Project #5: SynTechnia (Virtual Classroom)

Project # 5:

Title of Project:  SynTechnia
Approximate Start and End Dates: October 2012 - September 2013

Location of Project: online

Requested Funding amount (up to $400): $399
This is the cost for the annual subscription to a virtual classroom from e-lecta live. More information about the product on their website:

Project Description:

About the name:
‘Syntechnia’ is the Greek word for guild, trade union or association. It’s made up of two other words, the prefix ‘syn-‘ meaning ‘plus’ and the second part that derives from the word ‘techni’, meaning ‘art’ or ‘craft’.

About the project:
For the SynTechnia project we will use an online platform, a virtual classroom, where Crafthaus members from around the world will gather and have group critiques and meetings to promote better design.

Meetings will take place once or twice a month in different days and times to accommodate as many makers as possible. There won’t be any fees, but if there is interest from more participants than the platform can support, some selection (random or by application) may be needed. All mediums, all levels and all styles are welcome.

Every meeting will start with an ice breaker, a game that will activate the right side of the brain, create a safe environment and establish an atmosphere of growth. We will set the ground rules and the objectives of the meeting and then participants will be asked to present samples of their work to the group. This could be either live, for those who have a camera, or online if you have images already uploaded either on Crafthaus or elsewhere. Taking advantage of the virtual classroom, we will all be able to communicate (either write or even talk if you have a microphone) and navigate pages together, use a whiteboard or share files.
My job will be to facilitate the discussion, so that all participants will benefit from their share of the meeting and so that ideas will be formulated towards constructive criticism and effective evaluation.

The purpose is for participants to leave the meeting with a concrete understanding of the characteristics of their work and an awareness of its strong points, weaknesses and possible areas of improvement. Firm action points may be suggested, but you should understand that this may not always be feasible. We will attempt to separate objective from subjective opinions, but all will be noted and discussed. One of the biggest advantages of the selected online platform is that the meetings will be recorded and participants will get unlimited access to re-watch as needed.

About myself and the rationale of this project:
Since I set up my own studio with a strong educational background, I have often found that I miss group critiques and advice from peers. It is not uncommon for an artist to be stuck, isolated in the studio, with no one to turn to for feedback. I also sometimes get frustrated when I turn to friends or family for advice and all I get is ‘it’s nice’, ‘it’s interesting’ (or, the worst, when I know that something is wrong but just cannot put my finger on it:) ‘wow, you are so talented, how did you make this?!’…
I have teaching experience and started SynTechnia as an experiment with some of my students and local fellow crafters. It was so well perceived, that I thought I had to make it bigger and move it online so more people can take part and benefit from it.
If you are also fed up getting indifferent responses and long for some constructive feedback, vote for SynTechnia!


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