Background and activities

I hold a position as Professor in Arts and Crafts education at the Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Social Sciences and Educational Sciences. I`m also connected as Professor in Conservation with focus on Craft Science at the Departent of Conservation (Kulturvård), University of Gothenburg. In spring 2020, I was elected by the Ministry of Climate and Environment to member of the board of Kingsbay AS and the research activity in Ny-Ålesund aimed towards environmental issues, climate and the cultural heritage.

I am professor, dr.art. in Craft Science connected to “Kulturvård” (culture + care) and worked as deputy head and research leader at the Departent of Conservation, University of Gothenburg. https://conservation.gu.se/ (until autom 2020). I had the responsibility for development- and research activety for five interdisciplinary study programs. This involved research- and project management, obtaining external research funding’s and initiatives to build research teams across disciplines in cooperation with external research partners. In addition, I work as a researcher; tutorial teaching and supervising undergraduate-, master and PhD students. I`m especially connected to the field of craft traditions and archeological artefacts. I work with qualitative research methods related to the field of practice and embodied learning. My epistemological – and ontological platform is rooted in a post-humanistic tradition. I currently supervise four PhD students and one postdoc in craft and art. Two of them focus on the connections between art and crafts. One focuses on voluntariness, sense of identity and state of health associated with craftsmanship, one in survey methods and reconstruction of craft traditions, one examines crafts related to medieval roof constructions and the postdoc position emphases empathy, sensitivity and embodiment in craft and art.

I have a background as a skilled carpenter and archaeologist. Both my Cand.philol. and dr.art. was aimed towards medieval craftsmanship and built practices. My speciality is interdisciplinary and lies between intangible culture (craft traditions) and material culture (archaeology). An important aspect of my dr.art. thesis was to develop ways of transferring craft related knowledge through notation systems inspired from craft and dance pedagogy and embodied movement.

In later research practice, I have worked on the development of crafts as didactic and scientific disciplines. I have among other things applied visual communication, digital media, photography and notation methods; both in my research, teaching and supervision (bachelor, master and PhD / postdoc level). I have been focusing on how traditional craft and procedural practices can expand and deepen the understanding of so-called “tacit knowledge” and forgotten craft traditions - and how this knowledge can be used in new creative ways. The field of study is closely linked to practical, procedural knowledge-based understanding “in” and “on” craft. The knowledge of how previous generations have handled nature, raw materials, resources, substances and objects through production and cultivating is crucial. Moreover, how the interaction between humans, things, objects and surroundings are connected. In the field of craft, the working processes and procedures are used as central method of investigation. In my work, I am questioning and analyses traditions, craft products and knowledge by means of structured investigations were skilled craftsmanship and craft tradition plays a crucial role. I`m concerned with the dialogue, the interaction and the mirroring between human being (s), and the physical, material world outside ourselves.  Regarding craft, this can mean mapping and examining the dialogue between practitioner, tools, materiality and the environment they are part of and how they are connected and mirror each other.

Important aspects of my craft research have been to develop methods and theories that can be applied in the field of art and craft. I have been focusing a lot on the relationship between performer, tools, material, technique and procedures. Inspiration is, for example obtained from research in art, archeology, pedagogic, dance and music. The methodical focus has been “practice-led research”, “action research” and “embodiment”. The philosophy of science has been inspired by phenomenology and hermeneutics. But I`m also close connected to post-humanism. I have benefited from developing methods inspired by “performer & participating observer analysis”, “notation systems in craft (movement writing)”, “T-shaped studies” and “reverse engineering” - but also more overall methods and themes that focus on "empathy" (innlevelse) and "reconstruction" or "empathy" as a common foundation in the field of arts and crafts. All projects in collaboration with other experts, both locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Since 2002, I have been working and developing education- and research in the field of traditional crafts and craft science. First at the Institute for Building and Environment (IBM), at Sør-Trøndelag University College (HiST), later at the Department of Architecture and Technology, Faculty of Architecture and Design (NTNU) and before my position here at the teacher education, NTNU, I worked developing and building up craft science towards art and conservation at the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg where I`m still connected.

In 2004, I was responsible for the development of a new education in traditional crafts. A 4-year part-time bachelor study for experienced artisans in the field of conservation and building protection. In 2007, I got the formal responsibility for developing and establishing the education in collaboration with Nidaros Cathedral Restoration Work (NDR), with many special crafts and workshops. The training was especially rooted in executive craftsmanship and craft research. The field was also built on a broader, interdisciplinary competence in art history, technology / natural science, human sciences / cultural history and social science. An important goal for the education program was to develop the student’s executive skills in their own craft, but also develop skill in craft research and unite theory with practice.

For the past 20 years, I have initiated, developed and established both internal and external research projects (FoU projects). I have also acquired new PhD projects in the field. I have experience with research- and project management and the procedures related to research such as the field developing strategies, network building, application writing and the research process with participation and initiation of seminars with lectures and subsequent publishing activity. My research has taken place both nationally and internationally. I have published in recognized international journals, worked interdisciplinary and developed a large professional network.

Throughout many years of working with adult students, I have experienced what pedagogical advantages the practical exercise of action has in education. Communicating through action have the possibility to supplement the linguistic communication and build bridges across established groups of students. The field of practice has the ability to capture also those who, for various reasons, fall outside the theoretical fields that over a long time have had status and recognition. The craftsmanship also highlights the importance of practical exercises, embodiment, haptics, awareness, sensitivity and sensation or bodily and physical skills in addition to the classical school subjects. It is, in my view, important to focus on the connections between “episteme”, “techne” and “phronesis” in the education system. This means that the practical subjects must be strengthened to contribute to a holistic understanding of man and contribute to the development of a pedagogic that unify theory with practice. In my opinion the education of future teachers must reflect this point of view, and I would very much like to contribute to this. The development and strengthening of the art and craft subjects - and the field of practice in school and teacher education is something who engage me.

The list of scientific, professional and artistic activities below is not updated, but are in progress being upgraded.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Artistic productions

  • Høgseth, Harald. (2007) Undersøkelser av verktøyspor. Videodokumentasjon av tradisjonskunnskap. UKJENT. 2007.

Books

  • Høgseth, Harald B.; Rafnsson, Magnus R.. (2021) Craft Scienses. Notations on craft: Movement, gesture and bodily expression. 2021. ISBN 91-631-7631-9.
  • Høgseth, Harald. (2006) Håndverk og kunnskap. 2006. ISBN 8251921600.

Part of book/report

  • Høgseth, Harald B.. (2012) Knowledge Transfer: The Craftmens Abstraction. Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity, and Communities of Practice.
  • Høgseth, Harald B.. (2012) The language of craftsmanship. Embodied Knowledge. Perspectives on Belief and Technology.
  • Høgseth, Harald. (2006) Å skrive håndverk. Håndverk og kunnskap.

Report/dissertation