|11:00 – 11:30|
|Room: Henson, 7F||
Cebu's Creative City Designation
With a 500 year history in trade, business and creativity, Cebu evolved into one of the most resilient and vibrant hubs in Asia, if not globally.
In a world of constant change and shifting trade environment, it is essential to emphasize on one's strength, which in Cebu's case is its creative heritage.
Design, art and ingenuity has always been at the heart of the Cebuano to craft a more sustainable future for all.
|Room: Hillary, 6F||
From Object to Gesture: Crafting Language
What happens when art moves away from self-contained objects and towards interaction? How can craft address fundamental social issues like Alzheimer’s or special needs? This paper will focus on 'The Dispensary', a mobile ‘cabinet of curiosities’ that inhabited the dementia wards of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and is now resident in a specialist dementia care home in London. Part tool-cabinet, part dressing-table, bureau or fridge, this sculpture contains many ‘small acts of craft’ for patients and carers to interact with. Incorporating visual, tactile and sonic objects designed to stimulate curiosity, trigger memories, and ultimately enhance linguistic function, 'The Dispensary' unsettles traditional relationships between artist, observer, and object, exploring the interplay between well-making, place-making, craft, memory and personal agency.
In making 'The Dispensary', I collaborated with two unusual communities; the patients of Chelsea and Westminster hospital and the woodturners of Devon and Cornwall. Through a process of discussion and exchange, we explored what happens when we ‘wake up’ Alzheimer’s and Dementia sufferers through the transformative power of sculpture, rather than resorting to medication. The work questions how the memory of things is retained by the body, and uses this tacit knowledge as a way of finding new pathways of communication in the brain. Inspired by the Montessori method of using purposeful play as a means of working with our unconscious or procedural memory, objects in 'The Dispensary' act as ‘transitional phenomena’, creating connections between inner and outer worlds and aiding communication and connection.
I will also discuss a ‘haptic library’ of gestural objects I am currently making for artists with special needs at Exeter Phoenix. This paper will explore overlooked senses and communities; considering the importance of agency, autonomy and play in education, art and everyday life.
See The Dispensary at www.vimeo.com/181069269
|11.30 - 12.00|
|Room: Henson, 7F||
Spreading the Impact of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) x Design
A furniture brand that pushes the horizons of DIY through the power of design, Ishinomaki Laboratory began as a public workshop in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi prefecture. Our founding concept was that of returning a fulfilling way of life to those affected by the disaster by empowering them to build necessary furniture with their own hands. Since then, we have evolved through many innovative collaborations with designers, fellow makers, community organizations, academic institutions, and more.
Unique in its scale and flexibility, the Made in Local initiative is Ishinomaki Laboratory’s way of expanding beyond its limits to spread its design ethos worldwide. Starting from the simple desire to further connect Ishinomaki Laboratory’s designs and story to other local contexts, the initiative has since grown to encompass a more thorough relationship with people, place, and product. Partners are tasked with utilizing the skills of local craftsmen and sourcing locally-available materials for production, while Ishinomaki Laboratory provides access to its designs and mentorship in passing on know-how for a minimal royalty fee. Made in Local partners are currently based in London, Manila, and Berlin, with additional projects in Southeast Asia, Northern Europe, and the U.S. in development.
In this presentation, I will share about Ishinomaki Laboratory’s roots in its post-disaster circumstances, its development over the past nine years as a DIY furniture brand, and the opportunities in as well as challenges of the Made in Local initiative. I will specifically elaborate on our history of workshops in the Philippines and how it has culminated in the Made in Local Manila project with local furniture brand Lamana. In closing, I will emphasize the value of communicating a compelling story - one that naturally draws in collaborators to join in writing the next chapters alongside our brand.
|Room: Hillary, 6F||
Creating Bamboo Based Economy in Nepal
According to the last national census 2/3rd of the architecture in Nepal is crafted with locally available materials. Different regions of the country have unique architecture, which have evolved over centuries to create warm and safe habitats. These heritage are now disappearing to be replaced by homogenous looking concrete structures. Over the last 10 years, an architecture design and built firm called ABARI, founded by the author was established to re-appropriate and revive traditional building crafts so they can cater to the modern sensibility. The first break for the organization came when a hand-made bamboo and earth school, built near the epicenter of the 2015 Earthquake, was the lone surviving building in the whole region. Ever since, the organization has been building schools, libraries halls, residences using locally sourced bamboo and earth. In the process, the team has also developed a robust supply chain which seamlessly integrates farmers, craftsmen and consumers while producing products and rehabilitating acres of acres of lands by planting bamboo. In this paper, the author will discuss the process of creating this supply chain where design and craft, livelihood and sustainability intersect.
|12.00 - 12.30|
|Room: Henson, 7F||
Craft for Empowerment in Pakistan – A Systems Approach into Manifested Structures, Processes, Values and Mind-sets
Theme: Building Craft Networks & Partnerships in Action
Presenter: Gwendolyn Kulick
At ‘Making Futures’ I will present a systems approach to craft projects in contexts of grassroots empowerment in Pakistan, resulting from an extensive empirical research and action research project, conducted between 2011 and 2019 as part of my PhD.
Craft for empowerment projects are usually embedded within fields of development and philanthropy – as components of internationally funded aid schemes, or as local private initiatives and social enterprises. They address different concerns, including cultural heritage preservation, social justice and poverty alleviation through market access. Those concerns feature numerous complex and wicked problems with no single cause and hence no simple (design) solution, especially not through craft making alone. These are systemic problems.
First I introduce the craft for empowerment system, based on my empirical data, and its manifested structures, processes, values and mind-sets, which demonstrate ideological and practical top-down dominance and bottom-up dependencies, and disrupted value chains. Stakeholders such as donor agencies, government organizations, NGOs, academia, social enterprises, individual initiatives, designers, philanthropists, and marginalized craft producers are mapped. Visualizing their differing relationship qualities, the system’s shape and operational dynamics reveal ruptures between stakeholders’ ambitions and the system’s limits, as well as opportunities for gradually contributing to democratic and inclusive systems change.
Following I propose the co-release craft lab as a collaborative space for those engaging in craft projects, with the objective to generate opportunities for open-ended mutual learning and more sustainable craft value chains.
The research project is informed by different methodologies, including bricolage, action research, systems thinking and the GIGA-Map method of the Oslo School of Art and Architecture, by concepts like Etienne Wenger’s ‘Community of Practice’, Paulo Freire’s ‘Critical Consciousness’, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s ‘Planetarity’ and ‘Subalternity’, by critiques of aid and last but not least by historical and contemporary discourses on design for development, especially in South Asia.
|Room: Hillary, 6F||
Folkcharm’s Impact Story: A Social Enterprise that attempts to make relevant Traditional Crafts through Design and Branding of a Traceable Supply Chain and Sustainable Production
Theme: Craft as Social Enterprise
Presenter: Passawee Kodaka
Disappearing local craft traditions, unfair labor and trade, livelihood of ageing communities, environmental impacts of the garment and fashion industry are not isolated issues. Likewise, the lack of consumer awareness on sustainable consumption, appreciation of ‘hand-made’ products and traditional crafts are to be addressed in an integrated approach.
Folkcharm was then established in 2014 as a social enterprise of apparel and accessories from locally sourced organic cotton that uses traditional indigenous techniques of cotton hand-spinning, hand-weaving and natural dyeing, aimed to ensure sustainable income of rural artisans, using simplistic designed products to create consumers’ awareness in rural craftsmanship and slow fashion.
Folkcharm is about preserving a traditional way of life while making it relevant. From Textile design and apparel patterns, every piece is individually made in limited pieces co-designed with artisans, weavers and tailors, using customers’ feedback to improve design and quality. From just 4 weavers to now almost 30 weavers, income from weaving has increased by at least 30%, giving over 50% of total revenue to makers.
Keeping in mind the importance of transparency and traceability, Folkcharm tells stories of makers from cotton farmers, weavers to tailors who finish the products from their homes, aged between 50-87 years old who are mostly women too old to for handwork in the farms, working with them to seek a 'mutual interest' providing a fair and transparent cost structure and opportunities to be exposed to a larger market and and uncover their fullest potential.