In today’s rapidly changing world, progress is often equated with technological advancement and global interconnectedness. However, there is immense value in rediscovering traditional knowledge, particularly when it comes to sustainable materials and practices rooted in Dutch heritage. What can we learn and unlearn from our past for a sustainable and just future?

Historically, skilled artisans worked closely with their immediate surroundings. Their craftsmanship and choice of materials were directly connected to the local landscape. With the advent of industrialisation, globalisation, and extensive transportation networks, this relationship has weakened. As a result, many people today lack awareness of how most products are made and where they originate.

Focusing on local resources and skilled craftsmanship can help us build a society that balances technological advancement with ecological resilience and economic fairness. Integrating age-old practices into modern supply chains can revolutionise industries, such as textiles, housing, and food production. Prioritising sustainability at every stage of these processes is crucial for reducing our carbon footprint and supporting localised, nature-based supply chains.

In this workshop, we will bring together designers and initiatives to share best practices on leveraging local knowledge, materials, and cultural traditions. This collaborative effort will focus on revitalising traditional techniques while also exploring innovative, closed-loop value chains. These chains will be based on renewable resources and sustainable, transparent production technologies.


Developed by: Barbara Vos
Facilitator: Marsha Simon (Dutch Design Foundation)
Speakers: Henriette Waal (Atelier Luma / Veenweide Atelier) , Willemien Ippel (Linen Project / Crafts Council)  / more t.b.c.

TAGS: From Ancient Knowledge to A.I.