Monday, 7 December 2009

The Craftsman - Richard Sennett

I have been reading The Craftsman by Richard Sennett.  It has given me a lot of food for thought so far.  Some questions that is has raised in my mind are as follows:
By enforcing design practice within ones work, does one lose the skill needed to be a craftsperson, and does that matter - is it the job of the designer to design and then to pass the work to the appropriate craftsperson for making?  Is it possible to be a good designer and a skilled craftsperson.
Is design inherent in being a good craftsperson - does creating well made and beautiful objects automatically mean they are designed well?
Do objects need to be well made or is it more about appropriateness?
Sennett says "ethical behaviour was implicated in his technical work" (speaking about the craftsman, p64) and later "craft names a more anonymous, collective and continued practice" (p66).  I believe he means truth about materials & skill levels and quality/qualities of result by ethical behaviour, and the anonymous, collective behaviour is the shared studio or skills set passed between craftsperson and apprentice or interested learner. 
To link this in to some of my thoughts about Slow Design -
I believe that technical skill is gained through enduring practice, practice takes time and thus time should be allowed for this.
Practice toward skill can and should be consolidated by repetition and revisitation, where appropriate.
Advice from  and discourse with others is key to advancing ones skills in any field.

More thoughts to come...

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