Shaoyuan Wang

The projects in Msc Product Design in DJCAD, 2016-2017 & my PLAY

Ideation Workshop

To generate more ideas, I organized one workshop in a local knitting shop. There is a lovely interactive space in this knitting shop. People can gather together, chatting and knitting at the same time. I believe the end-user would be more than helpful in the design process.

This Co-design ideation workshop was divided into three sections, which are brainstorming, stakeholders map and Rip+Mix.

The participants were diverse: members of the knitting shop, craft lovers, shop keeper and students. And they were in different age groups. From 21 to 60.



From my research, I found three key words are very important for craftsmanship, which are LOCALITY, PROCESS, CONNECT. The task was thinking about the objects and behavior around those three words. Participants felt that:

Local shops and local events were essential to encourage local people to be involved in the craft.

The process of doing craft is a collaborative work.

The space like workshop and exhibition connects people from different positions.



Stakeholders map


The stakeholders map is used to be used for clarifying the relationship between stakeholders. Yet, here, I wanted to figure out which groups the participants were more interested in. During this exercise, we found that some groups can be local as well as international, such as customers and tourists.

After filling the activity sheet, I asked them one question: which group would you like to highlight in craft activity. Then participants started voting with the red dots.


In the end, most of people chose the groups in ‘local range’.




Rip+Mix is a fast, effective and engaging idea generation tool to help encourage creative and innovative thinking. I introduced this design tool to the participants and guided them to create new product or service by using Rip+Mix.

After they completed the form, they presented their ideas. Everybody’s idea was totally different, from craft tool design to craft service design. Through sharing the thinking, I gained plenty of inspiration. Even though the new ideas were not finely finished, the interaction of sharing in the workshop was enjoyable. IMG_4985.JPG

This workshop is also as a craft lover’s social networking activity. The picture of sharing experience and opinions was beautiful. I really appreciate the people managing this kind of social spaces. And I would like to have more activities like this informal workshop to allow people to learn things and talk about things.


Learning Leather Craft

I had opportunity to learn how to make leather bag from a local crafts-person in Woodland festival in Falkland, Scotland. I do appreciate there is such an organization bringing the craft lovers together. As David Gauntlett said,’Making is connecting.’


Making is Connecting

“Look at the recent studies of happiness, which suggest that individuals are more satisfied when they are part of social network”

— David Gauntlett <Making is Connecting>

Since there are many traditional artisans are doing independent work, we could help them survive in these ways, which allows them to be a part of social network,

· Encourage people to record and learn

· Create a stage to share the process and the story

· Engage design team and cultural protection organization to support them

· Explore marketing opportunity

Related image

For example, Harris Tweed is a cloth handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.


Make Works is an open access directory of fabricators, material suppliers, workshops and manufacturers. They are making manufacturing accessible. Think of it like a public library. An open resource made by dedicated factory finders where you can discover skilled manufacturers, tools and materials to make work with in your area.

Insights & Opportunities:

· Make their story and products more visible and accessible.

· Use the advantages of the economic environment to help the traditional craftsmanship.

· Those valuable skills can be passed on to the next generation.

·  ‘Making is Connecting’


Then, I would like to design a physical product which creates the connection to help them sustain the craftsmanship ( To be a part of social network) .

The connection would between

Craftsman – Craftsman; Craftsman – Supporter (designers); Craftsman – The public

The Process

When I give you one silk scarf, you might take it because you like the pattern or you don’t take it because you don’t like its colour. It is quite black and white. However, what if I tell you the amazing process of  making this scarf behind the scenes to show its uniqueness? Would you change your perspective on it?

Image result for Hermès:   Screen printed scarf

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Hermès – The artisan is screen printing scarf

THE GREAT SHOKUNIN mini-documentary series tells the stories of crafts people across Asia. This mini-documentary mainly focus on the craftsmanship process, artisan spirit and its background.  The producer Li said the key to success is understanding “the spirit” of the craftsmen and women, that they are doing what they love and do not treat it as a mere job.

Image result for 了不起的匠人

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By watching the process, audience can truly feel artisan’s passion and originality and the magic of traditional craftsmanship.


From my survey, we can obviously see the people do craft prefer attending workshops and making things with friend. Craft itself is an interactive activity. Thus the process of craft can engage people to connect each other and share things.


· Experiencing the process helps understand more, rather than seeing and hearing.

· Enjoy the making process while communicating and interacting.




The Locality

“Craft often represents an intensely personal or symbolic relationship with a particular locality. This ‘sense of place’ does, by its very nature, largely defy objective analysis: it is as unique to each person as it is to each locality. ”

– Garima Aggarwal Roy, Craft and Globlisation : A Contemporary Place for Traditional Practices

“The rewarding experience of digging clay, knowing the history of Easter Kincaple Farm and Seafield Brickworks, our love of earthenware pottery and the enjoyment of making gave us the idea to experiment with using the old practise of country pottery as a starting point to put into practise contemporary thinking (for example sustainability, local supplies and the slow movement), with the aim of creating a local, carbon neutral pottery.”

Ceramist Sean


· Local material – Understand the land, care about the land

· Local craftsman – The best people telling the story

· Local environment – The background of the craft

Understanding of the Craft

What is Craft?

Nowadays, it is more difficult to define Craft. There are many pieces of artwork made by hands. The boundary of craft and art sometimes is not necessarily clear.

From the interview with a local ceramist, he has his own opinion on craft. It shows in the graph below.



There is some data shows that people thinks differently towards craft and craft activity.


However, there are several levels in craft activity. From DIY craft which is focusing on people creating things for themselves without the aid of paid professionals (Wikipedia) to professional craftsmanship, such as handwoven scarf and wood carving.

”New generations need to know that there is craft beyond cross stitch and Christmas tree decorations.”

“It is extremely important to set the stage right for the craftsmen; this would mean dealing with the craft with utmost dedication and sensitivity. The craftspeople are the foundation of this industry, and it is important for NGOs, governments, design houses, funders and the end buyers to encourage their personal growth and interests. ”

— Garima Aggarwal Roy, Craft and Globlisation : A Contemporary Place for Traditional Practices


The graph of the result of my questionnaire is thought-provoking. Majority of younger generation do not know much about traditional craftsmanship. On the other hand, the artisans would also be tough to survive in such a society. This fact made me rethink about the sustainability of traditional craftsmanship.

Certainly, there are other reasons why some traditional craft techniques are disappearing.

· Low productivity, it is difficult to survive in this ecnomic status

· Less users causes shrinkage of market

· Seldom people inherits the craftsmanship

· Tough independent labor

My challenge would be how to help traditional craftsmanship survive.




Maze voting game is a tool to help staff in community to collect the vote, also encourage children to share their opinions for the community in a playful way. When children play the maze, the votes will be analyzed automatically for the staff in community hub. The robot on the maze would provide a ball once player start the game (making a first vote by putting a token into the vote box ) , then the player control the board to do more votes. This is a collaborative game. While children playing the game, they are engaged to have more conversation on voting, which makes them to share opinions.

Prototype 1


Prototype 2


Exploring different materials.


Voting box. Programming on Arduino.



How to start the game?



The robot provides a ball, and player control the ball to continue voting.



The staff receive the voting result.


Finish the game.




Target group – Children

Why Children?

1. Future of Community Hub

2. Least engaged in communication decision

3. Family engagement





Vote in playful way

piano vote.jpg

Visualize the result



How to communicate



Social sharing

plant your ideafortune cookiebeer mat


Gathering specific data

Light Votechurch donation

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