ItalOriente Crafts is a collaboration between a network of artisans, designers and digital makers from Italy and the Middle-East to co-design and co-make handmade tableware. The project objectives are:
– to experiment the combination of “traditional” crafts and “digital” fabrication;
– to empower the artisans network through collaboration with designers and digital makers;
– to develop and test a local distributed production model based on collaboration, open design, handmade and digital fabrication.
The project was started with the visit to the Khalife Family’s glassblowing workshop in the coastal village of Sarafand, in South Lebanon. They are the last dynasty of glass blowers in Lebanon struggling to preserve their craft, workshop and family business.
Image 1: Blownglass homewares by the Khalife Family exhibited at their local shop in Sarafand.
In parallel to the work with the family of glass blowers, a group of women artisans from Italy and Lebanon, expert in textile techniques, are collaborating with designers to reinterpret their techniques and patterns. The new developed patterns, which combine old traditional artisanship with contemporary digital technologies, will be used to ‘dress’ the blown glass tableware collection.
The project phases are:
> individuate and analyze the glass and tableware market trends;
> reinterpret selected textile techniques and patterns;
> co-design and co-make the first prototypes of a new handmade tableware collection.
Image 2: The prototypes of the new tableware collection will be exhibited at Milan Design Week, April 2020