Empowering Craftspeople by Reinforcing Design Skills: The Case of a Design Training Course for Woodworking in Kastamonu Turkey

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Hasdoğan G. F., Hasdoğan M.

Making Futures: craft and the (re)turn of the maker in a post-global sustainably aware society, Plymouth, England, 24 - 25 September 2015, vol.4

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 4
  • City: Plymouth
  • Country: England
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Revitalising craft tradition by utilising natural resources and empowering communities by enabling them to discover their local talents can stimulate entrepreneurship and lead the way towards sustainable development. This paper aims to discuss the process and results of a project entitled Increasing employment by integrating design skills in woodworking, carried out in Kastamonu, Turkey, within the framework of a European Union grant scheme for promoting youth employment. The project aimed to integrate design and creative thinking skills in traditional woodwork training in order to discover and support young talents and revitalise local handicrafts. The project comprised of a design and woodwork training programme, involved ninety young trainees residing in Kastamonu with different educational backgrounds. At the end of the project, sixty trainees completed the programme with at least two original design works. Thirty of them were selected to carry out further practice in Kastamonu craft industry. The paper explains the strategies employed throughout the programme to foster creativity and makes recommendations for the conduct of similar studies.