Match Making: Broadening cultural exchange opportunities through digital access to crafts

Chamithri Buddhini Greru, Britta Kalkreuter

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The paper describes research conducted into the engagement potential of social networks in the field of cultural exchange about making. It was conducted alongside a Creative Scotland funded residency programme between designers in India and Scotland that had public engagement as one of its aims. During the actual residencies, which might be described as the analogue phase of the reSIde project, the occurrence of appresentation of cultures was identified as a key factor in successful engagement of the public in a culturally informed making process. The potential of social media and other digital tools to prolong and enhance this environment is the object of this paper. A qualitative approach of participant observations and content analysis of interview data from the digital media used by the residency team was applied, and social network and hyperlink analysis was conducted through open source software NodeXL with visualisation through Gephi. Textual data analysis of individual and collective dialogue amongst large groups was also employed.
Analysis revealed that what was shared online in this project did not fully replicate all the descriptive and layered information afforded to participants who were witnessing and sensing the events live and in person, with far distant geographic locations and dramatically diverse practices being suspected to be factors. However, a certain degree of the implicit knowledge often considered as a key achievement of the analogue experience of residency was clearly identified as present in online users as they engaged with previously unknown or assumed characteristics of culture through live debate of various viewpoints and through multiple stimuli. The paper concludes by indicating the need for further study of the motivations and techniques employed by emerging collaborative cultures such as the one considered here.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • digital engagement
  • social media
  • cross cultures
  • appresentation
  • residency


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