Accepted paper:

The marriage between designers and craft makers


Chih-I Lai (University College London)

Paper short abstract:

The interactions between Taiwanese craft makers and designers during the process of bringing out the new bamboo designs in the Yii project revealed the tension and conflicts between them due to their different working patterns. This paper discussed their two major differences: firstly, Concept and conceptualisation; secondly, their ability and understanding of drawing.

Paper long abstract:

Bamboo, a traditional material that had recently gained increasing global popularity worldwide, is more than merely a green material but it also has added cultural material specificity for Taiwanese designers and craft makers. This paper will discuss the interactions and conflicts between the craft makers and designers during the process of bringing out the new designs. Their different working patterns and ‘thinking habitus’ created tension and conflict between these two groups of people. From the observation of their celebrative participations in the Yii project, this research noticed two major differences between them: firstly, the concept and conceptualisation; and secondly, their ability to draw and their understanding of drawings.

The first section of this paper discusses the ‘concept’, which reveals fundamental different ways of ‘thinking’ when people were trying to make things. Craft makers and designers were adapting different naming customs, languages, and ways of communication in the process of cooperatively giving birth to a new design. Drawings, as the ‘Manuscripts of Thoughts,’ documented and communicated thoughts when people were delivering a design especially before making. This paper will discuss how bamboo craft design provides a point around which to discuss the transformation, the impacts, and the conflicts of tradition, localness, vernacular designs, nostalgic memories, and the innovative elements which are all bound up within this material.

panel P79
The best of 'Ideas in Movement': papers from the RAI Postgraduate Conference