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Dong Binh Village, Da Nang 2012

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ARTISANS is a school project and at the same time, it is an
We journey through untrodden tracks in South East Asia
seeking traditional village crafs so as to understand, learn
and eventually, develop contemporary designs that
promote our Asian heritage, aesthetics and lifestyle.
Trough this, we hope to educate the values and beauty of
craf making and at the same time, provide exposure of
diferent cultures and way of life for our students.
ARTISANS endeavors to be a sustainable social design
project. Tis project searches for the roots of traditional
Asian crafs that is fast losing its popularity and documents
our expedition and interaction in the village, with the
people and their crafs. We hope to promote and sustain
these crafs by applying them to newly developed products
that are of relevance to todays contemporary living.
Trough this educational programme, ARTISANS ofers
students the opportunity to learn and acquire these skills
to develop new and contemporary object typology within
its local context.
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An Introduction
6 Dong Binh Village
Da Nang, Vietnam
10 Planting; Harvesting
Straw-weaving process
12 Arch Stool
Natural curves
14 Cleaving
Straw-weaving process
16 Dyeing
Straw-weaving process
18 Scent Badge
An insect repelling fashion accessory
20 Drying
Straw-weaving process
22 Gradient Mat
Colours of straws
24 Weaving
Straw-weaving process
26 New Ethnic Mat
New contemporary straw mat
28 Immersion Programme
June 2nd - June 24th 2012
32 Rubber Straw Case
Straw iPad case
34 Credits

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On the 2nd of June, 26 students led by
2 teaching staf embarked on a
three-week adventure hosted by Duy
Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam.
Here, a journey of straw weaving craf
begins. Every day during the
expedition, students travelled on bus
and foot to a remote village on an
island of Da Nang, named, Dong
Binh, to learn an age-old craf of straw
weaving from the villagers. Tis quaint
and peaceful village, unadulterated
from the burgeoning tourist industry
in Da Nang, possesses a beautiful and
tranquil atmosphere. Te villagers are
very warm and friendly and would
treat tourists with welcoming smiles.
Dong Binh
With no prior background in weaving
or textile making, the students took
on the project brief that required them
to design contemporary products that
are relevant to the Vietnamese way of
life and at the same communicating
the tradition and heritage, using this
500-year-old traditional weaving
technique. Trough various
observational exercises, hands-on
weaving experiences and the daily
visits to the village, the students
developed many design ideas, of
which 5 products are selected for
further development for commerce
and presentation in Maison&Objet
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01 Typical villagers bedroom
02 Villagers religion; Buddhist
statuesque, refecting their religion
03 A village boy, day-dreaming
04 Vietnamese noodles; Pho, prepared
by the Villagers
05 Iced tea is the most favoured
beverage during the summer
06 A typical convenient store in the
07 Fresh seafood and fruits sold by the
lake at the Village
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Planting starts during the March
period. Te straws will take about two
to three months before it grows to the
mature stage for harvesting.
Harvesting is a laborious process that
happens between June-July every year.
Large acres of land are dedicated for
straw harvesting at the village. Te
straws that are harvested provide
enough stockpile for the whole year of
straw mat making.
Te straws are bundled up into thick
trunks for ease of transportation
across the river by boats.
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Arch Stool
Arch stool is inspired by the way the
Vietnamese typically roll and carry
their mats. Te form of the stool is
created in similar fashion, bringing
about the natural sof curves. A layer
of cushion is added for extra comfort.
01 Slotting the straw mat into frame
02 Full view of Arch Stool
01 02
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In preparation for straw weaving, the
villagers would thin the straws into
half quickly and efciently with a
cleaving knife. Te straws are made
thinner as it would be easier for
weaving at the later stages. It is then
sun dried till golden brown.
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Te sun-dried straws are tied in small
bundles for preparation of the dyeing
process. Te villagers would frst heat
a big drum of water before adding
spoonfuls of colored dye which
comes typically in yellow, green,
purple or red. Te straws are dumped
into the boiling pot of coloured dye.
Te villagers would then stir the
mixture of straws in the drum of dye
for about 10 minutes before extracting
them out for drying.
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Scent Badge
An ideal fashion accessory for the
Tis decorative pin badge not only
expresses the beauty of straw weaving,
it also leverages on the scent difusing
properties of straw. Citronella is
infused into the badge not just for
olfactory pleasure but for its insect
repelling properties as well.
01 Dyeing of the Scent Badge frame
02 Laser cutting the wooden frame for
the Scent Badge
01 02
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Te dyed straws would then be
brought to the riverbank for another
round of drying. Once dried, the
straws would then be ready for
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Gradient Mat
Although a break from tradition, this
stunning mat is dyed with newly
developed dye mixtures refecting all
the natural colours of straws.
Inlaid with cushion and carefully
aligned magnets, this mat not only
serves its resting function, it can also
be placed on the wall as a display of
art. Te magnets allow the mat to
self-support itself when folded as well.
01 Weaving of the Gradient Mat
02 Colours of the Gradient Mat
01 02
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Te tools and materials needed for
straw weaving are the loom; which
consist of the reed, jute strings, a
tension stick and the straws. Te
weaving process would require two
people for efciency. One person
would be in charge of inserting the
straw while the other person would sit
on the loom to tightening the weave.
Te frst person would twirl the straw
on the tip of the tension stick and put
it through the loom in between the
jute strings.
Afer inserting the straw into the
loom, the second person sitting on the
loom would tighten the straw using
the reed. Te frst person would be
able to control the patterns created by
selecting of the colour straws to be put
through the loom.
Upon completion, a knife is used to
trim the sides of the straw mat and
excess jute strings will be cut away.
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New Ethnic Mat
Te new ethnic mat marries
contemporary aesthetics with the
traditional Vietnamese weaving
patterns. Te colours from the mat
exude the unique Southeast Asian
identity bringing about the laidback
village atmosphere to any
contemporary interiors.
Just like the Gradient Mat, it is inlaid
with cushion and magnets placed in
measured alignment.
01 Sealing and strengthening the edge
of the mat with rubber paint
02 Magnets holding the New Ethnic
Mat in place when folded
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During our June vacation break in 2012, together
with two lecturers and twenty-fve other students,
we embarked on a journey to Da Nang; Vietnam; for
three-weeks to learn the craf of straw weaving in a
small village call Dong Binh.
Our three-weeks in Da Nang consist of learning, step
by step, the process of straw mat making from
harvesting to weaving and then moving on to
develop designs based on our observations of the
Vietnameses way of life, referencing their way of
work, rest and play.
From the frst day, we were divided into groups to
ideate and develop straw-weaved products in the
context of the modern living as well as for the
international audience. Trough the process of straw
weaving, we also learned about the properties of the
straw through explorations and interactions. Every
morning we would head to the Dong Binh Village
from the student hostel at Duy Tan University (DTU),
Danang, to continue our project with the help of the
villagers as well as the interpretors from DTU.
Each day in Vietnam, we learned something new
about the making of straw mats as well as the
Vietnamese culture and their way of life. Te
villagers from Dong Binh village are friendly and
patient with us while teaching and guiding us on the
steps of straw weaving. Te villagers would cooked
scrumptious lunch for us everyday while we worked
on our straw weaved designs.
We learned many valuable lessons from our
experience in the village and in the city and also had
fun during our stay in Da Nang where we learned
about their history and culture of Vietnam.
Artisans team member
DXPD year 3 student, 2012
2nd June 2012 - 24th June 2012
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01 Da Nang beach on a Sunday
02 Vietnams traditional dish; Pho
03 Vegetable seller taking afernoon
04 Fresh crabs that are commonly
found in markets
05 Fisherman preparing his raf for
06 Fishermen fshing
07 Women selling bananas by the
roadside (Common scene in
Da Nang)
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Straw Case
Te original intention of applying
rubber paint onto weaved straw was to
create an additional layer of
protective shell. Tis experiment
accidentally brought about a
surprising outcome.
Rubber paint is used to enhance the
texture and tactility of weaved straw.
With gradual use, this protective skin
rubs away to reveal the traditional
Vietnamese weave, juxtaposing the
new with the old.
Tis combination of material,
complemented with leather and
selvedge denim, is used and made into
a luxurious protective iPad case.
01 Sewing of the Straw Case
02 Straw Case with iPad
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Project Leaders
Winston Chai
Course Manager
Diploma of Experience And Product Design
Head of Design Facility
Andrew Loh
Diploma of Experience And Product Design
Han Li Li
Hillary Yap Ee Xuan
Huang Minxian
Lim Ting
Long Jingying
Pearlyn Sim Hui Xin
Peh Jia Wen
Kang Sok Li, Jolyn
Special Tanks
Broadway Leather Co.
Block 1 Kaki Bukit Ave 3
#09-02, KB-01, Singapore 416087
+65 68444293
Yew Huat & Co. Pte Ltd
10, Loyang Walk, Singapore 508793
Tel: (65) 6543 0630
Fax: (65) 6543 1707
DESIGN FACILITY is a space of discovery,
ofering the right setting to be explorative and
inquisitive. Structured as a research laboratory, the
facility seeks to uncover the hidden and latent
conditions that characterises our experience of the
everyday. It is a space that allows us to look beyond
what is present, generating new approaches and
methodologies within the feld of experience design.
Te facility is also a platform where projects of
interest are incubated and brought towards an
application relevant in the industry.
Design Facility is part of the Diploma in
Experience and Product Design, Design School,
Singapore Polytechnic.
InnoVillage, Singapore Polytechnic
500 Dover Road Singapore 139651
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