Design For…

design for is a non-profit organisation, funded by Nanyang Technological University’s New Silk Road Grant. It is an open platform for collaborations on social design projects.

In developing a network of collaborators, we aspire to create design solutions for the good of the individual and for a better society. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve holistic solutions for a sustainable world.

The name design for is a catalyst for the possibilities of design with a humanistic view; members of design for intentionally focus on designing for good, for people, and for cultural preservation.

Utilising scholarly research, we advocate cultural understanding and preservation by using design as a dialogue. Through this dialogue, we aim to translate, reinterpret, adapt, and try out new ideas and forms in traditional crafts for contemporary living.

As part of our work with communities, we share cultural information and aim to promote ethical consumerism for sustainable livings.

The concept of design for is built upon models of Asian apprenticeships that are based on the methods of traditional craftsmanship and the adoption of a hands-on, process-driven method. By visiting craft villages and learning from the original artisans themselves, we come to understand their philosophy of life, learn from their techniques, and derive a wealth of knowledge that is slowly fading away today. This leads to a model of research into meaning, conception of designs by making, and fostering human relationships through sharing.

Historically in the Asian cultures, there are strong links between craft, design, and meaning as the basis of the sense of cultural identity: the people live with a respect for nature and an appreciation of tradition. Collaborators in design for see the value in this perspective and seek to apply it to our Southeast Asian region, which is rich in heritage, culture, and craftsmanship.


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