The contest, organised by the British Council Vietnam, aims especially to create new and more inclusive opportunities for women in sustainable and ethical craft-based production. The contest is also a response to the increasingly endangered field in the face of globalisation and rapid economic development.
Female artisans, who constitute a majority in this sector, are particularly vulnerable due to lack of knowledge and skills necessary for sustaining their business. The combination of traditional craft and contemporary design is expected to generate a renewed interest in crafts through creative processes, informed research and storytelling.
Organisers said the contest will create opportunities for designers and entrepreneurs to train in design and business management and work in collaboration with artisans on skills and product development, focusing on communicating cultural identity which will also enhance market access.
A panel of judges who are experts in the field of craft, design and entrepreneurship will select 15 successful candidates who can demonstrate strong interest in craft and design, and wish to create value from working with craft-maker communities through design.
Those 15 candidates will have to take part in different activities as preparation for the Craft and Design Challenge. The first one is a series of three professional development workshops to be held in November in Hanoi, which will provide participants with practical knowledge and skills in craft, design and business planning, so as to be better prepared to enter the challenge.
The second stage is a residency programme planned to take place in November and December to facilitate the necessary connection and experience between the participants and female craft communities, so that the participants are better prepared to work with craft communities for the challenge.
After the residency, participants will have two months, tentatively January and February, to prepare for a design-led intervention and business plan for the Challenge. Project proposals could include the design of a prototype in collaboration with the artisan communities, new tools and ways of maximising economic benefit and sustainability which might support the livelihoods of female artisans and the sustainability of their craft practice.
Finally, a showcase of the craft and design projects/products will be organised for all entries of the Challenge. The showcase will be held during three weeks in March or April 2018, offering an opportunity for participants to present their product designs/prototypes as well as raise funds for their business plans.
First prize winner will get 60 million VND (2,640 USD), and the two runner ups will get 50 million VND and 40 million VND. Prize winners will be expected to use the award as a seed fund to implement their newly formulated craft and design development projects.
Application packages should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 25 October 2017.