In our series of interviews with key craft thinkers, we speak with Maikel Kuijpers about the “material turn” and the “Future is Handmade” documentary.
Maikel Kuijpers is a key thinker in what has been called the “material turn”, in which knowledge is seen not just as an abstraction to be housed in books, but also something embodied in materials and things that resides in our hands. His book, An Archaeology of Skill (2017), argues that to understand objects of the bronze age, we need to account for the experience of the metalsmith in dialogue with materials.
We cover in particular the video Kuijpers produced in Cambridge, The Future is Handmade, which advocated for the renewed value of craft in trades. Why would an archeologist make a film about a contemporary tailor?
Maikel Kuijpers is Assistant Professor of the Archaeology of Early Europe at Leiden University as well as a research coordinator for the Centre of Global Heritage and Development, a collaboration between Technical University Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Leiden University.
The image above is from the Declaration of Material Rights coordinated by Dutch architect Thomas Rau.