Techne – this is an ancient Greek word that sees technology as a philosophy based around the extension of our hands that is of us as humans. Today Techneque has become technique wherein our humanity and thus our hands are extensions of the machine, which in turn is an extension of our head.
Techne then integrates art and craft and represents the ‘chiro/hand’ i.e. craft component of ‘wise hands’ or ‘hand knowledge’, ‘touch/haptic wisdom’ or ‘tactile insight/gnosis’. This, we argue, is the lost form of knowledge that was so crucial to our becoming human – hands led head that is our ancestors used techne to evolve, i.e., they developed hand eye co-ordination and made tools at least two million years before humans arose. Yet you would never realise this critical and generative link looking at our education and training systems where the head rules the hand, and indeed is now replacing the hand, as home economics, metal shop and woodwork, and now in the US even hand-writing, have dropped off the standard school curricula.
Techne as in ‘wise hands’ is not to be found in higher education, nor any longer in vocational education, but rather is, we submit, a third path, the path less, or not, surveyed or travelled. A path to which CRAFT is dedicated. Everywhere technique, where the head leads and eliminates the hand, is ascendant. We at CRAFT, although quite possibly a voice in the wilderness, argue that it is not too late to reintegrate Techne into our lived experience, educational institutions and school curricula.