“crafting new approaches to composition”

Prins argues for a revised understanding of writing as craft: “as a particular set of actions and relationships between people and between people and things – writing’s value explicitly shifts from being located in a writer’s ability to produce a set of ideal discourse to the roles textual production plays in shaping writers and the uses a made object such as writing has in social circulation”

She argues that craft invites us to consider the relationships between the maker, her identity, the materials and tools the maker uses, the maker’s interactions with others and the things she makes

In effect, this is a metaphor that enacts Wysocki’s definition of new media – an kind of text that enacts the embodied and temporal nature of writing

And it is a metaphor that empowers people to shift subjectivities and craft a “more thoughtful, caring, ethical, and equitable, democratic world”

*Craft* and *design* evoke many of the same principles – materiality of tools, technologies, and text; front places the transformative power of writing; purview for collaboration

However, Prins argues that design is a term that deceptively makes the embodied relations between writers and texts neutral: “the notion of design lacks a clear ethical direction because it can be appropriated for a wide variety of purposes.” Specifically, design feeds into a capitalist, economic order that narrows the “ways of design” and the “materials of design” to a model of capitalist economic exchange.

**Emphasizes subjectivity: craft as a formation of the self. In other words, where design is a means to an end (e.g. commodity object), craft is a *human condition* of being engaged with outselves, objects, and the world.

It’s necessarily more altruistic than design.

In contrast, craft evokes a different economic order – barter and gift economies – where makers connect with one another through social production, bartering for, and gifting digital, handmade, cultural objects. In other words, craft evokes a nonindustrial model of production.

The key to this article is attention: As George notes, *design* draws attention to the ways writing is inherently visual. Here, craft draws attention to “a maker, tools used to shape materials into an object, a user or users for the object, the time it took for the maker to learn how to use the tools and work with the material, the time it took to make the object, relationships between the maker and the thing made as well as between maker and users.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.