|Two ethnic minority women in northern Vietnam are making their craft products. Selected craft products from the Craft and Design Challenge will be exhibited at a showcase next week - PHOTO: Courtesy of British Council
Curated by Claire Driscoll from Work Room Four, the showcase offers an opportunity for 20 participants to present their product designs and prototypes as well as raise funds for their business plans.
The exhibited works combine age-old knowledge with contemporary designs and span a wide range of disciplines and products. Together, they serve as suggestions towards innovative and sustainable ways of preserving and developing Vietnam’s craft sector.
The projects on display, featuring contemporary design and high quality craftsmanship, also demonstrate an intimate connection with participants’ interest in supporting craft products and communities.
The final results of the Craft and Design Challenge will be announced at the opening reception.
Craft and Design Challenge is part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures global initiative. It is aimed to promote creative, sustainable and ethical approaches as well as business development in craft and design.
According to the British Council, craft practices are increasingly endangered in the face of globalization and rapid economic development. Female artisans, taking a majority working in the sector, are particularly vulnerable due to lack of knowledge and skills necessary for sustaining their practices or businesses.
The combination of traditional craft and contemporary design will generate a renewed interest in crafts through creative processes, informed research and storytelling. Furthermore, developing business and marketing skills is key to improving viable livelihoods.
Craft and Design Challenge creates opportunities for designers, makers, and entrepreneurs to be trained in design and business management and to consider how this can be applied in the context of working with the craft sector.
It also helps strengthen collaboration between designers and artisans by offering designers opportunities to work in collaboration with artisans for skills and product development, focusing on communicating cultural identity which will enhance market access.
Activities of the program are designed with a strong focus on skills and capacity building across the areas of design, social innovation, and cultural heritage management.
The challenge has been participated by many Vietnamese design students, young designers and entrepreneurs who either show interest and credibility in craft-based design or already have experience in running projects in craft and design.