Just came across this from a design conference Nicola attended in Barcelona in 2003, I liked it and thought I would share it.

“Techné is Greek for “craft” and “art” and is the term that Aristotle used in theorising knowledge, to refer to the third form of knowledge in his classification of sciences.

Now understood as mere skill belonging to craft. techné has unfortunately lost its original meaning which integrated beauty, art, expertise, technical knowledge, skill and industry.

In Aristotle’s time, artistic creativity and technology were not divided.”

I wish we had a word today which integrated the beauty, art, expertise, technical knowledge, skill and industry involved in craft.

The Swedish word sloyd has many of those meanings and Japanese mingei some of them but for once the English language is badly lacking.

3 Responses to Techné

  1. Margorsson June 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    Typical that the english language despite its vast vocabulary is lacking in this sphere. Keep up the thought provoking blog!

  2. R Francis June 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Craft is the right word. Just needs reinvesting with reasonable values and pride.Technics (tecne)is not and artisanal is for cheese (in English).And the worst bodge is 'artist-craftsman', foisted on us by artsy types with aspirations to something they should not even be thinking about. I blame the art schools and the bourgeois who now think they are an alternative to an education or going to work. It's the Goldsworthy/Long question again. Good subject for Liberal Studies if they still exist in the art schools.Remember that Sam Maloof was proudly a woodworker not an artist.

  3. Robin Wood June 17, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    I think I agree, you will have noticed we went for the "Heritage Crafts Association" and not without looking at all the alternatives. I always call myself a woodworker and like to think of myself as a tradesman not an artist. I am very pleased that in so doing I am following Sam Maloof, he was one of the best and will be missed.