|13.00 – 13.30|
|Hillary 2, 6F||
Should Craft Become Industry?: Some Indonesian Cases
The position between craft and industry is challenging. Various researches argue that what is valuable in craft is not actually the fact that it is made by hand, or using traditional tools, but more about the craft attitude and philosophy towards producing objects. However, craft cannot be shifted totally as industry; and it should not be. Instead, craft could just adopt some of, or inspired by the way industrial mass-production works. It is craft that consistently keeps one of its feet steps on tradition and another one is connected with novelty and technological and cultural change. Therefore, craft should stay as it is, that its works are controlled by the maker’s mind and hand; not a kind of fully autonomous processing works. This is the most advantage of what craft can contribute to the world.
Concerning to that issue, this paper will discuss the problems, challenges, and strategies of developing craft in Indonesia. Unlike in the West, craft activities in Indonesia are usually done by craft community, which has its own problems and advantages. To scale up their economic value, craft productions are often set up as industrial way that for some extent may cause environmental and social impacts. For that reason, the discussion in this paper will focus on how craft can benefit from, or collaborate with industry, without losing its nature and role as continuing cultures and societies. Thus, in what way craft production can gain the same position as industry? And finally, what is the role of designer in this situation?
In term of method, the context of this paper will be Indonesian, by showing some cases of the author’s own works and projects of developing crafts in local communities in Indonesia, both privately and collaboration works with Indonesian government.
Keywords: craft, industry, craft community, design, sustainability
|Hillary 1, 6F||
DTI-Design Center Digital Artisans Project
The Philippine Government has established FABLAB's throughout the country - often in partnership with public universities. One goal was to stimulate innovation in the SME sector. In 2019, Design Center of the Philippines conceived a demonstration program that would not only draw attention to these underutilized resources but prove to our creative communities that digital fabrication when married to 'conventional' making could lead to new opportunities. Promoting a relationship between the digital and the analogue would, it was thought, eliminate 'tech anxiety' among communities the investment was hoped to influence. Curated by the author, the event, titled, 'Digital Artisans' grouped young artists and designers in Iligan City, Cebu and Manila into small teams who conceived designs marrying pragmatic concerns with social critique. For example, one team observed the rich can be oblivious to the needs of the poor. Their response: a 'chair environment', alluring yet uncomfortable - was intended to remind those with privilege to remember those without. The designs were fabricated as overscale constructions approx. 4m X 2.5m- for display at Manila FAME. (Digital fabrication was in 3d printing, 3d scanning, CNC cutting and large-scale 2d printing. Analog techniques included oil painting, sewing, stringing, cutting, drilling and welding). This presentation will chart the thematic initiation, design expression and fabrication process - from beginning to the end of the program. We will also suggest further steps that can help root Digital Fabrication in the Philippines.
Guildcrafting for the maintenance of wisdom ecologies
All around the world, cultures of apprenticeship within craft guilds was the primary way by which a civilisation handed down and developed its practical knowledge. These guilds were tasked not only with practicing their craft and teaching it to initiates, but also maintaining aspects of the culture they were located within.
Guilds were integral parts of societies. They provided employment, and alongside religious and leadership institutions, helped to define the standards of a good society.
With the displacement of craft by industrial manufacturing and the resulting collapse of its role as a maintainer of culture in the 19th & 20th century, there has been a gap in present-day society that neither corporations, universities nor vocational colleges have been able to fill. The former trade in capital, goods and the creation of allure, academia in theoretical knowledge production and dissemination. Vocational colleges do pass on crafts skills, but these are created in service to the idea of “the market” and lack much impact socially.
This gap can be filled with a resurgence of new types of guilds, informed by open source methodologies as opposed to secrecy; guilds that once more embrace their roles as cultural and social institutions; that act as maintainers and propagators of indigenous, gnostic, embodied knowledge as opposed to academic, theoretical knowledge; that recognise their place within these wider wisdom ecologies and provide its members with a sense of belonging and agency within them.
Craft offers a way of seeing and engaging with the world that is becoming increasingly less privileged in the 21st century, in the battle to meet the troubles of the 21st century it is important that we retrieve these insights and add them to our toolkits.
|13.30 – 14.00|
|Hillary 1, 6F||
From Backstrap to Digital Loom: Digitising Traditional Textiles in the Cordillera, North Luzon Philippines
The Cordillera Textiles Project (CordiTex) is a multi-disciplinary research that uses different approaches in the social and natural sciences to analyze traditional textiles and examine how they are transformed in the contemporary period. Specifically, CordiTex research focuses on the anthropology, history, mathematical symmetry, technology, art, ergonomics, and science of Cordillera textiles. Furthermore, the project documents extant textiles that can no longer be woven by local communities, due to the demise of master weavers and the decline in significance of traditional weaving. Master weavers transfer knowledge through oral tradition, and by learning-by-doing. As such, the intricate patterns and the process of weaving were scarcely documented. CordiTex facilitates the reconstruction of vintage textiles through digital loom technology to rejuvenate interest in traditional weaving in the region. The aim is to preserve traditional weaving and revive traditional textiles through the use of digital loom weaving, popularized instructional materials on weaving, and weaving workshops; and disseminate the findings of the research through themed exhibitions, seminars, and publications. With the intervention of digital loom technology, in collaboration with the Crafting Futures Project with the Department of Textiles in Metropolitan Manchester University (UK), and Digital Weaving Norway, along with the local weavers, CordiTex can now replicate and reconstruct traditional weave patterns through digitization and digital loom weaving. With the advent of modern technology, the CordiTex does not aim to replace handlooms, but use the digital loom in reconstructing and transferring the data to written form that young weavers can re-weave in their traditional looms. This now presents a new narrative to empower local weavers, engender ethnic identity, and sustain Cordillera weaving.
Making Change : Weaving community resilience with sustainable fashion
Since the global climate strikes took part around the world in 2019, sustainability is no longer seen as a luxury but a necessity for all. In Thailand, however, the high cost associated with sustainable fashion and crafts is the main barrier for most people so they choose cheaper substitutes like Fast Fashion. Thus, creativity is much needed to reimagine new locally-rooted ways of meeting needs. Makers, no longer meant only traditional craftsmen, started to use their creative competencies to ‘make’ new social forms to subvert throwaway norms with collective actions.
This presentation will explore how a group of local makers and designers in Bangkok activates Fashion Revolution Thailand and Circular Design Lab, the autonomous, open, and collaborative networks challenging people and weaving a close-knit community for sustainable fashion consumption. By creating a safe space that people choose to connect co-design, and organise alternative modes together, the groups are shaping the culture of sharing, swapping, closing the loops that also includes and supports community resilience at grass-roots level.
The presentation aims to share key success factors for this transition, which bridges the awareness-action gap, and help people rediscover a new understanding of community values in the process. Another aim is to illustrate that the interconnectedness of crafts, communities, and individual wellbeing can nurture a sense of identity, belonging, and bring political power back to the people. When understood their power in tackling climate crisis, they became ‘makers’ who change the balance of power, by just crafting their choices differently for their own everyday lives. This new meaning of ‘making’ has massive potential to free people from a limited, individualistic, reductionist worldview for sustainability shaped by neo-liberal mindsets and systems, and hopefully propose a vision of collaborative economy that's holistic, inclusive, abundant, caring and regenerative way of living.
|Hillary 2, 6F||
Crafting Ginhawa: A critical exploration of social inequality and ginhawa (well-being) in the context of Filipino craft
There has been a renewed interest in traditional Filipino crafts in design and commerce, wherein Filipino artisans may experience the economic, social and psychological benefits of crafts. However, with the continued growth of this movement, risks may have arisen and Filipino craftspeople may be unintentionally but systematically disadvantaged in their freedom to access ginhawa (well-being) in the cross-class occupational context of creating crafts. The study then pursued a critical psychological exploration of the meanings and experiences of ginhawa of five Southern Tagalog weavers through an indigenous psychological method called pakikipagkwentuhan. Following the framework of work and capabilities proposed by Schrage and Huber (2018), nine themes in three clusters have emerged: Weaving as Instrumental to and Constitutive of Ginhawa; Conversion Factors that Enable and Disable Weaving and The Cyclical Relationship between Weaving and Ginhawa. Most alarmingly, despite the ability of craft to achieve ginhawa and despite the contentment the weavers expressed in their current state of self-defined ginhawa, the study found that the kind of ginhawa actualized by the weavers’ own agency is actually vulnerable and may be easily taken away by the same factors that enable it. Future directions for research and application are then recommended.
|14.00 – 14.30|
|Hillary 1, 6F||
Transitioning analogue traditional bell making to the digital 3D Additive Manufacturing processes for new acoustic experience
A digital design and technology ‘wave’ is opening up new acoustic possibilities for bells that have been cast and tuned in traditional materials and processes. This shift along the manufacturing continuum from analogue processes to digital design technologies has shown exciting opportunities for bells to be used in new urban acoustic design. The ‘Federation Bells Carillon’ in Melbourne (www.federationbells.com.au) and new bell design for the Longnow Foundation’s 10,000-Year Clock (www.longnow.org) as well as the first 3D printed bells in titanium and stainless-steel are rewriting the concept of ‘the bell’ in communal cultural experience. This paper outlines the work of bell designer and founder Anton Hasell in these and other public-space projects.
Transformational leadership in design and crafts
Design is located in the intersection of diverse disciplines. Inter-connections and synthesis among disciplines like crafts, art, science, humanities and technology, form an integral part of design pedagogy. In an Indian context, design education stays incomplete without understanding the crafts sector as they shape each other, in desired and non-desired ways.
In the setting of a VUCA future, with changing landscapes across disciplines, challenges posed by automation and other technological advancements and rise in “makers’ movements”, does design demand a fresh look at crafts and ways in which changes affect the symbiotic and yet complex relationship between design and crafts? Does it further suggest re-visiting connections among critical thinking and critical making, thereby re-imagining a new definition of creative collaborations between practitioners of design and crafts?
This presentation will pose critical questions through a process of dialogue and inquiry into case studies of interactions of aspiring design practitioners and communities from different crafts sectors across India (for example, weaving communities across Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, Kalamkari artisans from different traditions, shadow puppeteer communities , Assamese tribes who do intergenerational weaving). We would explore how one could address the power imbalance between the ‘schooled’ designer and the ‘intergenerational’ crafts practitioner and question the top-down role that mediators play in order to ‘control’ how crafts sectors should change with changing ‘demands’? We would argue about the importance of moving beyond ethnographic crafts documentation from an outsiders’ perspective and immersing into the study of social ecology of crafts. It is important to engage in a holistic narrative inquiry into the lives of communities, tapping into their oral narratives which are reservoirs of inter-generational wisdom of planetary well-being and regenerative practices by understanding the semantics of crafts practices. This might lead to an emergent form of transformational leadership.
|Hillary 2, 6F||
How Can Craft be an integral part of the Creative Industry in Malaysia
Strong links between craft and the creative industry development will promote and accelerate sustainability, evolution and innovation. In Malaysia there appears to be is a gap and oversight in structuring of Government Ministries that divide craft and the creative industry. This can potentially inhibit the growth and importance of Craft as Industry as Craft is categorised and is under the authority of the Ministry of Tourism, Art, Culture and Heritage whereas the Creative Industry is under the purview of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. This results in Craft and the Creative Industry being seen through a very narrow lens of tourism, culture and heritage whilst the creative industry is usually seen within the lens of Multimedia, Film, Animation and Games. An optimal positioning is important as it will affect policy and allocation of resources in the long run, and will shape the development and future of craft. The UNCTAD Creative Economy report for example, includes Craft as a growing part of the global creative economy and highlighted that the highest value creative exports are designed items from Malaysia whereas craft exports is still very low. Why is craft separate from designed, creative products? Craft also generates many stories that should be mined by the creative content industry - a recent short animated film based on Malaysian batik won an film award for its creativity and storytelling. By integrating craft into the creative industry and incorporating elements of design, architecture, fashion, film, graphics, I am of the opinion that craft in Malaysia will stand a better chance of evolving, innovating, sustaining as an industry or to preserve its heritage whilst providing jobs to artisans - by carving its future in the area of creative exports and the content industry, and linking it firmly with the development of the creative and content industry.
|17.30 – 19.30|
Empowerment through the Economy and Culture of Handloom Weaving
In the last few years, interest from various sectors has been growing in handloom weaving in the Philippines. Efforts to revitalise the industry have always been present but wanting, and are siloed between economic and cultural goals. As such, the British Council commissioned this study to understand the state of handloom weaving in the Philippines to obtain holistic insight on its needs and opportunities, including those that involve links with the UK, to ultimately aid in the development of the Crafting Futures programme in the Philippines. A three-part framework acknowledging the intertwined impact of weaving was utilised to understand its (1) economic context, its (2) cultural value and its (3) psychological impact on the weavers’ empowerment through their craft. Interviews with various respondents and focus group discussions with weaving communities in Ilocos Norte, Cebu and Lake Sebu were analysed through issues, stakeholder and value chain analysis. The study revealed that many women weavers are primarily motivated economically, but their stability and self-sufficiency depend on other stakeholders who play important roles in keeping the industry afloat. There also seems to be a reevaluation of weaving’s cultural value as weavers weigh their motivations to pursue economic stability against their desire to remain true to their cultural identities, regarding themselves as agents in cultural preservation. Furthermore, these circumstances tend to diminish how much control the weavers have over their own lives, which results in their own disenfranchisement. Despite this, weaving has still been able to facilitate some form of empowerment as women, artists, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and agents of cultural preservation. As such, in order to remain relevant and empowering to the communities, there must be continuous consultation, community-building, capacity-building and documentation, together with continuous maintenance of cultural facilities. Based on the results of the research, a number of potential recommendations were identified.