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Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:00

The Potential of Rural Crafts in Promoting Community Empowerment through Participatory Design Intervention

Written by Cumulus authors

Abstract

Finding solutions to the social issues in rural communities has aroused strong academic interest of varied disciplines, including the design field. This paper seeks to explore the potential of rural crafts in promoting community empowerment through participatory design intervention based on a case study of a project concerning the Huayao Ethnic Minority community in China. Firstly, the research background was explained including the relevant theories of the prestigious scholars in both Western countries and East Asia, and the research methodology. Then, the knowledge of local assets was gained mainly through field survey. Next, the technique tiaohua, one type of local cross-stitching, was chosen for participatory design experiment. The participatory design process based on the technique of tiaohua is a reiterative cycle and each cycle includes five stages: Knowledge Acquisition, Concept Generation, Preliminary Prototyping, Motif Design and Final Prototyping. The authors went further to explain the co-design process through an analysis of the design works. Finally, the authors summarized the paradigm of utilizing rural crafts for promoting community empowerment through participatory design intervention. Moreover, the limitations of this paper were pointed out and future research plans were proposed.

Keywords

Ethnic minority, rural crafts, community empowerment, participatory design

Authors

Baosheng Wang, School of Design, Hunan University (China)

Tie Ji, School of Design, Hunan University (China)

Yuanyuan Yang, School of Design, Hunan University (China)

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