CRAFTS CENTERS & WORKSHOP SPACES

Considering design as a tool for development which can improve the quality of life of populations, the Forum -with animaná and the NGO Hecho por nosotros- strengthens the work of artisans through its Arts and crafts centers. 

In them, experienced designers get involved in workshops to train people from vulnerable sectors of society, and also connect with groups of rural artisans to share experiences. The focus, as always, is the promotion of sustainable design, recycling, and the union of ancient knowledge with contemporary style.

 

UNESCO recognition and cultural exchange 

The Forum has permanent and active Centers of arts and crafts in the Argentine provinces of Salta, Jujuy, Santiago del Estero, Catamarca and Santa Cruz, which were recognized by UNESCO. 

Thanks to this distinction, prestigious consultant Dominique Peclers -a French professional commited to Ethical Fashion- visited the Andes in 2010, staying in Argentina and Peru for two months working with artisan communities providing design guidelines and offering lectures and talks. 

In 2011 -in the framework of the UNESCO program Equity for applied arts- the Forum received French designer Mathilde Georget, an expert in the exploration and development of innovative textiles and in artisan embroidery techniques. In the course of eight months, she lived in more than 20 communities in northern Argentina and Peru, learning their cultures and transmitting, in turn, aesthetic proposals demanded by consumers in the European market. 

As a result of that exchange, pieces produced in the region were placed in Parisian, Swiss and American boutiques during the 2012 Autumn-Winter collections; while others were displayed at the International Heritage Show in Paris.  

 

Entrepreneurship workshops at Villa 31

In 2012 the Forum joined Impact Economy and the Buenos Aires City Government in promoting employment in the textile sector in Buenos Aires shantytowns.

The first experience of the Entrepreneur BA program was a series of workshops in Villa 31, the first phase of which ended in February 2013. About 80 people attended the events, which were mostly about textile work, and 20 business plans were created. 

 

Bag creation workshops with NOA artisans

In September 2009 the Forum organized a workshop for artisans in the Northern region of Argentina (NOA), to provide the necessary tools for them to create products with design value.

Paula Massalin Bellsola traveled there, where she worked with the artisans for a week as a part of a team formed by Magdalena Veliz, general coordinator of the NOA center, and Humberto Juarez and Ivana Aparicio, artisan leaders; among others. 

As a result of the experience, artisans created leather bags with appliques inspired by ancient indigenous chiefs, which were later exhibited at various international fairs in Paris. 

 

Training workshop for young entrepreneurs 

In 2009 and with financial help from Ashoka, the Forum supported the workshop Training for young entrepreneurs, a project to encourage productive, administrative and personal skills in the youth attending No. 5111 school of Cafayate, so they could learn to market their traditional crafts.

We worked with artisans and professionals who conducted workshops in the recovery of techniques for dying and working with wool felt, including ancestral procedures inherited from the Diaguita tribes.

 

Participation in Fashion 4 Development 

During the same year, Hecho x Nosotros-Argentina participated in the third meeting of Fashion 4 Development, a global movement led by UNESCO since 1975, which seeks to promote the craft development in emerging countries. 

The Forum presented four models which embodied archetypes of Andean women: the Kolla, the calchaquí, the Inca maiden and the macacha Guemes. They were styled jointly by Mariela Oliva and Humberto Juarez. 

 

Macacha technical training workshop for craftswomen 

Earlier, in 2008, the Forum in collaboration with Mariela Oliva and Yamila Gonzalez, organized a workshop for the craftswomen of the General Guemes and Cafayate towns, in Salta. 

The work was with alpaca, and the artisans were provided all the necessary tools and materials for the design and development of new products, as well as marketing concepts and tools. Six years later, the artisans which participated in this activity are still active.