Creative Thailand

Thai Local Wisdom Trend Book 2020/19 ในหมวด CREATIVE CRAFTSMANSHIP

  • -- INTRODUCTION 

THE FUTURE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP 

    We have produced things by hand since the pre-historic times, about 2.5 million years ago. Our evolution and revolutions have been associated with some kinds of production which resulted in the creation of cultures and civilizations. So we tend to give more value to those creations that are made by hand rather than those that are industrially made.

    The Industrial Revolution in the 18th century was a turning point that divorced humans from production. Human ‘hands’ were replaced by machinery and changed the scale to mass production. Man-made production methods that required at least a person at every step of the manufacturing process could not fulfill growing global demand anymore. We barely knew where each part of the bag or clothes we owned really came from.

    From the late 20th century onwards, the internet connected people around the world. Not just the transfer of information; capital, labor, and goods too were almost without border. This ‘globalization’ was a catalyst for craftsmanship being increasingly replaced by technology. As a result, many consumers valued objects made by hand more and more because they longed for some human touch.

    Craftsmanship that was once overlooked became gold in the 80s. Many fashion businesses mined this gold and sold it for tremendous value. Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Hermes, and Poltrona Frau are all based on this notion of ‘craftsmanship’.

    In Thailand, craftsmanship is at a budding stage. Although in the past decade our skills were improved to match contemporary tastes, the perception of its value is still lagging behind.

    Recognizing that handicrafts can add value to business and that Thailand has cultural heritage and traditions of handicrafts, we ought to make use of this advantage to create more economic value.

    For this reason, Creative Thailand, a project devised by the Department of International Trade Promotion, has produced this report “Creative Craftsmanship Trend Book”. The trends were compiled from world’s leading agencies and publications such as Nelly Rodi, Clarin, Pantone, and Viewpoint. It also studies and organizes information from trend influencers in a way that is relevant to the Thai audience, considering the methods from which handicrafts can be produced, and readily available materials. The purpose is to give some guidance for craftsmen on how to develop their work in accordance with future trends of the market and to bring it to fruition.


MEGA TRENDS

Global trends that influence people’s tastes
and lifestyles towards craftsmanship 


01 NEO VERNACULAR 
    A reaction to globalization takes us back to the ‘vernacular’, but with a modern update. Local crafts that once were seen as old-fashioned now enjoy a surge in popularity.



FRUGAL INNOVATION

    A clip from Rocket Festival, known as Bung Fai to the locals of Isaan, became a viral video of over 100m views shared around the globe. Not only did it amaze the general public, some science blogs were also impressed. While Elon Musk endeavours to accomplish a tour trip to Mars, local innovation in Thailand like this still has so much potential to offer.

    One of the distinctive characters of the North East people is the drive to combine technology with their cultures and beliefs. They earnestly try to solve problems using materials in their surroundings. This resonates with modern consumers who look for not just eco-friendly design, but also humor and honesty as they are fed up with pretentious adverts. They are longing for the kind of crafts that have human connection, and are neither factory-produced nor pure old crafts, but something that is more relatable to the modern life. 



HI-TECH COUNTRYSIDE 

    Fifty percent of humans are inhabiting urban areas covering only two and a half percent of the land surface. Recent decades saw even more migrants seeking opportunities in cities. There are stereotypes that urbanites have of country people: unfashionable, blithe, unrushed, and primitive. All of these will soon be changed when modern technology allows us to connect with the world from anywhere. We need not base our business only in a high-rise building in a CBD. Living in Pai or relaxing in Khao Yai is not stopping us from checking movements in stock markets or trading cryptocurrency. 

    Vinay Gupta, technologist and founder of Ethereum, one of the world’s biggest digital currencies, observes that innovation will now emerge from outside big cities because many innovators and inventors have moved to rural living. Thanks to capitalism, cutting-edge technology allows even houses in remote areas to access high-speed internet powered by solar energy and spare batteries, and clean water. Perhaps this is why some of the world’s foremost programmers have relocated from Silicon Valley to the foothills of Chiang Mai. The Dutch architect master Rem Koolhaas points out how the countryside has changed in the exhibition ‘Countryside: Future of the World’ at Guggenheim Museum. Farmers may rely on technology even more than those living in cities.


    Those who are willing to move outside big cities give more weight to the quality of life than the buzz of cities or parties. They are not obsessed with Instagramming foods from the latest restaurants and want to make sure that their food is fresh and clean. They investigate who the growers are and where the seeds came from, which could be done via Blockchain technology.

    This is a time where the traditional skills of craftsmen living in the rural areas and the new thinking of designers cannot be met any easier. The result is a new form of old skills, extending boundaries while preserving tradition.


THE NUANCE

    Colors can spring from an infertile land. Despite being arid, rural Isaan has many colors and textures to offer. Lateritic red marks the beginning of sowing season while beige is ubiquitous in rice straw. These are set side by side with intense indigo blue and fluorescent red lime (traditionally consumed with betel nut), both of which represent their way of life associated with handicraft.


INNOVATIVE INDIGO

    This dark blue dye is obtained from the indigo plant which thrives in the arid plateau of North East. But while hand-woven indigo garments are favored by farmers for that reason, the color also represents royalty. Such contrast makes indigo quite exciting. On many of Isaan’s temple walls, indigo blue is paired with golden brown in mural paintings.


COLORFUL BASKETRY

    Natural materials don’t always have to have earth tones in design. Young designers are now using lurid colors to that effect. Thinkk Studio, who brightly dyes palm-leaved baskets, uses the same approach as Scholten & Baijings, whose furniture has a woven body for light presence but also has steel structure to create a consistent frame and standard.


KITSCH/LUXE

    It became a trending topic on social media when high-fashion brands, one after another, launched a collection inspired by traditional designs. For example, Balenciaga’s half a million THB bag looks like a bag of quilt we’re all familiar with; the kind of woven rattan basket that we see our grandmas carry is marked with the New York brand Kate Spade; and Italy’s Marni also makes a woven plastic bag sold in Sam Peng and flea markets. They are essentially the same designs, only that they are made with quality and brand name.


GLOBAL TRIBE

    These colors and textures of flowers and foliage found on garments are direct and indirect references to mother nature in dry seasons. It would be no surprise if you found these traditional techniques of weaving similar to some African tribal patterns. They are the archetypes of art found in many cultures around the world, from Surin cloth to Ainu embroidery of the Japanese island Hokkaido. Japanese island Hokkaido.


PEASANT CHIC

    Like how Japanese farmer’s shirts did to Comme des Garçons’ silhouette, an inspiration from Thailand’s countryside also creeps into runways. Loose-fitting, made from cotton, and natural dyed are all the rage. It’s no wonder our traditional loincloth Pa Khao Ma has ‘the cool effect’ now. Even the tie-dye silk containing ancient patterns are also in demand.


NATURAL CONTRAST

    Home decor with simple shapes and natural textures calls to mind daily objects of villagers. These objects embrace qualities such as prominent grains in the wood and organic forms of ceramics. Simply bundling together humble natural fibers like sedges and water hyacinth can create an exciting form and function.


MOTIF TRANSITION

    Minimalism can risk getting boring. Introducing some colors or tribal patterns to the piece will liven it up. Moderation is key. Using them, for example, to link two different materials, adding values to designs - especially those made from recycled materials.


EARTHEN SKIN

    Cracked surface with glistening silver coat or a mix of glossy and matte finishes adds a pleasant surprise to ceramic items.


REPETITIVE ELEMENT

    Bricks are an ancient material in human construction. Much of artisan architecture is built upon repetition of smaller components creating a sum that’s bigger than its parts.

    The idea of using old materials to build a new construction by the Pritzker winner, Chinese architect Wan Shu, is no different from that in Wat Lan Kuad (‘million bottles temple’), the temple in Srisaket province which recycles beer glass bottles in its walls. 


COMFY WOMB

    Combined with techniques such as subtraction and penetration, ovoid is used as a form for buildings and furniture. It gives a sense of protection and safety while feeling primeval yet modern. 

    

02 ARTISANAL FABLAB 

    The idea of ‘Makerspace’ is not restricted within the sphere of technology. It is equally effective when borrowed by the design industry.

    Technology is enabling richer craft and its attributes to match the changing lifestyle preferences of consumers. The future of craft in Thailand lies on the ability to evolve and the new interpretation of Thai crafts as our asset. Although craftwork is essentially overlapped with do-it-yourself culture, many “Maker” initiatives have ignored existing grassroots makers. Maker initiatives can bring a revival to traditional Thai craft culture. Putting artisan in a fablab will make Thailand’s craft scene reach new limits. The design industry will benefit from knowledges and experiences that artisans have to contribute to the creative process. Thai craft will integrate with modern lifestyle and reposition itself in consumer’s perception.

Dear age-old craft, what is your take on the technology of today?

    Definitions :

    Craftsperson: makes things by hand, labor-intensive, self-sufficient, replicates for mass consumption, uses skills.

    Artisan: makes things by hand and labor, creates unique pieces, involves more creativity compared to craftsperson.

    Fablab: a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication with the aim to make almost anything.

    Maker Movement: democratization of technology by means of do-it-yourself culture, open-source sharing, and small scale manufacturing. Eg. instructables.com


TECHNOLOGY ≠ NEW; CRAFT ≠ OLD

    This trend is not about “digital craft”, a virtual craft composed from computational thinking, digital fabrication, or robotic construction, using digital realm as an extension of the imaginary space. It is about a conjunction of crafts and digital technology that they both have open futures. And they have future together. Together, craftsperson and maker will add values to one another because of their different strengths in factors like human (thinking process), materials, and methods. Fablab relies on 3D printer, laser cutter, CNC milling and CNC router, and limited range of materials. Crafts use different media such as pottery, metalwork, weaving, woodwork, paper, glass. Traditional and digital approaches will fuse together to bring forward future for craft and makers in the design industry.


CRAFTSPERSONS, ARTISANS, AND MAKERS

    • In the pre-industrialized past, we had depended on craftworks as necessity to the basic needs: pottery to cook with, textile to wear, and tools to thrive daily life. Today, necessities in life have changed completely. Characterized by being labor-intensive, traditional crafts require earned skills to make and replicate things by hand. Nowadays objects come from factories right to consumers in mass consumption. Crafts, being self-sufficient, will evolve to find its new context.

    • Artisans make things by hand using labor to create unique pieces. Their processes involve more creativity compared to craftsperson. Thailand’s craft position either associates with cheap price tags or taken as hobbies. To maintain craft in our society, professional craftspersons will evolve to artisans.

    • Around 2014, maker movement started to manifest in Thailand with makerspaces and coworking spaces. Thailand readily adopts this movement and principles. But why should we build from that I-was-born-yesterday ground only to follow. Heritage fosters originality. Therefore, our traditional knowhows in craft become our asset that will foster originality in future creations.

    • We should examine the intersection of craft and maker movement and unify the pros and cons of both worlds in order to reinforce creativity that expands possibilities. Putting artisans in fablabs in the maker movement will allow Thai crafts to reach new limits.


THEY FUSE FORWARD

    Integrate, not just collaborate. Are traditional artisans being colonized by maker initiatives? At times, designers borrow elements from traditional craft or hire craftsperson to do specific given feature. Artisans can drive the design solution by solving problem using their cultivated perspectives, not merely an application of craft element in the new design. The blur of the boundaries between disciplines will lead to new thinking. An important stigma is that technology and machine threaten craft and craftsperson, jeopardizing craft integrity. Yet, imagine a transdisciplinary team where makers and creative technologists could assist artisans, that would give crafts scene a completely new boundary. For many years, craftspeople in Thailand have worked with designers and get acquainted to applying their traditional skillset on non-traditional execution driven by both governmental organizations and independent design businesses. The road for the new face of Thai craft has initially been paved. Craftsperson can be confident to move forward to become artisan or maker. Importantly, the trend can attract younger generation to inherit the craft practices than choosing alternatives such as factory jobs.

    Case Study

    Eg1/ Rapid prototyping, hand throwing vs 3D printer. Machine can compensate lack of skills. But when skill is an available resource,opt for skilled person. Furthermore, 3D printed clay will be a lo-fi outcome compared to hand-thrown ceramic will be hi-fi. “Faraway” connects the Internet of Things to an everyday object in order to allocate emotional design dimension with the help of creative technologist, exhibited during Chiang Mai Design Week 2018. Two coffee cups are hand-thrown porcelain coated with thermochromic pigment. Both cups are paired together. When either one of the cup is in use, the cup will gradually change its color and reveal its beautiful clay body, the other cup will promptly behave in exactly the same manner on its own.

    Eg2 / At MIT Media lab, “High - Low Tech” research group blends technology with traditional crafts and explores the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design.

    Eg3 / Polygons pendants (Dezeen, Katie Treggiden, 25 Apr 2015) by Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus combine both worlds together. They were designed with 3D-modelling software but were made using traditional Czech glass-cutting techniques.

    Eg4 / Electric Eel Wheel Nano (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreamingrobots/electric-eel-wheel-mini-2), a hand-sized electric spinning wheel with usb power cord spins wool and other fibers into yarn. It was designed for both new and experienced users. Priced at $60-90 per package making it the least expensive spinning wheel avaiabletheseday.Pledged of US$ 15,000, so far backed US$ 430,255 by 3,747 backers on Kickstarter.


THE 3 DIRECTIONS OF THIS TREND   

    A. New material, same hands
    We can expect to see crafts to be more responsive, with added functions, and added dimension to work with electronics and programing. Simply using traditional technique simply opt for new materials commercially available, such as conductive paint, silver coated conductive thread, conductive pen, electronic circuit. Technologist can code and use electronic components such as sensors microcontrollers to add life to craft object.

    Case Study

    Eg1/ Mural using new material like conductive paint enables lighting function. “Living Wall”  (http://highlowtech.org/?p=27) by MIT High-Low Tech, run your hand across this wallpaper to turn on a lamp, play music, or send a message to a friend. The wallpaper is flat, constructed entirely from paper and paint and can be paired with paper computing kit whose pieces serve as sensors, lamps, network interfaces, and interactive decorations.

    Eg2 / E-embroidery, with silver coated thread, embroidery becomes circuit which is very open to possible utilities.

    Eg3 / Kinetic sculpture add motion to conventional sculpture. Sensors of various type and microcontroller make sculpture interactive and bring life to the craft works and enhance its appreciation.“Hexi” by Thibaut Sld is a responsive wall of 60 mounted panels which react to the movements of people. The hexagonal panels use real-time data collected from motion-tracking technology, the kinetic wall behaves in sync creating ripples.

    B. Computation is your helping hands
    The new version of craftsperson will not only replicate. Technology will help repeating the production therefore free the time of artisans to create new things. Coding and machines can help artisan to create complex and detailed work, save time, and accelerate the creative process by generating automated unique craft pieces using algorithm. Computers and machine can enable more craft ideas hence will accelerate the industry. We don’t see calculator as a threat. It is accuracy and saves so much time that we embrace it. While we fear that machine will replace humans, it is human knowledge that teaches the machine. Craft was the starting point.

    Examples

    Eg1 / Textile industry, which played a major part in the Industrial Revolution, started from teaching machine to weave.

    Eg2 / The Next Rembrandt. A computer used algorithms and hi-tech face recognition to study over 300 self-portraits. With this data, the computer then created a new portrait of the artist that’s amazingly similar to the painter’s original masterpieces. It’s fascinating to see how a computer - with the right data - can create “original” art.

    Eg3 / “Dripping Machine”, Studio Joachim-Morineau has designed a manufacturing machine that marries technological precision with handmade details. The machine drips liquid clay at a particular rhythm to create open structured ceramics fusing together the precision of technology with “glitches”, to make ceramics with individual structures, patterns and textures.

    Eg4 / Although home baking almost didn’t change for a long time, there is space for fablab machines. Embossed rolling pins by laser engraving method yields personalization and mass- customization. Less time spending on tedious time-consuming repetitive task, more time to create. Technology can lift a low-income craftsperson to be a better-income more creative artisan.

    Eg5 / “Eggbot” is a compact, easy to use open-source art robot that can draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects. Eggbot was created to be super adjustable meaning that it can be tweaked by coding and custom mechanical parts to enable artisan to work on shapes that are normally impossible to print on if not by hands.


CRAFT WITH FEATURE, GADGET WITH SOUL

    C. Craft with feature, Gadget with soul
    There is a very small market for beautifully crafted object that is not useful in everyday life. You will see more smart gadgets and wearable devices that used to look very industrial design become device in the craftwork grace. You will also see craft objects with gadget attributes or additional function either by embedding digital components or designed to supplement other gadgets. Electronic parts are fairly cheap, coming down in price all the time, and can be shipped worldwide in a short time. Free DIY instructions on the internet communities and the rise of younger generation accustomed to STEAM-based education and makerspace will provide for this trend. In the realm of emotional design, craft artefacts have a better connection with the end users hence incorporate more competitive marketing values. In line with sustainable environmental consciousness which stresses on longer product life, craft will top off the integrity of product to cherish and to keep.

    Examples

    Eg1 / A new look of commercial electronics in the body of craft, for example: wireless charger, portable speakers, wireless IP camera    

    Eg2 / Potentially, craft items with RFID tag can eliminating the need to carry door keys, car keys, and potentially even ID cards. UV brooch/bracelet (“June” UV bracelet by Netatmo www.digitaltrends.com/smartwatch-reviews/netatmo-june-uv-review/#/11) measures UV rays and warns women about sun exposure through the mobile app. Smart ring or smart bracelet performs activity tracking, mobile alerts, measures heart rate, makes payment.

    Keychain with tracker technology can reduce lost key incidents. “Looper” (Youtube www.kickstarter.com/projects/1278752687/looper-fashion-meets-smart-tracker-technology), a fashionable tracker accessory incorporates Bluetooth tracker technology into ordinary leather tassel keychain. Register the tassel to the mobile app, can be used on key, pet, child, bag, suitcase, etc. to keep the stuff near, find stuff, or find the mobile phone.

    Eg3 / Passive mobile phone amplifiers. Although only require conventional know-hows, their form fits modern function and lifestyle.


SHAPING THE FUTURE

    Challenges

    Learning : Transdisciplinary challenges. This trend dissolves the boundaries between the conventional craft and technology disciplines. The two disciplines will have to have enough understanding about the utility of the other practice in order to links knowledge as we try to move from Multidisciplinary to Transdisciplinary. Teaching and learning around the construction of the project objective is crucial to the integration.

    Eg. A creative technologist is a new career that needs someone half a creative half a technologist, such as developer who understands the creative process or designer who seems to code or build electronic prototype to communicating an idea.

    Location : The meeting points
    Fablabs are mostly in urban area involving young people and entrepreneurs. Craftspeople are mostly provincial. Making the makers movement more inclusive and accessible relies on the presence of both physical communities including makerspaces and virtual platforms for networking. When makers go out to artisans, artisans will follow makers to fablabs.

    Precision : Handmade x CAD
    Both craft makers and technology makers will have to negotiate differences in the nature of handmade craft and CAD (computer aided design) and to bring the best of both worlds in the design execution.

    Final
    The market is vast. We can no longer generalize about consumer behaviors and presume a single solution that would fit all. The more you truly understand the niches and the tribes, the more you can connect with them. Entrepreneurs must find their unique strength. Enable transdisciplinary collaboration organically leads to creating various solutions to respond to the a myriad of consumers in the market. After all, the best way to predict the future is to create it. And the best way to know what is coming is to be an active participant.


03 EXPERIMENTAL CRAFTS 

    Experimentation with new materials and shapes based on traditional skills is a way of preserving old tradition.


CRAFT, MEASURE, LEARN

    Experimentation seems to become a new selling point. Independent designers pick the idea up as part of their identity while challenging bigger brands which rely on industrial-scaled production. They’re also committed to zero-waste practice which rewards them with good reputation and added financial profits.

    Craftwork is not valued simply for how it is exquisitely executed, but also from how the raw materials are prepared differently. With trials and errors, craftsmen acquire the knowledge and skills that can improve designs for the modern and future life.

    Exploring new possibilities using scientific method can take designers to a new territory. Thinkk Studio and its collaborator BSG are one of such example. They have developed methods to upcycle scraps from BSG’s glass factory. Dust and offcuts left from glass production are mixed with other ingredients and moulded before being polished. The result is a unique material on which light dances over unlike any other surface.


TECH WITHDRAWAL EFFECT  

    Among the younger generations who are inundated with technology there is a counter-movement. A survey by Liveperson found that most Millennials and Generation Z admitted that they are addicted to smartphone and social media. Treating such addiction, we need some activity to distract us from it, hence a return of craft craze. Tallie Maughan, the founder of ceramic studio Turning Earth, opens her space in London for public access. She believes that handicraft is physically and mentally beneficial to our health, especially for the digitally tired young people. A reverse effect of fast-evolving technology has also seen those who enjoy handicrafts are now increasingly forming a group of the like-minded. They prefer to have a slow life, care for the environment and their health. This is an opportunity for brands to develop products that can fulfill this group of people.


FRESH PROCESS NEW OPPORTUNITIES

    A novel creation doesn’t require a new whole technique. It can be achieved by reshuffling the process or rethinking the way in which raw materials are to be treated. Rather, these techniques may even add more value to the product.

    A group of designers from Envisions, for example, took on the idea. They want to present the material which has been experimented in many different ways as their end product. Such approach adds some interesting effect to the product’s basic function. In particular, Envisions collaborated with Finsa, a manufacturer of wood-based products from Spain. The process of production involves some manual craft techniques being employed alongside some techniques achieved by modern technology such as laser cut and CNC.

    Experimental materials by a group of ECAL students are also an interesting example. Julien Chaintreau and François Ménès examines the distinction between functional objects and art objects in ‘Camo’ which was selected for Milan exhibition in 2017. Their thesis is an injection of art into an industrial production of OSB boards. It involves dyeing wood strands in different colors before being compressed in sheets. The finished board is then used to make a practical object that is a lidded box.


COLOR OF RANDOMNESS

    The trend of this mixed colorway comes from a combination of colors from different materials. Experimental and organic in character, it reveals a profound spirit of imperfection. Different colors pervading one another freely gives the objects a lovely charm.


TODAY’S WASTE, TOMORROW’S MATERIAL

    Human immense consumption results in a massive amount of rubbish. This becomes an inspiration for young designers to recycle them into new materials, with the hope that it will create awareness and mitigate the problem. And surely, this will increase economic and creative opportunities.

Fashionable clothing is one of the commodities that are produced in extreme excess. It is estimated that we have enough clothing for everyone on earth for ten years without further production. An alternative to this problem is recycling old clothes into a new design. A Thai brand Dry Clean Only is successful globally using this idea. Some may prefer to turn waste into fiber, like Adidas whose currently popular shoes are made from recycled plastic yarn.

Recycled materials are more popular among young people. Thai lifestyle brand Madmatter upcycles second-hand Japanese cloth and dead stock fabric by using patchwork technique. They match different colors of fabric according to the Thai belief about lucky daily color.


URBAN ARTISANS

    Some contemporary designers take an interdisciplinary approach. They give a fresh update to an old wisdom, creating a familiar craft that possess a different rhythm and form.

    The Silent Village designed by Brynjar Sigurðarson for Gallery Kreo is a furniture collection which assembles various kinds of materials. It combines design with traditional craftsmanship. It started when the designer met a 70-year-old fisherman by chance at a small north eastern village of Iceland. He was taught how to tie knots for different kinds of fishing nets. This skill acquired from fishery is applied to furniture making in this collection of modern furniture.

    Using novel technique with ordinary materials like bamboos can also result in an unexpected outcome. Just like the work of Studio Cris Kabel, Recomposed Bamboo, which has been submitted to New Material Award 2018. Their purpose is to replace the use of wood and metal with bamboos as they have fast-growing rate and strong long fibers. Carefully selecting the quality and size of bamboos is essential. They are then deconstructed and re-assembled in a profile similar to aluminium.

    Meanwhile, recycling is still the same old way to create some character to a design. Paperbricks, conceived by Studio Woojai, is furniture made from newspaper pulp which is poured into a brick-shaped mould. The brick-like material is sufficiently strong for furniture making.


DEEP ROLLIN’    

    Many fiber producers for textiles are now looking to salvage offcuts. For as long as they can be turned into fibers and then woven into fabric again, its cycle is endless. The end result of this kind of fiber usually has a colorful mix of uneven texture but carefully managed in clean geometrical forms. Renewing fabrics with old-fashioned techniques is also on the rise. Studio Simone uses offcuts of wax print fabrics and faulty prints to weave a rug, while Doug Johnston uses coiling, a pottery making technique, to create baskets in many forms punctuated in different colors.


IRREGULAR CHIC

    Unlike industrial production, imperfection can be a boon in handicrafts where uniqueness is highly valued. Designers from Handmade Industrials pursue this idea by sculpting vases by hand using bio-plastic which is normally formed through industrial process. They take on the challenge by developing flexible moulds to help building the form of the vase. Ferreol Babin also creates some uniquely shaped spoons. He started his career as a lighting designer before moving to other products and developing his skills in woodworking that he has acquired from Japan. His unusual spoons are made of various kinds of wood, in many shapes, forms, and sizes.


WEAVING LIGHT

    Lamp shades made of contrasting materials create an interesting effect of light. Handmade pieces can achieve a variety of effects very easily. PET Lamp by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón is a successful story of a designer finding a solution for plastic problems and helping communities at the same time. The colorful fascinating lamp has PET bottle as its base. It is sliced to make the longitudinal warp threads and then the natural yarns are inserted. It is made by communities around the world creating beautiful patterns that take roots in their own region


STORY FROM SCRAP

    It is a welcoming movement that people are seeking to make the best use of materials and to properly manage their waste. This experimental spirit creates some exciting outcome. Offcuts and small bits are at the heart of this approach. Even in architecture, they can also be turned into a building that raises an awareness among its users and spectators.

    Wang Shu, once a relatively low-key architect from China, has recently won the Pritzker Architecture Prize thanks to his poetic storytelling through space and choice of materials. At Ningbo Historic Museum in China, he chose bricks from historic demolished buildings nearby the site as part of his design. Each piece is thoughtfully incorporated into the structure that resembles a traditional building style. Not only does this make good use of recyclable materials, it also keeps the local history going for the next generation.

    Locally available materials will be more preferable to use in architecture. Aromatic Fabrication by Hung-Pin Hsueh is one good example that utilizes the local Taiwanese Cyprus trees in his design. But instead of using logged timber, he proposes to construct a building out of small pieces of timber harvested from driftwood.