A HERITAGE CRAFT RESEARCH INITIATIVE
UN/FOLD is a heritage craft research initiative which has been running since 2013. With continuous research and product development activities, The Fabrick Lab aims to keep traditional Chinese craft and technique alive.
Artistry from Guizhou, in southern China, has a strong heritage of handmade craft. Sadly, only 10% of craft skills are passed onto the next generation. The pride of their traditional culture is becoming lost.
At The Fabrick Lab, we have spent the past three years researching village life. However, we started to question - how can this heritage fit within the modern world? By creating a social study programme we have aimed to answer this question. We investigated how conscientious design could fully utilise Chinese craft, expanding their potential markets and creating a sustainable income for rural villages. With Design Trust's support in 2015 we have increased our employment rate by 100% in the past year.
Through visiting local markets, sourcing local materials and gaining trust from villagers, we have been able to create an ecosystem that works with the villagers existing resources and lifestyles. By studying their expertise, the best qualities of their traditional techniques have been extracted, resulting in a range of contemporary textiles and products that coincide with our modern lifestyle. In the future we hope this new operations system can be applied to more artisans in other rural communities.
FAST DISAPPEARING TRADITION
By finding new meanings, values, spaces and respect for traditional craft within the urban society, we can use design as a vehicle to bridge traditional fabrication with urban application in order to save these Cultural Heritages.
UN/FOLDING THE PAST
Textiles are traditionally made for ceremonies for their loved ones, the textiles are passed on from one generation to another. The pride of their traditional culture is becoming lost, with only 10 percent of their heritage craft skills being passed on to the next generation.
CRAFTING THE FUTUREE
The project aims to create new opportunities and find a way for low volume, refined handmade production to be re-introduced into modern society. It is also a means to remodel the fast-disappearing minority craft skills and re-engage them with urban consumers.
Hong Kong Design Trust Recipient, featured project 2015.