The fourth edition of local international set a special focus on crafts, fair production methods and the collaboration with artisans. local international °4 was a digital semester with daily online seminars, video conferences, online site visits, discussions and practice-oriented workshops.

social design + crafts

local international is an international academic exchange programme focusing on fashion design and sustainability in fashion, participation, the ethics of global markets and fair trade strategies in the textile and clothing sector.

The aim of local international °4 in 2020 was to impart an awareness of sustainability and fair trade within the fashion industry and to initiate an international knowledge exchange that leads to active networks and inspires ongoing participation with local crafts and co-operations with social enterprises, NGOs and craftspeople. The fourth edition of the project, was open to fashion design students and educators in Bangladesh and Germany and set a special focus on crafts and fair production methods.

In February 2020, in preparation for the project, a fact-finding trip to craft enterprises and NGOs in Bangladesh was conducted, hosted by the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh.
The pictures below show a world before Covid-19.


project phases I + II

digital semester

To ensure that the project could take place despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, local international social design + crafts was delivered digitally, as a web-based semester with web seminars, videos and video conferences, as opposed to on-site teaching and study trips, which started in May 2020.In online seminars, the design students from Bangladesh and Germany visited NGOs and companies that use sustainable, traditional craft techniques to illuminate the diverse spectrum of possible solutions. In online lectures and practice-oriented workshops the participants received an overview of sustainable design and production strategies, local, handicraft production methods, best practice examples as well as workshops on topics such as social design, the ethics of global markets, fair trade, and sustainable design and production strategies in order to develop individual, creative approaches, concepts, products and/or collections in the further course of the project

The digital version of local international °4 started as an experiment. Both the organizing team and the participants entered a steep learning curve and despite all obstacles, such as closed University buildings in Dhaka and Berlin, experienced a fantastic, lively and inspiring semester.


project phase III


Our participants worked under unusual conditions in a digital, international study space. Some of them in lockdown, all in different places, all severely challenged by the COVID-19 crisis and the limitations of life this summer. We are proud that we have come this far and reached the finish line.

local international hopes to have made a contribution to the promotion and preservation of the crafts and to have initiated international co-operation between designers, artisans and participating organisations. We also hope we have nudged some friendships.A team of lecturers, artists and designers, and honorary mentors from the industry assisted the participants with their individual projects, which we hope, can be realized in the near future.

Project partners in 2020 were the weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BUFT) and the National Crafts Council Bangladesh.
The project was supported by the German Federal Foreign Office

thank you for your support

Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch + Samira Sayed, Goethe-Institut Bangladesh
Md Iftekhar Rahman + Md Shamsad Hasnine, BUFT
Chandra Shekhar Shaha, Sheikh Saifur Rahman + Farzana Yussuf,
National Crafts Council of Bangladesh
Ariane Lissel + Jennifer Hoffmann, weißensee kunsthochschule berlin
Mishael Aziz Ahmad, Thomas Kilian Bruderer, Markus Friedrich, Daniel Hartlaub, Natascha von Hirschhausen, Rebecca Ivancevic, Anje Jager, Lisa Jaspers, Andreas Kallfelz, Nawshin Khair, Mirjam von Mengershausen, Gabi Schirrmacher, Rosa Schmieg, Frank Schumacher, Christina Seiler
and so many other kind people!