The Project

The Atlas of Wearable Crafts is an online platform presenting and mapping traditional and contemporary textile crafts worldwide. It is a growing, digital collection of craft techniques and the artisans that practice them, presented as a visual-first atlas, knowledge base and source of aesthetic inspiration.

The database documents the know-how and skills of artisans, researches this artistic-cultural treasure trove with all it’s stories, and explores how to integrate it in contemporary design and production. With this project, we support cultural diversity, transparency and a renaissance of regional production. It criticises the global mass-production system of fashion through easy access to local production possibilities and attempts to redefine the connections between design, production and consumption to enable alternative revenue streams through local production. It poses the questions: How to develop a contemporary form for traditional crafts? How can crafts be reintegrated into present culture and production? What role plays the designer’s sense of trends and zeitgeist in this shift of maker culture?

As a whole, this practical design-research-project serves to revive artistic textile crafts and create a network between engaged artists, artisans, designers and production facilities, that act locally and are connected globally.

The Team

The idea for this project was created building on the joint experiences in the field of sustainable fashion of two designers/ design researchers, Cecilia Palmer and Anja-Lisa Hirscher. Building on the experience of many years of individual and collaborative design activities and workshop facilitation, they felt the need to reimaging practices of design production and consumption to reach a broader audience and address scalability through reimagining and multiplying local, artisanal and skilful production methods. Dedicated to offer alternative solutions to the current fast fashion schema, the idea arose after some joint upcycing design workshop in Helsinki, to develop a platform enabling collaboration between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design, allowing for locally embedded and skilful design and production of unique garments. An online platform which sheds light on the amazing variety of artisanal textile craft, to inspire fashion designers for local collaborations for high quality and unique design collections.

Cecilia Palmer
Fashion Designer, Web-developer & Sustainable Entrepreneur
Cecilia Palmer (Germany/Sweden) works as a fashion designer, creative entrepreneur, and web developer. She is the founder of green, open source fashion label Pamoyo and swap and upcycling event Fashion Reloaded. She was born 1982 in Sweden, and since 2005 based in Berlin.

Anja-Lisa Hirscher
Doctoral Researcher, Graphic Designer & Workshop Facilitator
Anja-Lisa Hirscher (Germany/Finland), holds a BA in Graphic Design and a MA in Design/Creative Sustainability. Currently working as a doctoral researcher at University of Ulm and Aalto ARTS, Helsinki, investigating possibilities of alternative forms of value creation and forms of organisations, building on a research-through-design experiments such as establishing and facilitating a sewing café.

The Contributors 

Mima Pejoska (Macedonia) has been involved in many aspects in preserving traditional crafts in the past decade. With her BA in Ethnology and her MFA in Jewelry and Objects, she’s currently involved in both academic research and works as an individual artist using traditional jewelry and textile skills. Currently resides in Skopje.

Alice Holmerg (Denmark) is a lecturer, change-maker, business developer, strategy consultant, passionate innovator, entrepreneur, storyteller, facilitator, designer, interviewer, negotiator, animator.

Francesco Mozzarella from Italy yet citizen of the world, is a systemic thinker, pro-active and curious service designer interested in holistic sustainability and social innovation. He is a PhD researcher at Loughborough Design School (UK) within the Sustainable Design Research Group, and funded by the AHRC Design Star CDT. His research projects aims to explore how the service designer can contribute to the activation of meaningful routes for the transition of textile artisans’ communities towards a sustainable future.