Workshop | Exploring Handicraft’s Cultural Role: A Workshop in Bassano del Grappa, Italy

A Workshop in Bassano del Grappa, Italy

On June 28, a noteworthy workshop on handicrafts took place at the Palazzo Sturm Museum in Bassano del Grappa, organised by the Department of Management of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in cooperation with the Copenhagen Business School and the Bassano del Grappa Municipality. The event was an important part of project HEPHAESTUS WP1 and WP6 activities, aimed at delving into the cultural significance of craftsmanship in the ecosystem of Bassano del Grappa.

The primary goal of the workshop was to actively engage participants through a focus group, allowing them to collectively reflect on the cultural role of craftsmanship within the city’s framework. By blending field research with this collaborative approach, the organizers sought to gain deeper insights into the intricate connections between traditional crafts and the local community.

The event marked a pivotal moment for Bassano del Grappa as it served as the first ecosystem to experiment with the “Mapping of craft ecosystems and their socio-technical controversies” methodology. This pioneering effort provided valuable data and observations to further understand the dynamic interplay between craftwork, its practitioners, and the social environment. Coinciding with this workshop was the closing event of D20 Art Lab’s ‘Atmospheres of Craft’ exhibition, which had commenced the previous month with the participation of all partners.

The exhibition paved the way for this interactive workshop, providing participants with interesting insights into the realities of other handicraft ecosystems (Venice, Dals Langed, Bornholm and Faroe Island) and fostering a rich environment for discussions on the topic.

The participants at the workshop comprised not only the scientific team from Ca’ Foscari University and Copenhagen Business School but also numerous skilled artisans from the Bassano del Grappa district. Their active involvement and firsthand experiences added depth and authenticity to the discussions, making it a truly enriching experience.

In addition to the academic and artisan participants, Municipal Councillor Giovannella Cabion emphasised the significance of the workshop, highlighting the importance of cultural preservation and community engagement in promoting the age-old crafts of the region. The workshop’s success and its integration into the ongoing ‘Atmospheres of Craft’ exhibition exemplify the potential of collaborative efforts between academia, local authorities, and artisans in nurturing and celebrating cultural heritage.

By shedding light on the profound cultural role of craftsmanship in Bassano del Grappa, this event has contributed to a deeper understanding of the city’s unique ecosystem and its socio-cultural dynamics.