loofah, and corn leaves.

His works are the result of extensive research which culminates into objects of “endemic design” where the location of materials and their historical and cultural connotations take centre stage. He often works with indigenous communities in his native Mexico to create local employment opportunities and raise awareness about the challenges they face to maintain their ways of life. Rather than working with existing craft, Fernando develops new techniques form scratch which are then taught to farming communities that become craftspeople.

Fernando’s projects are informative and address a variety of topics such as: sustainability, the loss of biodiversity, community dissolution, migration and the negative impacts of global trade on local agriculture. He does so by documenting the issues and announcing possible resolutions through the transformative power of craft and design.

His projects have been exhibited in the Triennale di Milano, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, The Design Museum in London, Victoria and Albert, the World Economic Forum to name a few.  His work is held in the permanent collections of the V&A and SF Moma.

Li Rongli

Li is a senior arts and crafts artist, the representative inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage project "Dyeing skills", Yunnan Province Arts and Crafts Master. Li is Yunnan University Museum ethnology First-class discipline ethnic culture Creative Workshop Enterprise tutor; School of Art and Design, Yunnan University intangible Cultural Heritage into the campus practice teaching base enterprise tutor, Distinguished Expert of School of Design, Yunnan Art University. Li is visiting Professor of Kunming University, General Manager of Yunnan Lvye Economic and Trade Co., LTD. Design Director of Kunming Jiuyong Cultural Communication Co., LTD. Paying long-term attention to the development of national art Li has carried on the research to the Yunnan national characteristic textile for many years with rich experience in creative and innovative design, the works are all based on the folk art and culture of Yunnan. To try to get the exquisite artistic resources out of the mountains it is integrated with modern life to promote the development of characteristic handicraft industry in ethnic communities. Li has won many awards in domestic professional design competitions.

"Pattern" and other works won four times UNESCO, the World Handicraft Council "Outstanding Handicraft Badge"

Jonathan Koupermann

Jonathan Koupermann is a Cultural Economist, Manager, Art Producer based in Ecuador, South América. He is the current Deputy Director of Crafts and Cultural Promotion of the Inter-American Center for Popular Arts and Crafts - CIDAP. Jonathan is the former - Director of the Pumapungo Museum and Zonal Coordinator  of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador (2012 - 2017), Former - Director and Technical Coordinator of the Municipal Contemporary Art Biennial Foundation of Cuenca, (2012), Former - Responsible for Management and Communication of the Metropolitan System of Museums and Cultural Centers - SIMMYC in the city of Quito (2011). Since 2019 he is also a part time University teacher in the Arts Faculty of the University of Cuenca, Ecuador.

Economist of Culture (Catholic University of Milan, 2009), graduated from the Master in Conservation and Management of Built Cultural Heritage (University of Cuenca, 2015), Jonathan has several International Postgraduate studies like “Cultural Heritage and the City” (European University Institute - Eui. 2019), and International Postgraduate Degree in "Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crimes" (University of Glasgow, 2017) between others.

A constant researcher of the Arts Economy and Management, he has made several cultural productions in the fields of visual, performing, and musical arts, and participated in various training spaces with lectures, workshops and talks about  Museums, cultural management and heritage, arts and other subjects, both in Ecuador and internationally. He has directed two radio programs and has made several editorial collaborations nationwide.

He firmly believes in the need for collaborative work in the arts and heritage world through all levels, from cultural actors, managers and institutions.

PDF link to Jonathan's presentation:

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