Crafting Futures: Craft and Design Challenge – Prize Announcement and Launch Event

On June 12th, 2018, The exhibition Crafting Futures was officially launched at Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Centre. On view from the 12 to 30 June 2018, the show features the works of 20 young designers and entrepreneurs who participated in British Council’s Craft and Design Challenge 2017. In the framework of program, Viri supported the fied trip activities. Candidates had the opportunity to work directly with the craft community, guided them in product development, and learnt traditional craft techniques.

At the opening reception the Director of Vietnam Rural Industries Research and Development Institute (VIRI) together with Chief Bristish Council and partners announced and awared for 3 winning project:

  • First prize: Vi Thi Thu Trang – the Indie Hand project
  • Second prize: Nguyen Hoang Huy – Viet Collection
  • Third prize: Nguyen Song Thanh Tram – Hoa Moc

 In the coming time, the Bristish Council and Viri will continue support for candidates, especially on the information and connection on consulting for new product development with craft village in professional way which is including the individual or group counseling, how to work with artisans, the opportunity to attend product fairs, introduce and connect with successful models.

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Realised as part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures global initiative, the works exhibited 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.

Unlike other Challenges for which candidates submit entries to jury, participants entered the Craft and Design Challenge with a series of development workshops and practical residency programmes. They have been provided with practical knowledge and skills in craft, design and business planning, so as to be better prepared for their ideas, products and business plan. The workshop covers a wide range of themes including Creating New Designs by the School of Business – University of Leicester, Design Process by Work Room Four, Design Practice and Entrepreneurship by Kilomet 109 and Creative Enterprise Programme by NESTA. After that, each participant has undertaken residency programmes in different locations across Vietnam. Facilitated by Vietnam Rural Industries Research and Development Institute (VIRI), the residency enables them to work with the artisans in order to learn and teach in return. ‘At Ta Phin hemp growing and textile cooperative, we had the opportunity to learn how to grow hemp and make fabric with the Hmong ethnic group. The notable feature here is embroidery, batik and dyeing. There are 50 steps to create a finished product and we experienced all of these steps during our stay there.’ shared by Do Thi Cuc, one of our participants.

At the exhibition, audiences will be able to observe the results of creative processes that our young designers have been developing. The projects displayed, featuring contemporary design and high quality craftmanship, also demonstrate an intimate connection with participants’ interest in supporting craft products and communities.

Vietnam has an annual 1.6 billion USD handicraft export value of low price products. Craft products by ethnic minority groups in most northern Vietnam provinces rarely make it to the export market through official channels but their works are largely sold as cheap souvenirs to tourists.

“The primary issue that Crafting Futures in East Asia seeks to address is maintaining the well-being and sustainable livelihood of and developing opportunities for women and girls. The Craft and Design Challenge 2017 in Vietnam is contributing to the discussion of these issues and improves the connection between designers and craft entrepreneurs with ethnic minority women artisans.” Delphine Pawlik, Programme Director, Culture and Development, British Council, South and East Asia.

(Press release about event from Bristish Council)