The Future of Craftsmanship – Issue 42, May 2019

The Future of Craftsmanship - Issue 42
The Future of Craftsmanship - Issue 42

Craftsmanship, though hard to define, is immediately discernable. It is the intricate detail of a rare object fashioned with the type of intuitive skill that only experience can produce. It is the hand tools, impacting materials perfectly, cutting through the silence of a shop or studio where generations work and techniques are inherited. It was, until very recently, the way in which humans made almost all things enduring.

The advent of mass production, however, coupled with our insatiable appetite for readily available consumer goods, means that these rarefied objects are becoming rarer still. Craftsmanship companies are in danger. That said, there are those firms, many of them owned and operated by families, who have found the balance between tradition and innovation, where craft is thriving. We’re kicking off our Spring 2019 issue with a Special Feature exploring the legacy of craftsmanship in family business.

In this issue we have family business stories and contributions from Lebanon, Canada, Japan, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, the US, Egypt, Taiwan and the UK as well as an examination of nepotism in three parts.

Special Features: The Future of Craftsmanship

Intuitively, it seems like tradition and innovation are at odds. We often feel like we must discard the past in order to move on to the future. Yet, family businesses around the world find that by leveraging their history...
Tanihata is at the forefront of one of Japan’s oldest architectural traditions: Kumiko Ramma. The family company's CEO, Tanihata Nobuo, is a traditionalist with a modern eye for business. The craftsmanship that defines Tanihata's products has been passed down...
Elevating the axe as an exquisitely handcrafted tool seems like an unconventional strategy in the age of single-use consumerism. Gränsfors Bruk, however, proves that traditional craftsmanship is effective in the pursuit of sustainability, both environmentally and in business. Specialising in...
Luxury brand Azza Fahmy stands for some of the most sought-after and highly regarded jewellery in the world. The studio's namesake, Egyptian designer, artist and entrepreneur Azza Fahmy, who founded the atelier in 1969, now works closely with her daughters...
With a long, rich history in creating artisanal fabrics, Venice occupies a prominent position in the world of textiles. Integral to this legacy of traditional craftsmanship is the luxury textiles company Luigi Bevilacqua. Named after its founder, whose works...
The Japanese term monozukuri translates literally as "making things". Figuratively, the word is similar to the English "craftsmanship" but goes further to address providence, culture and identity. Monozukuri speaks to the national pride and artisanal excellence that go into...
When it comes to furniture, Ricardo Lucas is a visionary. To solidify his place in the industry, the Portuguese entrepreneur has developed a highly specialised product that caters to a niche market. Using stainless steel as a primary material,...
Wagner Quality Shoes, a sixth-generation Pittsburgh-based shoe store that dates back to 1854, meets the expectation of craftsmanship their name implies in an unconventional way. Founder Peter Wagner, son of a cobbling family from Burscheid, Germany, came to the United...

Features

Pundit of the silver screen, Mario Haddad Sr, CEO of Empire International, has dedicated his life and career to bringing cinema to the Middle East. Since taking over his father's business in 1956, Haddad's zeal to share his passion...
Cliff Coulson was a Canadian war hero and frontiersman – a tank and bulldozer operator who assisted allied troops in the Second World War. He was equally fearless in business. On his return from the war, he continued to...

Nepotism

Dr Chengwei Liu is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Behavioural Science at England's Warwick Business School. An expert in executive decision-making, Dr Liu's papers are featured in leading academic journals around the world.  His work on nepotism explores the...
Dr Jones is a professor of psychology at Missouri State University who specialises in industrial-organisational (I-O) psychology. His research in this area explores ethical decision-making and prejudice in personnel selection and development.  His fascination with the societal influence of nepotism,...
Dr Zgheib holds a PhD in Economics and a Professional Doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University. In his current post at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, he lectures on business ethics, human resource management,...

Also in this Issue

On 12th April 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first man in space when he completed one orbit of the earth in the Russian Vostok spacecraft. A similar, yet equally extraordinary event occurred 43 years later when, on...
Guy Singh-Watson, Founder of Riverford Organic Farmers, grew his family farm into a household name, revolutionising a category and challenging assumptions about capitalism along the way. Riverford began delivering vegetable boxes at a time when other delivery services, fish, for...