Visualizing Craft Knowledge
Mei-Ling Israel, Consortial
Faculty Advisor: Michael Mandiberg
Makers of popular craft now share their creativity via online forums, blogs, Etsy, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. My doctoral research explores this constant and diverse network of interactions, in particular looking at niches of self-organized craft makers. The patterns of use on different digital interfaces offer new territory, specifically for viewing craft as a process but also, more broadly, in terms of potential cultural heritage and knowledge management.
In my New Media Lab project, I will be analyzing an online bulletin board from a community of glass makers by mapping the taxonomies of a threaded bulletin board discussion of about 4000 entries on techniques of glass making. The end goal is a data visualization of the breadth of knowledge generated by the activities of over a decade’s correspondence of an ad hoc community of craft enthusiasts, spanning professional to leisure makers.