Preserving the past, looking to the future: enhancing professional careers in crafts with HANDS

Thursday 29 June 2023

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Traditional handicrafts have immense cultural value in Jordan, Syria, Spain and Italy, reflecting the rich heritage and artistic traditions of these countries, partners of HANDS.

Universities play a leading role in the preservation, promotion and marketing of traditional craft heritage through comprehensive training, promotion of innovative design and effective marketing strategies. Combining academic experience with technical expertise can provide new resources and tools for those involved in crafts, promoting entrepreneurship and ensuring the longevity of these traditional crafts. The preservation of traditional craft techniques, passed down from generation to generation, is crucial.

A central element of HANDS is therefore the training and capacity building of students, academic staff, and crafters in Jordan and Syria through the exchange of knowledge and experience with universities and organizations in Italy and Spain. Collaboration between universities and other stakeholders represents a dynamic and holistic approach aimed at preserving cultural heritage while also generating economic opportunities. The ultimate goal is to create centers of traditional crafts in Jordan and Syria, leading to a vibrant cultural future that takes tradition into account and embraces innovation.

HANDS activities carried out to date

Students have participated in trainings on how to preserve these ancient techniques while encouraging innovation to create contemporary designs that attract customers. By improving their skills in areas such as product design, quality control and entrepreneurship, they can adapt to changing market demands and compete in a global market.

On May 24 and 25, Hands partners met in Girona, Spain, to share the results of vocational training activities conducted in Jordan and Syria. On this occasion, local craft realities combining traditional techniques and new technologies were presented:

  • The Museu de Ceràmica de la Bisbal d’Empordà, a permanent nonprofit institution that investigates, collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits the material and intangible heritage of pottery from Bisbal (an area near Girona, Spain).
  • Bussoga, an atelier that designs and manufactures products for interiors and exteriors, from furniture to ceramic wall tiles, via custom murals or household items.

About the project

HANDS – Traditional craft Heritage trAining, desigN and marketing in jorDan and Syria is a 3-year project funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ – Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education programme. The project aims at developing high quality university vocational career-relevant trainings through special designed courses on traditional craft heritage.


For further information

Read more about HANDS.

Contact Giulia Tarantino: