iAtelier – Encouraging Technology & Innovative Practice

Image courtesy Asteleiros Triñanes Domínguez. Photo by Gsus Fernández.

Image courtesy Asteleiros Triñanes Domínguez. Photo by Gsus Fernández.

iAtelier is a programme of activities designed to encourage innovation by integrating new digital fabrication technologies into craft practice. Led by Ireland’s Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD) at Limerick Institute of Technology, the activities of iAtelier will take place across all partner countries.  

Crafting Europe faces 3 main challenges:  

  • Attract and engage future generations of skilled craft practitioners  
  • Make sure key skills are passed on to new craft practitioners  
  • Encourage craft workers to adopt and use new technologies  

iAtelier will meet these challenges by bringing together existing digital innovation centres (such as Fab Labs, Makerspaces, university innovation centres and research centres) to create a digital craft development network for designers and makers. iAtelier will link designers and makers with experts in ICT and digital innovation to create a range of craft products that fuse traditional and digital methodologies.  

iAtelier aims 

  • Integrate innovative digital technology into the practice of craft making 
  • Develop opportunities for collaboration to stimulate innovation  
  • Engage future generations of craft practitioners, particularly recent graduates and start-up craft and design SMEs 
  • Encourage makers to adopt new technologies to enhance traditional craft practices 

Participants will be introduced to new fabrication tools and digital techniques for business innovation. The aim is to improve the effectiveness of micro-businesses in the crafts sector in particular and the creative industries in general.  

Practical experimentation is key to this design process and it is through hands-on access to the equipment and expert guidance that ideas evolve, conversations ignite and innovation occurs. It is important to understand that digital fabrication technologies do not replace traditional methods but instead should be viewed as additional tools that can enhance themExploring the interaction of traditional and digital techniques and tools can produce a myriad of creative and innovative outcomes.