Institute of Strategic Sloyd


The Institute for Strategic Sloyd (ISS) is an investigation center for deep operations into craft-based practical knowledge production. As an independent think-and-do-tank,it develops, inspires and demonstrates social mobilization through artisan interventions. The Institute's research concerns how craft can address the social and environmental challenges of today.

Strategic Sloyd is the operational art of orchestrating and implementing meshworked engagements and practices through pedagogic craft interventions. To bring about the largest societal impact, this happens at the intermediate levels between household tactics and strategic craft development. Strategic Sloyd implements Do-It-Yourself practices in ways that assembles publics, as Do-It-Together practices, using craft as the operational force for socio-material mobilization.

The Institute for Strategic Sloyd aims at a further development and application of the design doctrine of user empowerment, skill dissemination, value critique and micro-economical management though community exchange of hands-on craftwork (often called educational sloyd). Strategic Sloyd combines the overview of design with the embodied techniques of craft to create a hands-on operational environment of "craft thinking" in order to mobilize resources and actualize assets by craft, employing these means to address social justice, equity and peace.

The Institute is fully independent of any academic institution, ideology or political party, and we work with all sections of society to mobilize craft-based strategies for cultivating citizen capabilities. We aim to produce this change through the power of our shared vision, the provocative implementation of our research, and strategic practical action through artisan community engagement.

The Institute for Strategic Sloyd is an international collaboration of sloyd practitioners and researchers, administered by Otto von Busch, active at Parsons School of Design.

The Institute also publishes the peer-created sloyd research journal Keepin Up, co-edited by Joshua Short and Otto von Busch.

An ongoing operation is the OpenSloyd protocol.

AsylSlöjd was an intervention by the Institute in July 2013



sloyd mindmap

Sloyd is a visionary merger between direct action on an individual level and the cultivation of community capabilities through craft's pedagogic imperative. The everyday encounter with craft acts both as instruction, inspiration and push towards individual as well as collective initiative. The foundation of sloyd education in the 1860-70s was a response to the societal changes brought on by the socio-economic processes of industrialization. Today, strategic sloyd expands on this old endeavor wityh the aim to apply sloyd to the situation of contemporary societal change brought on by post-industrialism, post-politics, globalization and unsustainable consumerism.

Strategic Sloyd aims to promote new household tactics, vigorous and intelligent community activities, and shared skill-building.


StadsSlöjd-zines (in Swedish):  



The Plug-in Shaving Horse for urban settings, transforming a common park bench into an open sloyd workshop. Basic construction available in the "StadsSlöjd" zine above (right)
Plug-in Shaving Horse1 Plug-in Shaving Horse2

Plug-in Shaving Horse3


Strategic sloyd is head and hand in harness for the common good, as it develops self-confidence, as well as artisan and organizational skills for citizen agency.

[Sloyd] education consists of the development of the powers and capabilities (psychical and physical) that have been given to man […] The best educated man is he who has the greatest possible range of these powers (but especially the most essential and important among them) harmoniously developed to their utmost extent.
Otto Salomon (1890), ‘Manual training’. An Address to the National Union of Teachers, London, p. 6.