The project aims to inspire public interest in Singapore traditional crafts. Similar to most developed countries, a handful of traditional craftsmen still can be found working with their handicraft skills but many traditional trades might be lost given the emerging economic prerogatives. The project seeks to act as bridges for traditional crafts and modern culture to continue to evolve and coexist with our everchanging landscape, tracing its place to the roots of their meaningful beginnings.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The book is Singapore first ever set of illustrated children storybook that comes with a parent companion archive of artisanal masters and crafts. It embraces a shared parent-child reading experience. The reading companion allows parents to better understand the tradition crafts to engage and share the values of those voices with their children while reading the storybook. In addition, children can have an English or a Chinese storybook, by flipping on either side of the storybook.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The book consists of 2 parts, an illustrated children storybook and an artisans book for parents. Vanishing Crafts is an accordion fold storybook with two-sided printing. It allows readers to have either an English or a Chinese version, by flipping on either side. Vanishing Wisdom and Memory is designed as a folded publication to signify the less popular traditional crafts but with a straight front edge to show the perfection of craftsmanship. The five colors of the open spine denote the life of the craftsmen, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy and salty.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in October 2014 and finished in May 2016 in Singapore, and was launched and on sale in January 2017.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Graphics and Visual Communication Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The reading companion is designed to be a folded and creased overtime book, which signifies the less popular traditional crafts. The challenge came from the straight front edge when the book is folded, each book had to be folded and cut manually in order to achieve the perfectly straight edge, which demonstrates the perfection of craftsmanship. The children storybook measuring 5.5 meters in length also posted a challenge of matching the same color tone across all the pages.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
225mm (w) x 255mm (h) x 28mm (thickness)
Traditional Craftsman, Traditional Crafts, Cultural Materials, Heritage, Children Storybook, Illustration
The research objective is to explore how the experiences, materials and making processes of Singapore traditional artisans can be transformed into interesting stories for our younger generations. The sampling is 20 artisans practicing traditional crafts in Singapore. The data was collected through observation, interview and video recording. The final design outputs aim to serve as visual memory and references for the understanding of the origin and essence of Singapore traditional cultures.
The first challenge was the language barrier between the artisans and the design researchers. Most of the artisans belong to the older generations, they are more proficient in speaking Dialects and Mandarin as compared to English, which led to some difficulty during the interview and transcription. The second challenge was the amount of time given to understand each artisan trade was insufficient because of the artisans busy schedules, and the demonstration of the crafts needed time.
TEAM MEMBERS (6) :
Creative Director: Jesvin Yeo, Art Director: Alvin Ng, Project Manager: Cheng Yuhui, Illustrator: Quek Tengwan, Research Team: Lee Sin Li, Cheryl Tan Yan Fang, Denise Koh Wei Tian and Audrey Yang Sihui and
Project Manager: Cheng Yuhui
Illustrator: Quek Tengwan
Research Team: Lee Sin Li, Cheryl Tan Yan Fang, Denise Koh Wei Tian and Audrey Yang Sihui