New Craft Production in Europe - between Creative Class and Industrial Manufacturing
Purpose: This article presents research regarding “new craft”, an emerging and developing part of the local economy in many European cities. The term refers to types of work between traditional manufacturing and creative industries, more innovative and individual than the former and more tangible than most of the latter. Approach: The study was based on a literature review, interviews and analysis of a case study - the post-industrial Praga district of Warsaw, which is an original work of the authors from Warsaw School of Economics and OpenHeritage, a Horizon 2020 project. Findings: The findings encompass specific aspects and characteristics of jobs located on the edges of two groups – traditional manufacturing and creative industries. This research helps to fill a previous gap in the European statistics regarding small-scale production and manufacturing. This part of locality is gaining importance due to (1) a recent stimulus in new forms of production and the testing of innovative, large-scale manufacturing (2) the re-introduction of urban manufacturing which now raises less concern about possible negative environmental impacts (3) the role of local networks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Practical Implications: New craft production is a significant and growing trend in numerous European cities. It should be based on two elements: (1) traditional high quality European craft and manufacturing (2) innovation and creative industries in which the EU wants to be a global leader. Therefore, there is a need for policies, financial mechanisms and statistical recognition that will bring benefits to craftsmen and municipal decision makers.. Originality/value: According to the authors, new craft production to some extent replaces traditional craftspeople but more importantly stimulates innovation. Therefore, its role and characteristics should be discussed further – especially in new post-Covid 19 reality – as a factor in stimulating the development of local economies, including districts and cities.