Due to the mass consumption society, many retail stores in this era are looking more alike. It tends to lose a sense of unique aesthetics, care for society and responsibility for the environment. That made me think about a way to maintain a certain diversity in the world of retail to push the contemporary retail shops forward by embracing a new notion of aesthetics reflecting consciousness and meaningfulness. Those series of thoughts led me to my graduation project 'Unknown Ordinary' at the ArtEZ Master Fashion Strategy (2016).
For this research-based project, I proposed an alternative direction for retailers in terms of experience design from concept to creation. My approach towards the development of the concept is driven by the redefinition of a forgotten folk craft. I aim to marry the existing heritage values with modern life or modern identity.
One of the Thai folk crafts, Kratip, a round woven bamboo container for glutinous rice, is chosen to be re-valued for this project, as I found out that it holds many interesting aspects that are still undervalued. For me, Kratip is one of the most interesting Thai folk crafts as it is made out of 100% natural material and due to its uniqueness in terms of detail and structure. More importantly, it is a tool for weaving relationship between people within the craft community.
Interestingly, the Kratip has a negative connotation in Thai society as it is regarded as a product used by poor communities, thereby it represents the image of poverty. To recreate its positive aura and develop a contemporary language through it, I breathed a new life into them.
Through an in-depth research method on the Kratip and the maker, and by sustainable collaboration with a chosen craft community, I had a unique story to tell and traditional Kratips to develop. As a result, I transformed the Kratip into a cabinet installation and at the same time create a sample retail environment that translates all my research finding. Here, I intimately tell the story, together with emphasize on the importance of the unknown craftsman and the essence of crafted products. Besides, I make this space reflect and celebrate the uniqueness of the location where the tradition of the Katip has been rooted. This environment is not only a place for an exclusive experience, but it can also be seen as a testimony of my research aspect.
By doing so, I not only empower the craft community and create a new life for craft products, but also adding extra value to today's retail concept that provides a counterbalance to mass consumption society. Besides, through experiencing my virtual retail space, one might learn something from this particular culture and take home some ideas for enriching one own life. Last but not least, bringing back the essence of crafts to the world of retail, I can create a shift and at the same time keep the heritage alive.
I graduated from the Master Fashion Strategy program at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts,Arnhem (the Netherlands) specializing in retail experience design.
I explore the interaction between the retail environment and the senses. My aim is to use folk crafts to create a new experience within retail stores in order to express cultural heritage values and bring back a sense of emotional connection.
By focusing on collaboration with craft communities and using sustainable strategies, I strive to empower the craftsman and see new possibilities for crafted products that can reflect modernity in a meaningful way within retail environments.
Through an in-depth research method, I rethink every aspect of my process and translates all research into retail spaces. Under my creative direction, my work embraces the imperfection, rawness and ordinary in term of materials.
I offer an alternative direction for retailers from concept to creation.
My retail’s concept is driven by the redefinition of Thai folk crafts.
I explore new possibilities in giving it a new life and translate its story into experiences and spaces.
My creations can be objects, installations, decorations, and exhibitions.
Every design process will base on sustainable strategies.
“I believe that crafts heritage can be such a beautiful and interesting starting point for the new aesthetics of the 21 st century.”