organised by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and The British Council, Macedonia, in partnership with the Macedonian Artisan Trade Association (MATA), European University, DUCOR- Partenija Zografski, funded by the British Council, Macedonia
This five-day workshop was the fourth in the series funded by The British Council in three countries of the former Yugoslavia - Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia and Macedonia. All were based on the co-design model trialled in Sarajevo in 2009 where designers and skilled disabled people worked together to design and produce new product portfolios for the former sheltered workplaces that employ them.
Unlike Zagreb, Sarajevo and Osijek, where the three previous workshops took place, no formal organisation of designers exists in Macedonia, so it was essential to create a network to support the project. Vesna Avramovska of the Macedonian Artisan Trade Association, graphic designer Marija Veteroska ,who designed the visual identity for the project. and jewellery designer Biljana Klekackoska recruited designers from their personal networks. Others were selected after an open call by the British Council Macedonia. They were joined by craftspeople specialising in felt, wood, beading and embroidery and students and instructors from Ducor - Partnejija Zografski, a residential vocational school for hearing impaired students.
The workshop's aim was to co-design products whose design and manufacture would enable students to develop key skills to allow them enter the work force and in turn become an income stream for the school.
Led by RCA alumni Matthew Harrison, Florie Salnot and James Tooze, the three teams came up with an exciting portfolio of products made from felt, constructed and printed textiles and wood. They were exhibited at the British Council Macedonia and at Skopje's Creative Industries Festival 14-16 June, 2012.