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The Local Ecology of Craft

Tuesday 08 December 2020


Ritu Sethi (Chair)

Ritu Sethi is the founder-trustee of the Craft Revival Trust and the editor of Global InCH, the online international journal of intangible cultural heritage. In addition she oversees the Asia InCH Encyclopaedia on the traditional arts, crafts, textiles of South Asia.

Ritu’s research interests examine colonial, modern and contemporary heritage arts and crafts. She has authored and edited several publications including ‘Embroidering Futures - Repurposing the Kantha’, ‘Designers Meet Artisans - A Practical Guide’ (translated into Spanish and French), ‘Painters, Poets, Performers – The Patuas of Bengal’ among other writings in Indian and international publications.

She serves on several advisory boards including - IRCI UNESCO CAT II Centre, Japan. In India she serves on the Advisory Board of the ICH committee, Ministry of Culture; National Crafts Museum and Hast Kala Academy besides other institutions/committees. She Chaired the UNESCO Consultative Body examining   nominations to the safeguarding list of ICH; was on the Steering Committee Handlooms and Handicrafts in the 12th Five year Plan, Planning Commission; was a board member of the Handloom and Handicraft Export Corporation, Government of India; the National Museum of Man, Bhopal; the Centre for Cultural Resource and Training, Ministry of Culture; member advisory board of UNESCO Cat II Centre CRIHAP, China, among other positions. 

Lorato Liphuko

Lorato Liphuko was born in England to South African parents in exile. At the age of four, she and her family relocated to Botswana, Gaborone; where she was raised. She acquired her tertiary education in London where she qualified in the Fashion and Design field. Relocating on her own this time to an independent South Africa, she spent a short spell in the commercial fashion manufacturing industry in Cape Town. Moved to Johannesburg where she progressed into the fashion and hand craft sector, the business of fashion events, the fashion retail trade; where she co-owned and operated a fashion Wholesale and Distribution Company. Moving full circle she went back into the craft sector as Project Manager for the company she helped to establish  - Africa Craft Trust.  A creative, single mother to a rambunctious seven year old little boy, she had the privilege of being caregiver to her now deceased mother and lived with her gregarious father, before being recruited back into the fashion industry as Designer Programme Manager at African Fashion International. A practicing Catholic, although not grimly religious; she is also an enthusiastic reader of biographies, African authors and a passionate collector of handmade ethnic fabrics and jewellery from the African continent and beyond.

PDF link to Lorato's presentation:

Jane Friend

Jane lives and works in Farnham – England’s first World Craft Town. She runs her own consultancy supporting a portfolio of craft-based and cultural organisations with their development and is an Associate of Making Matters and Farnham Maltings. Jane feels privileged to have played a role in the recognition of her home town as an international hub for craft and is excited about the opportunities it brings – economically and socially – particularly as we live through, and emerge from, the effects of Covid-19.

PDF link to Jane's presentation:


Marlene Stanciu

Marlene Stanciu is interested in the relationship between practices,
customs and craft techniques with their originary geography, being a
weaver of threads, ideas and disciplines with a background in
anthropology and cultural policy. Marlene is an archiver of memory.
She collects and exposes affective associations in projects meant to
convey ancient wisdom to contemporary culture. Stanciu is founder and,
together with Alex Herberth, manager of KraftMade, a Traditional
Knowledge Research&Lab established in 2013, with a focus on wood and
textiles, heritage and future. KraftMade works cross-disciplinary,
mediating, curating, designing, prototyping and producing capsule
collections of fashion and interior design, creating unique or small
series performative objects with heritage techniques and offering slow
design workshops, advice, residencies and experiences for creative


Rinzin Dorji

Rinzin has been working at the Royal Textile Academy (RTA) since 2006. The Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan was established in 2005 under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, with a mission to preserve and promote Thagzo, their unique textile heritage. Towards that end the RTAB has established a Textile Museum and a Weaving Training Centre. The museum is a national centre that collects, documents, preserves, interprets and displays Bhutan's textile heritage. It is dedicated to promoting the living textile arts, focusing on the artistic, and technical significance of historic and contemporary textile traditions. This mandate is carried out through growth and maintenance of the collections, documentation and preservation, research, exhibitions, and outreach programmes.


PDF link to Rinzin's presentation:

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune has designed and made furniture since 1975 for private residences across North America, typically making numerous pieces for each home.  He also provides design and manufacturing expertise for international development agencies that encourage sustainable economic growth.   He received the prestigious Bronfman Award in 1993 and was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 2000, received a Queens Jubilee Award in 2002 and was given the 2007 Award of Distinction from the Furniture Society based in North Carolina.  He has been a Trustee of the Furniture Society and a board member of  WoodLinks USA as well serving on the boards many other arts organizations.  His work is included in several collections, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, Claridge Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum and numerous Canadian embassies around the world. Michael graduated from the furniture design program at Sheridan College near Toronto in 1974.


Chen Anying

Chen Anying, born in 1973 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, graduated from Peking University with a PH.D. degree of philosophy. Chair of the Art History Department, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University, tenure associate professor and PH.D supervisor for aesthetics, art theories, intangible cultural heritage, traditional crafts and related cultural industries. He is also the deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Traditional Craft Techniques and Materials Research of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, China, and advisory expert for Ministry of Culture and Tourism s China Intangible Cultural Heritage Research and Training Project, review expert for the National Art Fund, Beijing Culture and Art Foundation and so on.

He has been selected in Education Ministry's New Century Excellent Talents Supporting Plan in 2010, Tsinghua Youth Talent Supporting Plan for Basic Research in 2012, won the second prize of Education Ministry's Sixth Outstanding Scientific Research Achievement Award (second arthur) in 2013, “National Excellent Individual for Intangible Culture Heritage Safeguarding” and “Excellent Expert” awarded by Ministry of Culture and Tourism, China in 2018 and 2020.

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